At the Cincinnati Boychoir’s Fiftieth Anniversary Gala on Saturday night, Jim Huizenga was named the 2015 recipient of the Boychoir’s Community Recognition Award.
These were the remarks made by the Boychoir’s Artistic Director Christopher Eanes:
“Occasionally, the Board of Trustees takes a bit of time to recognize the contributions of a community member who has worked for the benefit of the Cincinnati Boychoir. In fact, the last time the Community Recognition Award was presented, it was to Sharon Hafertepe.
This year, we are recognizing a member of the community whose service – not just to the Boychoir but to the community at large – has resulted in nothing short of complete institutional change at the Boychoir. Jim Huizenga is a Senior Program Officer with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, where he and his colleagues provide extensive grantmaking services to several independent private foundations as well as some large donor advised funds. Additionally, Jim is responsible for the Cultural Vibrancy sector of GCF’s grantmaking. But that’s just Jim’s day job. Jim is known around the city for his love of the choral art, and in addition to being a familiar face at many concerts each year, he is also an active member of both the Cincinnati Boychoir Men’s Glee Club and the Mount Washington Presbyterian Church Choir. One of his great pleasures is getting the opportunity to sing with his son, Jordan, who is also a Boychoir alumnus.
When I first came to the Boychoir in 2009, we were in somewhat dire financial straits; the economy was in recession, and we were faced with a pretty brutal bottom line at the end of my first year. I walked into a meeting with Jim prepared to use whatever charm I could muster to keep the Boychoir solvent; what I got instead was a two-hour masterclass on grantmaking and fundraising in Cincinnati. Jim took the time not just to tell me whether or not we were a likely candidate to receive funding, but to get to know me, and more about the organization and what we were trying to accomplish.
Jim likes to say that his job is about building relationships. On our end, no relationship that we have built in recent years has been more transformative for the Boychoir than our relationship with Jim Huizenga. Just a few of the projects that Jim has helped us successfully complete are: a complete technology overhaul two years ago, the raising of funds for our scholarship program, the commission and performance of A Horizon Symphony, and the establishment – from the very beginning – of our music education program. Without Jim I can say that these things never would have come to fruition, and it is for that reason that we would like to honor him with the Cincinnati Boychoir Community Recognition Award. Congratulations Jim!”