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St. Anthony’s 2nd Annual Leading the Way Awards Gala Brought Out the City’s Big Hearts & Minds to Support the Foundation’s Essential and Life-Changing Services

October 17, 2023

On October 12, St. Anthony Foundation hosted its 2nd annual Leading the Way awards gala at the Terra Gallery. The funds raised benefit St. Anthony’s essential and life-changing services to help those in need break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and addiction.

Attended by more than 250 donors, volunteers, and supporters, the gala honors three outstanding community award winners – McKinsey & Company, Bianca Flores Johnson, and the Kaplan Family Trust – for their commitment and dedication to making a positive impact in our community through service, advocacy, and collaboration.

“Leading the Way was an evening to remember. Not only are we raising much-needed funds for St. Anthony’s, but we are celebrating three award winners who are role models for creating positive change,” said Nils Behnke, CEO of St. Anthony Foundation. “Their innovative work changes lives for the better, and we applaud them. I hope their example inspires others in the community to get involved. Positive change is contagious.”

2023 Award Recipients:

Leading the Way Impact Award: McKinsey & Company – The leading global management consulting company provides invaluable support to over 3,900 nonprofits through time, talent, and treasure, including St. Anthony’s. McKinsey offered invaluable analysis and in-depth research on San Francisco’s homelessness crisis and proposed solutions, particularly in the area of women’s and children’s services, that directly help St. Anthony’s address the needs of the Bay Area.

Leading the Way Emerging Leader: Bianca Flores Johnson – Community and Citizenship Director for Turner Construction in Northern California who is dedicated to her local community through three strategic pillars: economic development, youth workforce development, and philanthropy, focusing on supplier diversity, youth engagement, and community impact.

Leading the Way Community Philanthropist Award: Kaplan Family Trust – The Kaplan Family’s years as psychotherapists and philanthropists supporting women with children escaping domestic violence elevated their awareness of the terror homeless families experience. The joint venture they proposed with St. Anthony’s, to purchase a city-run family shelter slated for closure and provide life-changing services to the residents to exit homelessness permanently, ensures that St. Anthony’s pathways to hope, stability, and renewal support thousands of families in the future.

Heather Holmes, KTVU Anchor and Reporter, was the evening’s emcee as she was last year, and Mayor London Breed and other distinguished city leaders were in attendance.

St. Anthony Foundation team members, Juan T. and Kate Armstrong, shared their personal testimonies, including how the foundation has positively impacted their lives. Kate in particular, Community Safety Services Assistant Manager, emphasized the importance of serving women and families, coinciding with St. Anthony’s expansion of the Women’s and Children’s Services Program and the recent agreement to step up to acquire and preserve the Oasis as a family shelter in June.

“I felt inspired to become the Assistant Manager for the Community Safety Services team at St. Anthony’s,” said Kate. “Before there was an awareness of equality, inclusion, and diversity, the Franciscans preached personalism. I find strength within this space of vulnerability, giving me the empathy necessary to help others start owning their story and the inherent dignity of every human being.”

“I thank God and St. Anthony’s that now I see a future that is good for me and a chance to be of service with St. Anthony’s,” said Juan T., Kitchen Assistant in the Dining Room and current Father Alfred Center resident.

For over 73 years, St. Anthony Foundation, committed to providing pathways to stability for thousands of San Franciscans in need annually, provides essential and life-changing services for people experiencing addiction, homelessness, or poverty, and offers one of the broadest portfolios of social services – nearly all under one roof.

The foundation provides pathways to a more stable life through three pillars of services: Essential Services (Dining Room, Free Clothing Program, Hygiene Hub, Community Safety Services (CSS)); Health Care (Medical Clinic, Father Alfred Center recovery program); Care Integration (Companion Program of Care, Tenderloin Tech and Computer Lab, Resource Center for social services, Workforce Development/Transitional Employment Program, and Women’s and Children’s Services).

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

BiRite Foodservice Distributors, San Francisco Giants, Turner Construction Company, The Toboni Group, Deloitte, Delta Dental Insurance Company, Dolby, PG&E, Waymo, East West Bank, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, BNY Mellon, Stanford University School of Medicine, McKinsey & Company, Blu Pagoda LLC, Yvonne and Angelo Sangiacomo Foundation, Maija Muncy, Cathy Garzio and Martin Mattes, Tim and Rhanda Dunn, Jeff Pace, Hoenigman Family Foundation, O’Shea Foundation, Joe Emhof, Paula March Romanovsky, Lou and Suzanne Giraudo, William and Jean Terheyden, Franciscan Ministries, Elizabeth and Greg Vaughan, and Jason Coloma.

View photos from Leading the Way: St. Anthony’s LEADING THE WAY (drewaltizer.com), (photo courtesy of Natalie Shrik for Drew Altizer Photography)

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