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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 18, 2005

Extraordinary Recognition Given to Everyday Heroes for Uncommon Acts for the Common Good

Deadline Is March 11, 2005

MAHWAH, N.J., February 18, 2005 -The deadline for nominations for the 2004 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference has been extended by The Russell Berrie Foundation to March 11. New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities are eligible for cash grants of up to $50,000.

The awards will be presented in June at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah. The program was established in 1996 by the late Russ Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., and Ramapo College of New Jersey. It recognizes unsung heroes” from throughout the state of New Jersey who have made a significant difference to the well-being of their community and for whom the award would make a significant difference in their own lives.

Up to 20 unsung heroes will be recognized. 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 succeeded her husband as chief executive officer of the Oakland-based gift company and leads the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts.

Nominees will be reviewed by an Advisory Board, which is co-chaired by Josh S. Weston, honorary chairman of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), and Dr. Rodney D. Smith, president of Ramapo College of New Jersey. The Board, comprising 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.

Last year’s top honorees included three Camden County firefighters who perished in a house fire while attempting to rescue children trapped inside, a blind physical therapist in Ocean County who founded a volunteer organization to provide materials for the visually impaired and a Jersey City crossing guard who was struck by a speeding car seconds after pushing children out of its path to safety.

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, March 11.

Russ Berrie founded Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. in 1963, and over the last 40 years built the company 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 and 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 premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

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, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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