Nominations open for Berrie award

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Nominations are being accepted through Feb. 17 for the 21st 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, according to a press release.

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 1996 by the late Russell Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company, and the Russell Berrie Foundation, and Ramapo College of New Jersey, the awards honor “unsung heroes” statewide, according to the press release.

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. The Russell Berrie Foundation will provide three major monetary awards of $50,000, $35,000 and $25,000, and up to eight runners-up receive $5,000 each.

“Through this award, we honor the contributions of people who do not 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, and Dr. Peter P. Mercer, president of Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Nomination forms are available online at http://www.ramapo.edu/berrie-awards/

For more information, call 201-684-7179.