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INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Greg Ballard today recognized outstanding Indianapolis residents with the 2012 Mayor's Community Service Awards at the Indiana Historical Society. The awards highlight and honor those who continually give their time to strengthening our community through contributions and service projects.
"Indianapolis is known for its compassionate residents who eagerly give of their time to help those in need," said Mayor Ballard. "The positive impact these individuals have on strengthening the Indianapolis community is truly commendable, and I am honored to pay tribute to their exemplary volunteer contribution and dedication to improving our neighborhoods."
The 20th annual awards ceremony recognized residents from all areas of Indianapolis and Marion County. Following tradition, a brick will be engraved with each recipient's name and placed at the Mayor's Volunteer Plaza at the 11th Street Canal basin. The 2012 award recipients are:
Pastor Eddy Arismendy: Pastor Arismendy is the founder and chair of the United Hispanic Pastor Association, an organization that works with churches in the community. Through this organization, the "Saving the Family" event was started to rescue families from crisis and disintegration and solidify their homes with love. Arismendy organizes the annual event called "4G Youth," which he created to spiritually alert youth, create awareness of their purpose and teach them the dangers of drugs, gangs, alcohol, and other addictions. He is a member of C.E.R.T (Community Emergency Response Team) and provides free counseling as a chaplain to the community.
Pastor Audrey Berden: Pastor Berden is the founder of Virtue And Praise Ministries, Inc. She has established several ministry outlets including Building a Better You Ministry (BABYM) and BOOMTOWN. BABYM leverages the learning process by offering mentoring and tutoring to IPS students and individuals at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. BOOMTOWN offers students an opportunity to participate in a monthly, safe night life alternative providing a free meal, video games, and dance floors. Berden has dedicated more than 80 hours of service each week – all of which is volunteer, without salary compensation.
Ron Hendrix: Ron Hendrix is a member of the Pike Township Fire Department and founder of Just Cause, a non-profit that assists firefighters who have been affected by tragic illness or injuries and their families. He organizes fundraising events, such as chili dinners and pancake breakfasts, to support Just Cause's main initiative. Through Hendrix's dedication, hard work, and caring empathy, he makes a significant difference in the lives of many Indianapolis firefighters and their families.
Lakeisha Wynn Jackson:LaKeisha Wynn Jackson has served the Far Eastside Community for 11 years. Jackson is a Seed Chair for the Far Eastside Weed and Seed and is involved with the Let Our Voices Excel (L.O.V.E) committee, Grassy Creek Community Council, Drug Free Indianapolis Committee, Quality of Life Plan Committee and the 38th Street Corridor Planning Committee. She is a driving force behind Pathway Resource Inc., which serves more than 10,000 low-income families. The programs initiated under her supervision have provided job readiness, crime prevention, community advocacy and education tutorial.
Aleanya Moore:Aleanya Moore spends about 20 hours per month volunteering and developing her mentorship program, Ladies Under Construction, which strives to build a leadership foundation for young ladies ages 10-17 in Indianapolis to be productive adults. She is passionate about the work that she does and wants to affect change in as many young ladies that she can reach. Moore, who is Youth Advisor for the NAACP of Indianapolis, provides the necessary tools for teens to participate in team-building activities and contributing back to their communities, instilling leadership values into the next generation.
Dorothy Moore:At 88 years young, Dorothy Moore volunteers at least 30 hours a week at the Goodwin Center, where she is responsible for multiple tasks impacting more than 500 people, including coordinating a free lunch for more than 200 senior citizens Monday through Friday. Moore also is involved in a number of other community organizations where she is instrumental in sending care packages to our troops abroad, buying Christmas presents for kids, and planning multiple community events.
William McClure: William "Mack" McClure, a Vietnam veteran, devotes much time to serving his community. He volunteers with the Jewel Human Services food pantry, the Veterans Hospital, the Wheeler Mission, the Salvation Army, and Mozel Sanders Foundation. He also finds time to deliver groceries to those in need. McClure is a member of the Southside Community Committee, where he assists with voter registration.
Peggy Neal: Peggy Neal spends about 50 hours a month volunteering throughout Indianapolis and has an extensive volunteering history. She identifies a need and creates a plan to fulfill it. For her various organizations, she has taken on the roll as a historian to make sure the moments are preserved. Neal has been involved with various organizations, including but not limited to, the Indianapolis Junior League; Decorators' Show House for the St. Margaret's Hospital Guild; Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, including serving as Co-Chair for three years on its Princess Program; Presidents Roundtable; Conner Prairie Alliance; and the Indiana Children's Wish Foundation.
Jason Ward: Jason Ward has volunteered in the Haughville community for the past 10 years. He spends more than 40 hours per week as the Director of Employment Services with Westside Community Ministries, where he assists the community with resume writing, interviewing techniques, and job opportunities. One of his main projects this summer was providing employment opportunities to about 50 teenagers from George Washington High School. Through his various partnerships, Jason has helped hundreds of people, including ex-offenders, find jobs in the Indianapolis area.
Super Bowl XLVI volunteers (represented by President and CEO Allison Melangton): More than 8,000 Super Bowl XLVI volunteers dedicated 150,000 hours during the past four years to help make Indianapolis a stellar Super Bowl destination. Super Bowl volunteers – 97 percent of them from Indiana – welcomed visitors during a ten-day window in February 2012 and shared "Hoosier hospitality" with the world. Volunteers helped in a plethora of ways during Super Bowl week and were essential in making the event a huge success.