Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bank of America Local Heroes™ Award

On November 19, 2008, I was honored to be one of five Chicagoans to be recognized as a 2008 Local Hero by Bank of America. This is part of an international Neighborhood Excellence Initiative® . In each major market Bank of America recognizes five Heroes who "who champion causes vital to their communities., inspire others to get involved, and who have special and significant impact on individuals, families, or communities."

In addition to the award, each Hero was able to designate a charity to receive a $5,000 donation. I chose Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. Ray Dowdle, who has been Chairman of the Board of Directors, and my main volunteer support for the past 16 years, received the award on behalf of Cabrini Connections.

The photo shows myself (far right) and Ray Dowdle, (second from the left). At the far left is David J. Rudis, Illinois President, Bank of America, and to my left is Steven McCullough, President and CEO of Bethel New Life, who presented the Hero Awards.

In his opening comments Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman, CEO and President of Bank of America, reaffirmed his confidence in the US economy, and his company's commitment to supporting the non profit sector by saying, "while other companies give in-kind donations, our in-kind donation is cash".

For non profits who are facing uncertain philanthropic support, that is a strong message of support.

It's an honor to receive recognition like this for the work we do. I was humbled as I listened to the acceptance speeches of the other Chicago heroes. None of us are able to lead an organization unless many other people are willing to provide time, talent and dollars to support our visions, in countless ways and for many years.

Thus, I offer thanks to all of you who have help me and Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.

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