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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 9, 2018

Uncommon Acts for the Common Good Earn Everyday Heroes Extraordinary Honor;
Deadline for Nominations Is February 16, 2018

MAHWAH, N.J. – Nominations are now being accepted through February 16, 2018, for the 22nd 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 1997 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.  Three major monetary awards of $50,000, $35,000 and $25,000 will be presented, and up to eight additional awards of $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, 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 and nonprofit leaders, 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 4, 2018.

More honoree stories from 21 years are available online at: berrieawards.ramapo.edu

Nomination forms are also available online at berrieawards.ramapo.edu.  Deadline for entries is February 16, 2018. 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, 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:  201.684.7458

Or email: madaawards@ramapo.edu

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.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state's premier public liberal arts college. Ranked among the top colleges in the region by College Choice and recognized by, among others, U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, Colleges of Distinction and, also designated by Victory Media as a "Military Friendly College," Ramapo College is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding.

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 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 degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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