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Meet the Northland's giving heroes

DSGW Architects won the Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award. Here they pose with some of their friends. (Submitted photo)1 / 4
Members of the Goldberg family gathered at the Northland Country Club to watch and support David Goldberg as he was awarded the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award. (Submitted photo)2 / 4
Dr. Robert and Sharon Wahman visit with Benedictine nuns Sister Lois Eckes and Sister Theresa Spinier. (Naomi Yaeger photo)3 / 4
David Goldberg holds his hand over his heart as he emotionally reminisces about his father who had been orphaned and both benefited from philanthropy and participated in it. (Noami Yaeger photo)4 / 4

Local philanthropist David A. Goldberg, for whom the David Goldberg Family Branch Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland which is located in the Heritage Center of the Lincoln Park neighborhood is named, was one of those honored in November by the Lake Superior Fund Raising Executives.

Nationwide the Association of Fundraising Professionals celebrates National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15 and the Lake Superior Fund Raising Executives held its Celebrating Community Giving Day on the same day. A luncheon was held at the Northland Country Club.

"This day celebrates the spirit and generosity of our benefactors," said Jeff Woolverton, chairman of the event. Woolverton is also the development director at Life House, a program for homeless teens.

"Today, David continues to make the most of his winning spirit and his unselfish attitude," said Woolverton. "He will be the first to tell you that he didn't do this alone."

Born and raised in Iron River, Wis., Goldberg said that he learned early that helping others strengthens a community.

During the award ceremony he became teary-eyed as he recalled his parents and how they helped others while he was growing up. Over the years, Goldberg's gifts have benefitted the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland.

"I encourage everyone to go out and make a difference in the lives of others," said Goldberg. "It is not just in what we gain that makes us successful, but also in how we give of ourselves."

While David Goldberg was named Outstanding Individual Philanthropist, Dr. Vernon and Dorothy Harrington were posthumously awarded an Outstanding Legacy Award and DSGW Architects was named Outstanding Philanthropic Organization.

Dr. Vernon and Dorothy Harrington were awarded posthumously with the Outstanding Legacy Award. Accepting the award on their behalf was Dr. Robert Wahman. "Vern was like a big brother to me," said Wahman. "He and Dottie were very involved locally."

Harrington was one of the founding physicians of the UMD Medical School; he served as chairman of the Duluth Clinic Foundation (today Essentia Health Foundation). Dorothy "Dottie" Harrington served on the board of the Minnesota Women's Golf Association, and was president of Northland Country Club Ladies Golf Association.

"Vern and Dottie gave so much of themselves to the Duluth community," said Wahman, "They loved it here; this was their home."

DSGW Architects was honored with an Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award. The architectural firm has been involved in the physical structures of many nonprofits including the Duluth Heritage Sports Center and is currently working with the Duluth Children's Museum.

"It doesn't matter if you are a team of 30 or 300," said John Scott, CEO of DSGW Architects. "There is still a way to leave an impact."

"We enjoy learning of others' passions," said John Erickson, partner at DSGW, "and promote ideas that help revitalize a neighborhood or community." Erickson said he believes excellence is best achieved with a collaborative approach to design.

Other speakers for the event included Mayor Don Ness, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce President David Ross, and key speaker Pat Mullen, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for Minnesota Power. The event was attended by more than 160 attendees made up of local community leaders and professionals.

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