Russ Berrie Awards 2018 - Part 1
During part one of this three-part special, Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2018 Russ Berrie "Making a Difference Awards" to talk with extraordinary unsung heroes who change lives of New Jersey residents through community service and kindness.
Eileen Goff, Founder, Heightened Independence and Progress
Don Quigley, Co-Founder, Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, Founder, Hope Loves Company
Jack Fanous, Co-Chair, New Jersey My VA
Tricia Baker & Kurtis Baker, Co-Founders, Attitudes in Reverse
Melissa Gertz, Founder, Community Justice Center
"Hi, this is Steve Adubato. This in fact is the afterparty, if you will... the after event, the 22nd annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award. This event is something I've been a part of from day one. It is extraordinary. The people you're about to meet are the honorees we recognize this year, 11 honorees. Past honorees who've come back to talk about the difference that they continue to make, how their organizations have grown, how they've partnered with others to try to have a greater impact. The whole idea... the whole concept behind this is making a difference. That's what our late, great friend Russ Berrie taught us a long time ago, when these awards were created. Angelica Berrie, the President of the Russ Berrie Foundation, you'll see her in this special as well. That's what she talks about. She talks about having a ripple effect, making a difference. These people are amazing. They've come through so much to give back to others. I'm confident that your view of the world, your view of people will be changed, in what you're about to see right now. It is my honor to introduce a young lady who's been helping a lot of people for a long time. She is Eileen Goff of Fort Lee, New Jersey. She heads up an organization called HIP - H-I-P, Eileen, which stands for? Heightened Independence and Progress. What is it all about? And why did you start it? I started it because it was an opportunity to assist people with disabilities to receive their full place and civil rights in society. And so we do many, many things. I recently retired from the agency, but for 37 years, we've provided a variety of services for people of all ages. And much of the focus, frankly, is with the people who are dealing with issues involving vision if i'm not mistaken? Actually it encompasses all disabilities. It's children, who may need a textbook in braille, which HIP provides all across the country, but it also can be somebody who needs a ramp for a wheelchair, who needs to get up the stairs, with a stair glide that we purchase, who needs to have a kitchen renovated, who needs case management or anything else that anybody needs. Eileen, this award... the Russ Berrie Award For Making a Difference... What does it mean to you? It's a wonderful, wonderful honor. I have..."