FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks businesswoman Kyong Hollen was honored Friday as the state’s 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist at a luncheon in Anchorage.
The honor, given each year by the Alaska chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, honored Hollen for her willingness to give both time and money to local causes.
Hollen, the owner of K Janitorial and Santina’s Flowers, is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts of America, Fairbanks Rotary Club and Red Cross of America, among other organizations. She also supports two University of Alaska Fairbanks scholarships for business students and frequently donates flower bouquets for local military functions.
Beth Johnson, the president- elect of the Alaska AFP, said the organization received a “huge number of letters in support” of Hollen’s nomination.
“The breadth and the depth of her contributions stood out,” Johnson said. “She doesn’t only give, but the volunteers where she gives.”
Hollen first arrived in Fairbanks in 1986 with her former husband, who was stationed at Fort Wainwright. The Korean-born Army wife spoke little English at the time, but became a U.S. citizen two years later and quickly became entrenched in the community.
Hollen said charitable work brings her a special satisfaction.
“You can’t even describe in language how good it feels — I really enjoy giving,” she said.
She said the UAF scholarships she established in 2010 are particularly meaningful to her. In Korea, she said education is a privilege not everyone has.
“If you don’t have education, the doors are pretty much closed,” she said. “I’m really happy for what I’ve done for the past three years.
Hollen’s reach is shown in her previous awards. She was recognized last year as the UAF Business Leader of the Year, and previously was honored as the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year and with the organization’s Golden Nugget Award for outstanding community service.
The Outstanding Philanthropist honor is one of six awards the AFP gives out for charitable work each year. Other categories are for large and small businesses, volunteers, professionals and youths.
Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7572.