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Front Page - Friday, November 29, 2019

Hood named fundraiser of the year

Lynda Hood, center, with National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon master of ceremonies Alison Lebovitz, left, and Tracie LeSar of Vascular Institute of Chattanooga. - Photograph provided

The Association of Fundraising Professionals named Chattanooga Bar Association Executive Director Lynda Hood its Leadership Fundraiser of the Year during its 2019 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon held Nov. 13 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

Master of ceremonies Alison Lebovitz said many Chattanooga nonprofits have benefited from Hood’s volunteer work.

“Lynda gets excited about volunteering. She gets excited about raising money. She gets excited about energizing the people around her and motivating them to give of their time, talent and treasure.

“When we receive a call from Lynda asking us to participate in something, we know it’s worthy and meaningful.”

In a video played before Hood’s daughter, Lauren, presented the award, Hood said everyone has a responsibility to help others. “When you’re part of a community, you help the people of that community, whether it’s with your time, money or talents.”

Hood has been an active volunteer in the Chattanooga community for decades, and has chaired some of the most profitable fundraisers in the city, said the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the program for the luncheon.

Hood’s many volunteer commitments includes serving as chairwoman of the Erlanger Health System Foundation board. She first became involved with Erlanger in 1977 when her father suffered a massive heart attack and received what she says was “exceptional care.”

Hood became a patient of Erlanger herself when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.

Hood has also co-chaired the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger’s Believe Bash for the last two years. In that capacity, she’s helped to raise over $1.5 million.

As co-chair of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, Hood has helped to raise the most money the campaign has received in its 15-year history. Hood is also chair of the American Cancer Society’s 2020 gala.

Julie Taylor, president and CEO of Erlanger Health System Foundation, says Hood brings not only her passion but also her story to her volunteer efforts. “Lynda cares about this community, and through her experiences, is helping to make it a better place for all of us.”