Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: Finnegan McCarthy

Finnegan McCarthy (far left), with friends, sold lemonade to raise funds for Cancer Support Community.

Finnegan McCarthy (far left), with friends, sold lemonade to raise funds for Cancer Support Community.

Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals presents awards to several individuals or organizations at its National Philanthropy Day Luncheon: Philanthropist, Volunteer and Emerging Leader of the Year, Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, plus a new award for 2018, Innovator of the Year.


Finn McCarthy and his family know the impact of a cancer diagnosis firsthand: McCarthy’s father was diagnosed with the disease and has battled it with a variety of treatments and surgeries since Finn was very young. Now 12 years old, Finn serves as a junior ambassador of Cancer Support Community.

“Finn and his mom, Nancy, participated in programs offered by Cancer Support Community throughout the journey,” wrote Michelle Dunn Johnson, president of CSC in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, in her nomination letter. “At the age of 9, Finn decided to host a lemonade stand to raise contributions to Cancer Support Community so that [as Finn said,] he ‘could help more families like his.’ ”

Finnigan McCarthy

Finnegan McCarthy

Lemonade stands were just the beginning. His mother said the boy wrote speeches and spoke to several audiences, including hundreds gathered at a pharmaceutical convention, and encouraged his classmates to participate in service projects for cancer care organizations. 

“Finnegan has always been a thoughtful and kind person, but after our family started on our difficult cancer journey, he could really appreciate and understand how important it is to reach out and help families who are hurting,” said Nancy McCarthy.


This year’s National Philanthropy Day luncheon, Nov. 8 at Music Hall Ballroom, has sold out. Meet the other 2018 honorees (and nominating organizations):

Philanthropists of the Year: Dr. Neal H. Mayerson and Dr. Donna Mayerson (Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation)

Volunteer of the Year: John Mongelluzzo (Stepping Stones)

Innovator of the Year: bi3 (Ignite Philanthropy)

Emerging Leader: Rosa Nemec (Girl Scouts of Western Ohio)

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