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Nominations Open for Unsung NJ Heroes for the 21st Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

Uncommon Acts for the Common Good Earn Everyday Heroes Extraordinary Honor
Deadline for Nominations Is February 17, 2017

RBF-001_LogoMAHWAH, N.J. – Nominations are now being accepted through February 17, 2017, for the 21st Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award. New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act 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 the honor. The Russell Berrie Foundation sponsors the program.

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” statewide. 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 three major monetary awards of $50,000, $35,000 and $25,000, and up to eight runners-up receive $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 New Jersey 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 prominent 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 Friday, May 5, 2017.

More honoree stories from 20 years are available online at:
https://www.ramapo.edu/berrie-awards/

Nomination forms are available online at https://www.ramapo.edu/berrie-awards/ Deadline for entries is February 17, 2017. Nominations and/or inquiries may also be sent to madaawards@ramapo.edu.

For more information on The Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award or to nominate someone by mail, please contact:

The Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award
c/o Office of the President
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
Phone:  201.684.7179

About The Russell Berrie Foundation

The Russell Berrie Foundation was established in 1985 by Russell Berrie, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Russell Berrie had a passion for giving that was grounded in his deep belief in humanity, the importance of touching the lives of ordinary people, the importance of strengthening the local community in New Jersey and the power of using philanthropy to help achieve transformational change. The Russell Berrie Foundation seeks to continue Russ’ mission by providing significant support to strengthen New Jersey’s art, cultural and health care institutions and celebrates everyday people who make a significant difference in the lives of others through the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.

About Ramapo College of New Jersey

Ramapo College of New Jersey is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top in the Best Regional Public Universities North category for public institutions. It is sometimes viewed as a private college. This is, in part, due to its unique interdisciplinary academic structure, its size of approximately 6,000 students and its pastoral setting in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains on the New Jersey/New York border.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include nursing and social work. In addition, Ramapo College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels. The College also offers seven graduate programs as well as articulated programs with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New York Chiropractic College, New York University College of Dentistry, SUNY State College of Optometry and New York College of Podiatric Medicine.

The campus center for performing and visual arts – the site of the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award ceremony – is named in honor of both Mr. Berrie and his wife, Angelica.