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Nominate Mahwah Do-Gooders for Russ Berrie Awards

Last year, the awards gave away $150K to NJ residents who make a difference in their communities

Know somebody in Mahwah who did something great in 2012? An annual program at Ramapo College just might make him or her $50,000 richer.

The Russ Berrie Foundation announced this month it is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference.

The foundation asks residents to nominate “New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a heroic effort or a lifetime of service.” The deadline for submissions is February 15.

As many as 11 “unsung heroes” will be recognized at a ceremony this spring, and will receive awards ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Last year, two Mahwah residents were among 11 winners of the award. The group was collectively awarded $150,000 to help fund the good they do in the community. Eric Fuchs-Stengel, a Mahwah teenager who founded MEVO, the Mahwah Environmental Volunteer Organization, and Jessica Gotthold, who founded the National Foundation for Animal Rescue (NFFAR), both received $5,000 awards.

Last year’s top prize winner was Blanca Molina of North Bergen, who was given  a $50,000 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference for her work as the executive director of Centro en Union para El Salvador, which works to bring together diverse parts of NJ communities.

For more information on The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference or to nominate someone, contact:

The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference
c/o Office of the President
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, New Jersey 07430
Phone: 201.684.7179

Nomination forms are also available on the Internet at www.russellberriefoundation.org or http://www.ramapo.edu/news/events/berrieawards/.

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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