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Indy Give! gets a superfly start with the inaugural Lottie Prizes

For more than seven decades, most every morning my Granny Lottie and my Grandpa Harry started their day with a 60-second hug. I believe Granny learned of this ritual from a 1933 Ladies' Home Journal. She said their hugs kept them connected and grounded to what was important.

Granny Lottie was born on April 15, 1901 — not Tax Day, she'd later declare, just the start of spring. She grew up, got married, raised a family. And starting in the mid-1960s, after my Grandpa retired from the can factory, she volunteered. She continued on for more than three decades; the older she got, the more she gave back to her family, her nonprofits and her community, in terms of both time and kindness.

She died four years ago at age 109. She is missed with passion. So today, my extended family has joined me in remembering her spirit and her heart by naming an award in her honor.

The Lottie Prize celebrates young nonprofit entrepreneurs in the Pikes Peak region. Originally our selection committee feared it would not find great leaders under 36 who had worked at least five years with local nonprofits. To our delight, more than a dozen stellar candidates were nominated by our steering committee — led by Indy Give! co-chair Carrie Simison — and passionate debate ensued before we settled on our incredible inaugural winners.

Thanks to financial support not just from my family, but also from Chris Jenkins and the Nor'wood Development Group, this year's Lottie Prize winners will split $10,000. They will also get our gratitude, and perks from Zeezo's, FOX 21, Veda Salon and Spa, and The Broadmoor.

But wait, there's more.

We're giving Lottie Prizes to help kick off our annual Give! campaign, now in its sixth year. Over the past five campaigns, too many participating nonprofits have started out slowly — taking weeks before mobilizing their supporters. And nonprofits that start strong do far better overall.

So the Lottie Friendly Competition will divide $50,000 among Give! nonprofits that raise at least $5,000 from among at least 20 donors between Wednesday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 9. If just one nonprofit achieves this goal, it will keep the entire pot of money. If five groups succeed, they will each get $10,000.

Granny Lottie never did anything tomorrow that she could get done today. So she'd applaud this friendly competition designed to help some of our Give! participants get off their collective tushes (a Granny Lottie word).

Both of these efforts are inspired by the work of other newspapers: The Lottie Prize is directly modeled on Willamette Week's Skidmore Prize, and the Lottie Friendly Competition is a hybrid of ideas from papers in Lexington, Kentucky, and Monterey County, California. We thank these folks for allowing us to borrow from their successful initiatives.

Now, without further ado, meet your award winners here and here.

  • Indy Give! gets a superfly start with the inaugural Lottie Prizes

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