The 2010 Volunteer Award Recipients Are:
The Winifred and Edith Holt Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service: Dorothy M. Philips, PhD
Dorothy has been involved with the Lighthouse for 26 years, and has served on our Board of Directors for two decades, lending her business acumen to almost every committee. Early on, she brought a savvy marketing perspective to our non-profit work, helping the organization recognize the need to market products and services before we had a Marketing department. In 2009, she was especially instrumental in moving the Lighthouse forward by heading up the Services Task Force, established by the Board to help shape the strategic direction for 16 programs and services.
Philanthropy Award: The Sol and Lillian Goldman Family — Allan, Jane, Amy and Diane Goldman and Stephanie Goldman-Pittel
The Goldman Family has shown exceptional leadership and generosity, setting extraordinary examples in philanthropy. Their deep commitment to the Lighthouse dates back almost two decades. The family made the largest gift in our organization’s history. In 2005, Allan, Jane, Amy, Diane and Allan’s daughter, Stephanie, made a $10 million gift, marking our Centennial milestone. The Goldman Family epitomizes the highest standards of philanthropic volunteerism.
Judy Van Nostrand Leadership Award: Christine Ragasa
Christine spends her Saturdays encouraging — and creating art with — students in our Comprehensive Music Program for Young People. She also helps to raise both money and visibility for the Music School by applying each year to a Disney program that designates funds to a volunteer’s non-profit of choice, and by serving as the Volunteer Chair of our Young Leadership Committee (YLC). She gives generously of her time, and served as a member of the Board’s People Committee for more than three years.
Professional Services Award: Felicia Hochheiser and John Starr
In 2009, we turned to IBM for sophisticated business services, most particularly, to two wonderful strategic consultants, who have logged many hours at the Lighthouse: Felicia and John. As team leaders, they have also engaged their colleagues to help analyze three revenue-generating initiatives for our organization: Braille services, VisionMax and an online fundraising program. Felicia and John have generously donated their time, insights and a high level of business acumen — not to mention data crunching skills — to our efforts to increase the return on Lighthouse products and services.
Partnership Award: East Harlem Early Action Saves Sight Program
Our East Harlem Early Action Saves Sight program (EHEASS) was designed to support the Lighthouse mission of fighting vision loss. This exciting, pioneering initiative provides critical vision health education and services to African American and Latino East Harlem residents’ age 55+ who are at a significantly higher risk for vision loss due to diabetes and other eye diseases. The success of this program depends on the collaborations forged with community-based partners who are best able to help residents overcome barriers to receive the critical help they need.
Special Events Award: Rachel Wolf
Rachel, founding member of the Young Leadership Committee (YLC), and a member of our POSH® Committee, has been a dedicated volunteer for six years. As the recipient of Lighthouse services herself, Rachel exemplifies how someone who is helped can help others, in turn. This year, the sale raised more money in support of the Lighthouse mission than ever before. Rachel’s commitment to the Lighthouse is evident in everything she does, including the support she lends to our annual Children’s Holiday Festival.
General Support Services Award: Shuray Bethea
Sometimes lending a hand once turns into a dedicated commitment. Called upon to provide one-time assistance to a Lighthouse client who precipitously lost her vision, Shuray ended up devoting four months to help her get to — and through — nearly two dozen medical appointments. Going significantly above and beyond, Shuray helped someone through a life-changing and emotionally difficult period with compassion and kindness. For this extraordinary effort and support, his appreciative client called Shuray her “guardian angel.”
Reading Services Award: Stephen Pearlman
Stephen, who has volunteered here for ten years, not only lends his voice to clients as a reader, but also his personal warmth and good humor to their lives. He helps them wade through a sea of words — from personal mail, bills and forms, to websites and complex business documents that some would find daunting. All of this work is crucial to helping clients keep up to date, organized and able to meet their numerous responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed.
Youth Volunteer Award: Daniel Bellone
A highly accomplished student, talented musician and competitive swimmer, Daniel exemplifies that vision loss need not be a barrier to accomplishing great things in life. Daniel started volunteering two years ago for our Comprehensive Music Program for Young People. Daniel has continued to assist others by becoming a reader for a Music School student and employee, helping them to cope with bills, inaccessible websites and even the 2010 census form.
Community Partnership Award: WNYW-FOX 5
Our relationship with FOX 5, our media partner, has exceeded all of our expectations. WNYW has helped us reach celebrity artists, who are needed to raise awareness of the Lighthouse mission to benefit countless New Yorkers affected by vision loss. But perhaps the station’s most generous contribution has been to spread the word about our POSH® fashion fundraiser. WNYW featured the sale prominently on its website and, at no cost to us, produced a 30-second public service announcement featuring top morning news anchors and reporters wearing clothes from POSH®.
Corporate Partnership Award: Sony Corporation of America
Sony has been an outstanding corporate partner and citizen, demonstrating a strong financial commitment to furthering the Lighthouse mission. In 2009, Sony’s leadership had a significant impact on the success of our signature special event, The Henry A. Grunwald Award for Public Service Luncheon. These leadership efforts helped to make our 2009 event the best attended, and most successful, fundraising luncheon since its inception in 2001. The proceeds exceeded our goal by 18.5 percent, ensuring much-needed funding for our programs and services.