Augustus F. "Gus" Brown, a principal in the law firm Brown, Brown & Young, has received the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Maryland - Harford County Chapter's first ever Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award, presented at sixth annual Harford County Celebration of Philanthropy, held on National Philanthropy Day, April 19, at the Maryland Golf and Country Clubs in Bel Air.
The event was established to bestow recognition upon members of the community who are "truly agents of change in our county," according to the official program of the celebration. "Gus Brown has done a tremendous amount of work for many organizations in the county," said AFP-Maryland 2012 Planning Committee member Tamara Zavislan, executive director of the Community Foundation of Harford County. "It's amazing that he finds the time, considering how busy he is," she said.
In introducing Brown to those assembled for the ceremony, Thomas Kelso, of Matrix Capital Markets, said the award "represents a lifetime of dedication by Gus to philanthropy, the result of his sincere passion to help others and make Harford County a better place." Kelso also listed five capital fundraising campaigns Brown led or is leading, all for the benefit of educational or religious non-profit institutions.
"He looks to build bridges and educate donors," Kelso said, adding, "He works to increase donor participation!"
In accepting the honor, Brown thanked his wife of almost 40 years, Penny Brown, describing her as "instrumental in helping with philanthropic work." Brown reminded those attending that his dedication to bettering the lot of all people extends beyond Harford County, mentioning his work on behalf of victims of the September 11, 2001attacks in New York City.
Brown also said the three requirements to being a successful fundraiser are that "you have to be direct, you have to be disciplined, and you have to be determined!" He said good philanthropic results require taking advantage of every opportunity to raise funds, and so he asked all in attendance to "pull out those checkbooks."
Beginning in 2007, the Harford County chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored one family as Outstanding Philanthropists. In 2009, the separate honor of Outstanding Business Philanthropist was added, and in 2012 the third honor, that of Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser was established.
Past recipients include the Ralph and Shirley Klein Family Foundation (2007), the Dresher Family (2008), the Family of Walter and Betty Ward (2009), the Cook Family and Harford Bank (2010), and the Lozinak Family and Harford Mutual Insurance Company (2011). Along with Brown, the 2012 honorees included Dr. Richard P. and Esther S. Street Jr. and Family, and APG Federal Credit Union.