Nominations for the 2014 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference will be accepted by The Russell Berrie Foundation through February 14. New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic are eligible for cash awards of up to $50,000. Members of the community are invited to nominate New Jersey residents whose deeds, carried out in the state, make them worthy of recognition.
Established in 1996 by the late Russell Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. and the Russell Berrie Foundation, and Ramapo College of New Jersey, the awards honor “unsung heroes” from throughout the state. Up to 11 individuals will be recognized for making a significant difference to the well-being of their community during the annual spring award ceremony at Ramapo College in Mahwah. The Russell Berrie Foundation will provide monetary awards of up to $50,000 and up to eight runner-up grants of $5,000 each.
“Through this award, we honor the contributions of people who don’t seek recognition for what they do, yet generously give of themselves to make the world a better place,” said Angelica Berrie of Englewood, president of The Russell Berrie Foundation.
Nominees will be reviewed by an Advisory Board, which is co-chaired by Josh S. Weston, honorary chairman, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., and Dr. Peter P. Mercer, president of Ramapo College of New Jersey. The Board, comprised of eminent New Jersey business leaders and professionals, will evaluate nominations submitted by individuals, community groups, houses of worship, educators, representatives of the media and others. Following this evaluation, based on criteria refined by the Board, the group will present the awards at a ceremony on April 30, 2014.
Last year, the top honorees included a woman who established an emergency shelter during Hurricane Sandy at her church and continued, with the help of volunteers, to assist her neighbors during and after the storm; a 24-year-old who saved the life of a woman who accidently fell on the tracks in the path of an oncoming train; the founder of an organization that provides much needed services to homeless veterans who congregate in Newark’s Penn Station; and a woman who created a non-profit agency to help impoverished families who strive to achieve economic independence.
For more information on The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference or to nominate someone, call 201-684-7179
Nomination forms are also available on the Internet http://www.ramapo.edu/berrie-awards/.
The deadline for entries is February 14.
The Russell Berrie Foundation, established in 1985, works to foster continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life, support issues of health with an emphasis on diabetes and humanism in medicine and strengthen New Jersey communities.