JCC to Present Community Service & Humanitarian Awards on August 19

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque will host the 10th annual New Mexico Humanitarian Awards Dinner on Saturday, August 19, 2017, 5:30-9:00 pm, at Sandia Casino and Resort.

“This year’s Humanitarian Award winners are leaders that have inspired us as they have given back, increased community capacity and elevated others,” said David Simon, executive director of the JCC.

Art Gardenswartz and Sonya Priestly will be honored as the winners of the 2017 Harold B. Albert Community Service Award. Art and Sonya are also the concurrent recipients of the 2017 “Common Good Investing Humanitarian Award,” that specifically recognizes exemplary leadership in socially responsible investing that supports humanitarian purposes.

Art Gardenswartz and Sonya Priestly have played prominent leadership roles, and set an outstanding example of philanthropy and community service. Building on his family’s legacy, Art has worked tirelessly to sustain and improve the JCC.  He helped catalyze the establishment and rapid growth of the Jewish Community Foundation, and has been active in his congregation, B’nai Israel.  Recently, Art and Sonya also made the largest single gift ever to the United Way of Central New Mexico by securing and donating the building that serves as the United Way’s headquarters.

New Mexico Humanitarian Awards will be also presented to three others: Jennifer Ramo, David R. Seely, and Jennie Schulte-Riedl. Jennifer Ramo will be honored for her work as executive director of New Mexico Appleseed, in which she has successfully advocated for policy changes to fight poverty, enhance nutrition for New Mexico school children, and improve education.

David Seely has engaged in humanitarian work for decades through his leadership of Kirtland Federal Credit Union and his service to numerous non-profit organizations such as United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, Hadassah, and Rotary and his support of active-duty military and veteran’s causes.

Jennie Schulte-Riedl created the vision for A Park Above, the first fully-inclusive and accessible playground in New Mexico. She worked tirelessly to see this vision become reality, building tremendous support and partnerships including with the Rotary Club, the City of Rio Rancho, and countless other public and private entities.  Now a Rio Rancho city park, A Park Above has set the standard as a place where all children can come together, interact, be included and grow through the gift of play.

The JCC established the New Mexico Humanitarian Awards program in 2008 to honor those who demonstrate an exemplary spirit of humanity in a local, national or international capacity.  The awards celebrate those who have selflessly devoted themselves to help others.  They celebrate the promotion of human welfare, care and compassion, social reform, philanthropy, and values-based investing in the community. Tickets and table sponsorships are available by contacting the JCC at veronicap@jccabq.org, (505) 348-4450, or online at: www.jccabq.org

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