Gary Thomas - 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year

Gary Thomas - 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year
On November 13, 2013, Gary Thomas received the 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Massachusetts Chapter.

Gary Thomas was nominated to receive AFP's 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award because of his proven record of exceptional generosity through direct financial support and volunteer work.


Over the past eight years, Gary has given The Carson Center a tremendous amount of his time, talent and treasure, because he believes in returning a significant portion of his revenue and time in support of community endeavors, particularly ones which support education and the arts.


In addition to Gary's annual monetary gifts that include an emphasis on sponsorships, he serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors at the Carson Center for Human Services.


Gary hosts a popular one-hour weekly radio program, "On the Money," every Wednesday at 2pm and Saturdays at 8am on WHMP AM 1240/1400/1600 and FM 96.9, which can be heard in three of the four counties in Western Massachusetts, as well as via live audio streaming at  Gary also occasionally makes appearances on Springfield's television, as an underwriter of cultural programming and pledge drive fundraisers for WGBY, and he provides sponsorship support for the Westfield Youth Football League.


His wife said: "Gary's generosity of heart is a big part of him. Some wise person said that there are only two kinds of people: Those who could sit and eat a meal in front of a hungry person, and those who couldn't.  It's just not possible for Gary to be complacent when faced with someone in need.  It's not even possible for me to imagine such a thing."


In Gary's spare time alongside his wife, he cares for two identical twin sister kitties, a 175 lb. Newfoundland, a dainty little 165 lb. St. Bernard, and a Yellow Labrador, who is only 70 lbs. They also have four Macaws and a Malaccan Cockatoo, who are all talkative, demanding and on the make for food, toys and hugs.


It is not just his gift support that is so impressive, but his willingness to get involved and inspire others to follow in his footsteps that is building his charitable legacy here in Western Massachusetts and across the State as he CALLS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT ONE FUND, BOSTON.


By Wendy Lane Wright, Mission Advancement Officer