Each year the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) honors individuals and organizations that, through their tireless work and dedication to philanthropy, have improved the quality of life in our community and around the world. Recipients of the awards are nominated for demonstrating outstanding commitment and leadership in all aspects of philanthropy. AFP recognizes these outstanding honorees who embody the true meaning of philanthropy — the love of humankind.

Among honorees of the 2015 National Philanthropy Day awards will be Larry and Sally Cohen, who together helped establish the Benco Dental legacy. Founded in 1930 by Larry’s father Benjamin Cohen, the company has remained family-owned and focused on its unique mission to ‘deliver success, smile after smile.’

Over the past decade, Benco has been the nation’s fastest growing dental distributor, now servicing more than 35,000 dentists and dental laboratories. A tenet among the company’s values: giving back to the communities and families they serve. Part of that outreach include the Benco Family Foundation, which in 2014 supported more than 100 charities and donated nearly 150,000 toothbrushes to children and families.


Larry and Sally Cohen will receive the Outstanding Philanthropist Award as part of National Philanthropy Day. They are shown with sons, Benco Managing Directors Chuck and Rick Cohen, at a recent company ribbon-cutting event in Flower Mound, Texas.

Awards will be presented at the Philanthropy Day Luncheon today, November 20, at The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, 700 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania.  AFP NEPA is committed to making the awards process as inclusive as possible, recognizing outstanding achievements on the part of organizations, philanthropists and volunteers from all counties within our region. This year’s honorees include:

  • Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Michele Zabriski
  • Outstanding Corporation: Lamar Outdoor Advertising
  • Outstanding Foundation: Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains
  • Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: John Michael Gigliotti
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Rose Marie Panzitta  
  • Outstanding Philanthropist: Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Cohen

This year’s chair for National Philanthropy Day is John Cosgrove of Condron and Cosgrove. Katie Leonard, Johnson College, served as Chair of Nominations. Honorary Breakfast Co-Chairs are Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks NEPA, and Jon Konzelman, Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals represents more than 30,000 members in 200+ chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. Locally, AFP programs include an educational lecture series, full-day fundraising conference, mentoring program, professional networking events, and resource exchange. More information can be found on the international website www.afpnet.org or the AFP NEPA chapter website www.aftnepa.afpnet.org.

For questions about Philanthropy Day, contact John Cosgrove, 2015 National Philanthropy Day Chair, at 570-344-6888 or Kurt Bauman, AFP NEPA Chapter President at 570-655-5581.