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Foundation for Appalachian Ohio Recognizes Child of Appalachia and Chaddock Philanthropist of the Year Awardees For Contributions to Region


Maribeth Wright and Jordan Phillips Honored at Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s 20th Anniversary Event

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s President & CEO, Cara Dingus Brook (left), and Board Chair, Ronald Strickmaker (right), present Jordan Phillips (center-left) with the Child of Appalachia Award and Maribeth Wright (center-right) with the Chaddock Philanthropist of the Year Award.

Columbus, OH The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) observed its 20th anniversary on Saturday, celebrating 20 years of creating opportunities in partnership with donors, grantees, nonprofits, schools, and communities. Speakers at the anniversary event emphasized that FAO did not get where it is today, and cannot get where it wants to go, without the dedication and commitment of individuals and communities throughout the region.

In this spirit, FAO conferred two awards at its event. The Chaddock Philanthropist of the Year Award honored Guernsey County resident Maribeth Wright, whose longstanding, local commitment to philanthropy embodies the leadership that helped FAO grow to its current position, while the Child of Appalachia award honored Jordan Phillips, a 14-year-old Athens resident whose creative approach to philanthropy at a young age demonstrates the promise and potential of the region.

“Jordan and Maribeth are inspiring leaders in Appalachian Ohio whose stories of commitment to community and family touch all of our hearts,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO’s President and CEO. “They have each made the region a better and brighter place to live, and they exemplify the empathy and dedication that we at FAO know can create a future of abundance for the region.”

Jordan was specifically honored for her dedicated work on Cozys for the Cure, a project she started to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and make a difference for the millions of people impacted by breast cancer – a statistic which includes Jordan’s mother.

Jordan was only 11 when her mother was diagnosed, and she was quickly spurred to action, sewing coffee cup cozys to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Jordan’s innovative idea and initial success captured the attention of the Komen Foundation nationally, and as a result of this connection, Walmart agreed to stock Jordan’s cozys in their stores. The cozys have now raised more than $100,000 for the Komen Foundation.

“When I started making these cozys, I just wanted to do what I could to help my mom and all those who also suffer from breast cancer,” Jordan said. “I had no idea that the project would inspire so many people and become so successful, and I’m honored to have played a role in raising so much money for the fight against breast cancer. It’s really taught me that it doesn’t matter how young you are or where you come from – if your heart is in the right place and you’re motivated to work in the service of others, you can accomplish so many amazing things.”

Maribeth serves as president of the Guernsey County Foundation Fund, the first of ten community funds established with FAO to build local philanthropy. Each of these funds works locally to grow philanthropic dollars and invest them in their community; Maribeth’s gifts of time, talent, and treasure have helped the Guernsey County Foundation grow over the past 14 years to include 41 funds totaling more than $9 million in assets dedicated to the opportunities, needs, and future of Guernsey County and its people.

“My community is close to my heart,” said Maribeth. “It has been a privilege to be a part of growing the Guernsey County Foundation and to see the ways that it has helped our community to grow and envision our future.”

As FAO celebrated the year’s awardees, all those gathered also looked to the future of the Foundation’s work in growing the Pillars of Prosperity. The Pillars – Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services – are designed to allow flexible, strategic investments that will create an abundance of opportunity throughout the Appalachian Ohio region.

To learn more about how the Pillars of Prosperity can help you make your mark on the story of the region, visit


About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit