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Nominations Open for Unsung Heroes in New Jersey for the Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 8, 2007

Uncommon Acts for the Common Good Earn Everyday
Heroes Extraordinary Recognition Deadline
extended to March 9, 2007

MAHWAH, N.J., January 8, 2007 -Nominations for the 2007 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference will be accepted by The Russell Berrie Foundation until February 23. New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a heroic effort or a lifetime of service are eligible for cash awards of up to $50,000.

Established in 1996 by the late Russell Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., and Ramapo College of New Jersey, the awards honor “unsung heroes” from throughout the state of New Jersey. Up to 19 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 -named in 2001 as the Outstanding Foundation by the Association for Fundraising Professionals (New Jersey Chapter) – will provide monetary awards of up to $50,000, $35,000 and $25,000 as well as runner-up grants of $2,500 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, who leads the philanthropic efforts of the Foundation.

Call for Nominations/ADD ONE

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 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 the May ceremony. Among the criteria is the impact the cash award will have on the lives of the heroes themselves.

Last year, the top honorees included a Roselle woman who founded the state’s first support organization for Muslim victims of domestic violence; a campus chaplain from Midland Park who enlists the aid of college students to bridge the gap between the First and Third World peoples by living and working with poor farm families in the Dominican Republic, and a Wayne teenager who helped his father pull two children from a burning car following a serious traffic accident.

For more information on The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference or to nominate someone, please contact:
The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference
c/o Office of the President
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
Phone: (201) 684-7910.
Nomination forms are also available on the Internet at or Once again, the deadline for entries is Friday, February 23.

Russ Berrie founded Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. in 1963, and over the last 40 years built the business into the world’s premier gift company. In addition to his business accomplishments, Berrie devoted boundless energy and resources to numerous charitable causes.

Sharing that passion to make the world a better place, Angelica Berrie serves as Worldwide Chair of Gilda’s Club, a free support community for men, women and children living with cancer, their families and friends. She heads the Russell Berrie Foundation in its work to foster continuity and enrichment of Jewish communal life, support issues of health, either research or treatment, with emphasis on diabetes and humanism in medicine, and recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the lives of others.

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s public liberal arts college, serving 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 20 states and 60 nations. The College, which offers more than 700 courses and 40 academic programs, was ranked number one among comprehensive public colleges in the north by U.S. News and World Report. The campus center for performing and visual arts – the site of the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference ceremony – is named in honor of both Mr. Berrie and his wife Angelica.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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