Young Alumnus Achievement Award
Honors an alumnus' significant contributions to church, vocation, and community.
Shelly Johnston Tolo
Shelly Johnston Tolo's fund-raising career actually got its start during her days as a Messiah College student. In addition to serving in a variety of campus leadership roles, Shelly volunteered her time in the Development Office's annual phonathon. She's been "hooked" ever since the thrill of receiving a $10,000 pledge one evening.
After graduating from Messiah in 1990, Shelly stayed on at the College as assistant director of annual programs, coordinating several giving programs and leading students and alumni in fund raising efforts. From 1991-1995, she wase assistant director of the Washington Hospital Foundation in Washington, Pennsylvania. There she gained further experience in planning and implementing capital campaigns and extraordinary fund-raising events. She also earned her master's in public management from Carnegie Mellon University during that time. Today, as manager of media fund-raising and special events at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Shelly strategically plans and directs a variety of campaigns and fund-raising efforts. During her five-year tenure, she has assisted the Children's Hospital development office in raising nearly $50 million, all of which benefits children facing serious health issues.
There are many in our midst who would find it difficult to work as a fund-raiser, but Shelly has said, "There aren't many professions that would enable me to help others as much as development does. When organizations... have meaningful missions that positively impact the lives of children and young adults, it is easy to ask others to make an investment to the cause."
When not serving as a nonprofit advocate, Shelly isserving the Lord in other ways. Active in her church and a devoted wife, aunt, sister and daughter, she's also served her community through several Christian human service organization boards as well as county and state political involvement.
Shelly's vision for helping children and young adults through her work in the development arena fits well with Messiah's mission. Her commitment is exemplary to the sons and daughters of Messiah, both past and future.