The Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was awarded in an outdoor ceremony on June 24th, 2021 to Cancer Services, Inc. Cancer Services is a three time recipient of the bi-annual award. In addition to the recognition they were awarded a grant of $50,000.  

Founded in 1955, Cancer Services provides resources to cancer patients and their families during one’s cancer journey. Over 5,700 cancer survivors connected with their agency last year.  

Cancer Services President and CEO, Tara O’Brien notes, “We are so honored to be this year's recipient of the Weston Award!  This is such a competitive process and thorough evaluation of our agency and stewardship.  Our community is so rich with nonprofits making an incredible impact on the lives of Forsyth County residents that we are humbled and grateful for this acknowledgement" .  

The Joel and Claudette Weston Award has honored and recognized leadership and excellence in nonprofit management at local organizations for more than 30 years.  Joel A. Weston, Jr. was a senior executive at the Hanes Companies and an active member of the Winston-Salem community.   He served as president of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982.   Joel believed strongly that nonprofit organizations should be well run and efficient and he introduced many innovative programs designed to strengthen charitable organizations and the community.   He passed away unexpectedly in 1984.  The Weston Award Endowment was founded in 1985 at The Winston-Salem Foundation by family and friends of Joel A. Weston as a way to honor his vision and dedication to the community. 

Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette Weston, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her efforts on numerous boards and organizations and as a member of the Weston Award Committee. The award is overseen by a volunteer committee and given out every other year.  

United Way of Forsyth County President and CEO, Cindy Gordineer, notes, " We were very fortunate to have Joel serve as our Board Chair, and we are honored to be a part of the Weston Award as it supports his and Claudette's vision and drive for excellence. " 

Claudette Weston said, “We were all pleased to present the Weston Award to Cancer Services. As a result of this award, I have learned to be a better leader. Over the last 35 years the quality of nonprofit management in Forsyth County has been exceptional and the bar is extremely high for the agency that wins the Weston Award. It is hard work to prepare the applications and the committee works hard to evaluate and choose a winner. Joel would be so proud. Cancer Services is great.”  

Background: 

The Joel and Claudette Weston Award has honored and recognized leadership and excellence in nonprofit management at local organizations for more than 30 years.  Joel A. Weston, Jr. was a senior executive at the Hanes Companies and an active member of the Winston-Salem community.   He served as president of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982.   Joel believed strongly that nonprofit organizations should be well run and efficient and he introduced many innovative programs designed to strengthen charitable organizations and the community.   He passed away unexpectedly in 1984.  The Weston Award Endowment was founded in 1985 at The Winston-Salem Foundation by family and friends of Joel A. Weston as a way to honor his vision and dedication to the community.   In 1985 the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was established to recognize local human service agencies that are performing at peak efficiency.  Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette Weston, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her efforts on numerous boards and organizations and as a member of the Weston Award Committee. The award is overseen by a volunteer committee and given out every other year.  The award was last given in 2019 to Samaritan Ministries.  

What is The Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management? 

Every other year any nonprofit agency in Forsyth County can apply to win the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence.  An agency that wins the award must wait ten five years to apply again. The application is a rigorous evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management: financial and personnel management, program development and effectiveness, long range planning, marketing, fund-raising, board development, etc. 

All applications are reviewed by a 16 member the Weston Award committee.  In addition, the committee hears an oral presentation by representatives of each agency and their board.   The winner is presented with the prestigious and much coveted bi-annual award and a grant of $50,000.  

What does the Weston Award Accomplish? 

The Weston Award recognizes, affirms, encourages and financially supports the best- run charitable organization in Forsyth County as selected every other year by the Weston Award Committee.  The Award is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management.   In filling out the award application, nonprofit organizations can assess and receive feedback on how their agency measures up against best practices in human service agency management.  The award promotes efficiency, competence, fiscal integrity, innovation and program effectiveness.  Nonprofit management excellence in turn equates to a community that can better help its most vulnerable citizens, maximize philanthropy and enhance quality of life for all. 

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