When it comes to improving our community and helping people in need, Mesa has no shortage of role models. That’s what makes Susan Carland’s selection for Mesa United Way’s Ross N. Farnsworth Spirit of Mesa Award so special.
Carland, whose ready smile, boundless energy and generous hugs are well known to all who are involved in making Mesa a better place to live, was honored May 15 during Mesa United Way’s 2012-13 Campaign Finale Luncheon.
Also honored during the event for the Heart of Mesa Award was The Farnsworth Companies, whose founder, the late Ross N. Farnsworth, was a leading businessman, community philanthropist and supporter of Mesa United Way. Farnsworth died in March at age 81. Craig Ahlstrom, President and CEO of Farnsworth Development Co., accepted the award on behalf of the company.
The annual event recognizes the many individuals and organizations that are involved in the pledge campaign, which runs through June 30. This year’s campaign is just $30,000 short of its $2,825,000 goal.
Carland is a past board member of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, is an important part of both the chamber’s golf tournament and the awards committee, has been president of the Mesa Rotary Club, and is past recipient of Mesa’s Woman of the Year.
“A couple of years ago (Susan Carland) retired - which means she’s probably only working 40 hours a week - and became an Executive Volunteer at Helen’s Hope Chest, where she coordinates group volunteerism and leads community outreach efforts,” said Sally Downey, President of the Mesa United Way Board. “She has been Mesa’s official hugger for as long as most of us can remember.”
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith had said this about The Farnsworth Companies: “By strongly supporting Mesa United Way, the recipient of the Heart of Mesa Award exemplifies the commitment to serving the children, seniors, families and neighborhoods that most need our help. It helps ensure the greatest positive impact upon the needs of our community. This prestigious award reflects a combination of corporate and employee leadership that inspired these achievements during the 2012-12 campaign.”
Other awards presented during the Finale Luncheon include:
• Employee Campaign Leaders of the Year: Liz Bortkun and Barbara Spielbusch
• Agency Partner of the Year: Save the Family
• Community Partnership of the Year: Mesa Rotary Club
• Community Partnership of the Year: Hilton Phoenix / Mesa
• Rising Star Awards: Crescent Crown and Visit Mesa