The Association of Fundraising Professionals Montana Chapter recognized the winners of the 2018 National Philanthropy Day awards in Billings on November 8, 2018. The prestigious Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year Award was presented to David and Tanya Cameron of Great Falls.
The Outstanding Philanthropist Award recognizes an individual or family with a proven record of exceptional generosity, who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles.
Throughout their lives, the Camerons have combined their passions for research, education, ranching, and medicine with philanthropic efforts that have profoundly impacted our community.
David and Tanya Cameron’s significant gifts to the Benefis Foundation helped to establish the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute, the new Emergency Department, the Eastview Memory Care Unit, and the Peace Hospice Residential Facility expansion, just to name a few. The state-of-the-art Cameron Auditorium at Benefis Health System was named in their honor, and they also established the Cameron Medical Education Scholarship at the Benefis Foundation.
Their contributions across the region have chartered the Great Falls Rescue Mission’s Cameron Family Center, the Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center, and the Cameron Medical Library at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM). They established the David and Tanya Cameron Endowed Scholarship at Great Falls College – MSU, and the Cameron Scholars Program in the MSU Honors College.
“David and Tanya Cameron have created a remarkable legacy of generosity in Montana and beyond,” said Marilyn Parker, Benefis Foundation Executive Director. “Their devotion to supporting the Benefis Foundation over the past 20 years has made an extraordinary impact on the health of our community.”
Pam Volk, Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center Executive Director, added, “Dave and Tanya are wonderful people who have applied their hearts and minds to making the world a better place, inspiring current and future generations to function in humanity. Their impact is colossal and it illustrates the positive power of philanthropy.”
David, a scientist and rancher, was head of Montana State University’s Zoology and Entomology Department in Bozeman, and later served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee within the McLaughlin Research Institute’s Board of Directors. Philanthropy is such an inherent part of David and Tanya’s lives that they have used their ranch in Cascade as a living lab. David has conducted award-wining agricultural and wildlife research projects and has brought students to their ranch to learn from these studies.
Tanya has also been a committed leader in the community and has served on many boards, including acting as Chair of the Benefis Foundation Board of Directors. Presently, she serves as a member of the Benefis Health System Board of Directors.