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Since 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks has awarded more than 15 million dollars in grants to organizations, individuals, and communities across the Missouri Ozarks. Mike Smith has this report on the latest CFO grant and recognition:
Continuting its mission of giving back to the community, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, on Wednesday December 1st, presented its Humanitarian of the Year Award to Dr. Judith Hernandez, who was nominated by several individuals in honor of her work in establishing the Hand in Hand Multicultural Life Center. The center provides educational services for all immigrants including Hispanic, Asian, European, and other cultures. The center helps facilitate the delivery of accessable information regarding housing, obtaining a drivers license, finding employment counseling, and children's educational needs. Gonzalez was also recognized for her tireless efforts as a Spanish language interperator, voulnteering her services day and night at area hospitals and at the scene of traffic accidents or natural disasters like the tornadoes of May 2003.
Randell Wallace, Chairman Elect of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, chaired the 7 member CFO selection committee. Wallace says the selection committee included 3 members from the civic community, and 3 members from the ministerial field.
Randy Russel, Director of the CFO's Foundation Programs, says the nomination committee had a difficult task in choosing who would recieve the award, but Gonzales's cross cultural work with immigrants played a key role in the process.
The recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award also receives a cash award of $5,000 which is to be divided equally between recipient and the charity of his or her choice.
Judith Gonzalez has chosen to donate the cash award in total to the Hand in Hand Multicultural Life Center and says she's humbled by the recognition.
For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.