FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (November 29, 2017) – Historic Stranahan House Museum Executive Director April Kirk was recently recognized by the Broward County chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year during the 31st Annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon.
Under Kirk’s leadership over the past six years, Stranahan House has moved from a deficit to a balanced budget thanks to her dedication, talent and prowess for securing community support and sponsorships. With Kirk at the helm, the House’s largest annual fundraising event, Pineapple Jam, continues to generate a third of its annual operating budget.
Since she began her fundraising career nearly 20 years ago, Kirk has improved and positively impacted the organizations she has served including Ann Storck Center, United Way of Broward County and Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre. Today, her passion, vision, creativity and her ability to build strong relationships bring the Historic Stranahan House Museum to life for nearly 30,000 guests each year.
Furthermore, as a talented and experienced artist, Kirk was selected as the 2017 Winterfest Boat Parade poster artist. In addition to being featured by the Boat Parade, her artwork has been displayed at ArtServe, City of Fort Lauderdale City Hall, ArtsBunker, Sample McDougald House and many private collections.
Kirk volunteers for several community organizations including the Salvation Army of Broward County, the Las Olas Association and the Mockingbird Trail. She is one of the District IV appointees to serve on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Service Board, having helped rewrite grant applications and assisted in the review process for local charities.
She is also the co-founder of Native Reel Cinema Fest with Cultural Ambassador and Tribal Member Everett Osceola of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Under her leadership, the two-day film festival received a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Miami, which funds ideas that bring South Floridians together through the arts. Native Reel Cinema Fest highlights the words and works of indigenous peoples and providing an in-depth look into Native culture and tradition through cinema in America.
For her unwavering dedication to creating a stronger and culturally robust community, Kirk received a proclamation from the City of Fort Lauderdale dictating November 15 as April Kirk Day. The proclamation was presented to her by her district’s commissioner, Romney Rogers, who previously served as the president of the Stranahan House’s board of directors.
About Historic Stranahan House Museum
The Stranahan House was built in 1901, when Broward County was no more than a bleak southern frontier supposedly unsuited for human habitation. The existing residents were the Seminoles who traveled down the New River to Frank Stranahan’s trading post to do business. Over the years as Fort Lauderdale grew and developed, the house became a post office, boarding house, restaurant and home to the “Founding Father” and “First Lady” of Fort Lauderdale – Ivy and Frank Stranahan. Today it stands as the oldest house in Fort Lauderdale and an epicenter of Broward County’s long and fascinating history. For more information, visit www.StranahanHouse.org
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