The annual event presented three prestigious awards to individuals selected from across the globe, including:
Alonzo Mourning is a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year and also the founder of Alonzo Mourning Charities, a not-for-profit public fundraising foundation, whose vision is to inspire through advocacy, education and enrichment services. Mourning is also the captain of the McDonaldâ€™s All AmericanÂ® Games Advisory Council, a prestigious institution of McDonalds All American alumni who donate their good will and reputations to promote the Games and help the rising stars of tomorrow build a lasting legacy of good sportsmanship and charity. The All American Games have raised millions of dollars for RMHC and its network of local Chapters since its inception in 1978. He is honored with the RMHC Award of Excellence for his commitment to building strong communities by supporting programs and initiatives that promote positive change. Dr. Philip A. Pizzo is Dean of the School of Medicine at Stanford University and the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Stanford University School of Medicine and professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology. He was honored with the RMHC Medical Award of Excellence for his contributions in the areas of childhood cancer and HIV/AIDS. Jonah and Lynn Kaufman, McDonaldâ€™s° owner/operators and dedicated philanthropists were honored with the Gerry Newman McTLC Award of Excellence for their legacy of philanthropy through their support of RMHC and many other organizations including Huntington School District, the Child Care Council of Suffolk, and the Family Service League of Long Island. Through the Family Service League, the Kaufmans founded and continue to support a Back to School Boutique which provides school supplies and backpacks to over 800 children from low income families each year.
We are pleased to recognize these remarkable individuals for their on-going contributions to children, said Marty Coyne, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Like RMHC, these award recipients are committed to being part of the solution in providing access to care for children so they can live fulfilling and productive lives.
An Evening of Celebration
Alonzo Mourning and Dr. Philip A. Pizzo were each awarded a $100,000 grant to donate to a charity of their choice; and McDonaldâ€™s owner/operators Jonah and Lynn Kaufman received a $50,000 grant for their favorite childrenâ€™s charity.
In addition to honoring the four outstanding individuals, the 2009 Awards of Excellence celebration included a dinner, lively entertainment by Grammy Award winning artist Richard Marx and an Auction that took place throughout the evening, where attendees had the opportunity to bid on elite prizes including a 2010 Lincoln MKT, tickets to the 2010 SuperBowl in Miami, Fla., and numerous First-Class round-trip tickets to Hawaii, Europe, and Australia.
Past RMHC Awards of Excellence Recipients
Past RMHC Awards of Excellence Recipients have included: entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Peter and Ginny Ueberroth (2008); actress, producer, social activist and national outreach director for St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital Marlo Thomas (2007); NCAA championship basketball coach and youth mentor John Wooden (2006); the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps with actor Paul Newman accepting on their behalf (2005); actor, director and humanitarian Danny Glover (2004); Dr. Benjamin Carson, renowned pediatric surgeon (2003); Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan (2002); tennis star Andrea Jaeger (2001); performer and humanitarian Harry Belafonte (2000); the late Joan Kroc, wife of McDonalds Corporation founder Ray A. Kroc (1999); former First Lady Betty Ford (1998); Retired U.S. Army General Colin Powell (1997); acclaimed theologian Henri J. M. Nouwen (1996); former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello (1995); former First Lady Barbara Bush (1994); the late Fred Rogers (1993); Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1992); former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (1991); and the late Jim Henson (1990), among others.
Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Families and children being cared for at seventy-three percent of the most prestigious childrens hospitals in the world benefit from one or more of the RMHC core programs. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most – right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on childrens lives through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and regions and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House°, Ronald McDonald Family Room° and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile°. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $460 million in grants and program services to childrens programs around the world. These programs and grants provide a bridge to accessible health care and allow families more time together which helps in the healing process.