Announcing the 2020 Spirit of Sedona Award Honorees

September 30, 2020

Each year the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona honors outstanding individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations who have demonstrated exceptional philanthropic spirit, leadership and volunteerism throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley.

It is in times of emergency that we see what a community is made of. Our community exploded with altruistic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals stood up to support their neighbors in incredible ways.

We were not surprised to receive an abundance of nominations this year, more than ever before. It was difficult to select this year’s honorees, but after thoughtful deliberation, we are pleased to announce this year’s winners.

img_0038Philanthropist of the Year:  Contributors to the Sedona-Verde Valley COVID 19 Community Response Fund (CRF)

Historically the Philanthropist of the Year award was presented to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership by financially supporting our local service organizations. This year we are pleased to honor each and every one of the donors to the Community Response Fund.

These donors put the needs of their neighbors as a top priority in an unprecedented time of need. A total of over $511,000 was raised in ten weeks, and as result 30 local non-profits have received funding to date to support COVID-related critical services.

In a display of dynamic and responsive philanthropy, many contributors got creative and offered matching gifts, inspiring others in the community to give even more. Match challenges were issued by Sedona Women, Christ Lutheran Church, Rotary Club of Sedona Village and Seven Canyons.

manzanita-npo_website_716x300Non-Profit of the Year:  Manzanita Outreach

This past year our community has experienced an unprecedented demand for food due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manzanita Outreach ramped up its services so quickly and so effectively that we were blown away by their leadership. Manzanita went from serving 1,521 households to 6,400 in a matter of a few months.

Manzanita Outreach is on track to distribute two million pounds of food this year. We thank them for their hard work and dedication.

Manzanita Outreach will be dedicating their $1,000 honorary grant from the Arizona Community Foundation to support their extraordinary food distribution efforts.

linda-business-benefactor_website_716x300Business Benefactor of the Year:  Goldenstein Gallery, Linda Goldenstein, Owner

Over decades, the Goldenstein Gallery has helped to build the business and nonprofit service sectors of Sedona and the Verde Valley into what they are today. In addition to outstanding philanthropic support, Linda Goldenstein has helped to develop the potential of many organizations as an active board member.

Linda and the Goldenstein Gallery are long-time supporters of the Chamber Music Sedona, Sedona Arts Center, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Sedona Gallery Association, Sedona Historical Society, Sedona International Film Festival, Verde Valley Sanctuary, and Verde Valley Sinfonietta.

Goldenstein Gallery has chosen Sedona Area Homeless Alliance as the recipient of its honorary grant.

paul-community-collaborator_website_716x300Community Collaborator of the Year:  Paul Friedman

Since retirement as a university professor, Paul has committed his time to bettering our community. Paul is a dedicated and outstanding contributor to the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual wellbeing of Sedona. He has collaborated across the community to create numerous educational initiatives including over 300 programs at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, programs at the Yavapai County Jail and Yavapai Juvenile Probation Department and at the Jewish Community Center of Sedona.  Paul has measurably improved our community’s education, mutual understanding and tolerance.

Paul will be donating his honorary $1,000 grant from Arizona Community Foundation to the Osher Life Long Learning Institute.

jennette-volunteer_website_716x300Volunteer of the Year: Jennette Bill

As a near lifelong resident of Sedona, Jennette has worked tirelessly to improve our community for decades. She has held positions as diverse a as PTA President at her children’s school to founding President of the Sedona-Oak Creek Education Foundation to Rotary Club of Sedona President, where she worked tirelessly to help bring the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the children of the Verde Valley in addition to other instrumental youth-focused programs. Jennette is currently the President of the Rotary Club of Sedona Village, where she is leading the club in starting a community garden and hopes to make it a gathering spot for area youth.  Jennette embodies what it means to be a true Rotarian—Service above self. “It’s a passion,” she says. “I love pulling people together to make these things happen.”

Jennette has designated Verde Valley Caregivers as the recipient of her honorary grant.

joy-c19-volunteer_website_716x300COVID-19 Exceptional Volunteer Award: Joy Sinnott

When the pandemic began, we were all wondering what we could do to help.  While we were still talking, Joy had already started sewing masks and gowns for the Northern Arizona Healthcare System. She is now organizing the efforts of over 50 people from SedonaKind and Sedona Women to make both gowns and masks–over 15,250 to date!  She is now working with Crewse/Tewa to meet the need for PPE on the Navajo and Hopi reservations and 30 more organizations in need. At the same time, she is delivering, taking orders and fixing sewing machines!  Her dedication is endless, and her leadership has inspired other groups to join her in her efforts.

Joy has elected to give her honorary grant to SedonaKind.

We are so pleased to honor these exceptional community members. They are an inspiration in these unprecedented times, showing us how individuals can make incredible differences in the lives of their neighbors.


sedona_stacked_turqblk_cmykThe Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona is a philanthropic endowment for the enduring benefit of our community. This family of charitable funds is guided by a local Board of Advisors and benefits from cost-efficient, centralized professional services provided by the Arizona Community Foundation.

Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities across Arizona, ACF is among the top 25 community foundations in the nation with more than $960 million in trust and endowment assets, and is certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. Since inception, ACF and its affiliates have awarded more than $783 million in grants, scholarships, and loans to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies. More information is available at