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Swoszowskis, Maney recognized by North Georgia Community Foundation
Luncheon honors local philanthropists
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Bob Swoszowski speaks to those attending an award banquet put on by North Georgia Community Foundation on Thursday afternoon at the First Baptist Church. Swoszowski and his wife here honored as philanthropists of the year. The Swoszowskis have supported organizations like the Medical Center Foundation, Gateway Domestic Violence Center, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement. - photo by Erin O. Smith

During the past couple decades, giving has become something of a strong suit for Bob Swoszowski. And, as the owner of 12 area McDonald’s locations, it’s safe to say the local man has made money over the years.

“You can’t take it with you,” Bob said, laughing. “So, I may as well see it being used for the good … and believe it or not, it’s fun.”

Bob and wife Wanda were honored Thursday afternoon by the North Georgia Community Foundation not only for their financial contributions, but also for their service to more than 15 boards and committees that support community projects.

Bob and Wanda love their community in a multitude of ways … all without fanfare or recognition,” said James H. Moore with the Medical Center Foundation. “There are no two bigger hearts with compassion in North Georgia than Bob and Wanda.”

The Swoszowskis have supported organizations like the Medical Center Foundation, Gateway Domestic Violence Center, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement.

The community foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the Northeast Georgia community by supporting nonprofit organizations.

Paul Maney was also recognized at the event, garnering the Woodrow Stewart Leadership Philanthropy Award.

Maney said he was “kind of shocked to be honest. I think this will be an honor and an event I’ll never forget.”

The Woodrow Stewart Leadership award is given to philanthropists who show exceptional generosity and a passion for bettering the quality of life in North Georgia.

Over the years, Maney has supported many nonprofit groups in the area. He has helped the Northeast Georgia Health System, the Medical Center Foundation, Junior Achievement, the Rotary Club of Braselton, Eagle Ranch, the Jackson County Humane Society, Challenged Child and Friends and many others.

The philanthropist of the year award is given each year to individuals known for their humanitarianism and goodwill. A committee of former recipients selects the finalists each year from nominations submitted from a 15-county region in Northeast Georgia.

Previous winners include Tommy and Chantal Bagwell, Lorry and Sherrie Schrage, Richard and Phyllis Leet, Walter and Winkie Boomershine, Martha and John Jacobs, Anne and George Thomas, Mike and Lynn Cottrell, Lessie Smithgall, Philip and Mary Hart Wilheit and Jim Walters.

Bob Swoszowski said he was “totally flabbergasted and somewhat embarrassed … because I know who all the other recipients of this award have been, and I am honored to be listed with these folks.”

We’ve been fortunate,” he added. “(This recognition) is not about Wanda and me; it’s about all of us who work together.”

Regional events