The Ninth Annual Kidsbridge Humanitarian Awards and Celebration took place on Tuesday, November 10 at the Trenton Country Club. Kidsbridge was proud to acknowledge this very unique group of four honorees. Their humanitarian efforts and service to our community service, and in particular encourage diversity appreciation and foster respect for others. Being formally regaled were: Local civil rights icon Edith Savage-Jennings; NJ Assemblyman Dan Benson of the fourteenth legislative district; The New Jersey Commission for Holocaust Education; and local corporate leader Church & Dwight, Co., Inc. By their actions, each has displayed a dedication to improving the quality of life in our community with positive and lasting results.
The formal presentation included an introduction of each honoree by Frank Lucchesi, Kidsbridge’s Board President. Upon hearing each honoree’s credentials, it was obvious to all audience members why these humanitarians were being honored. All four in this year’s group were so diverse, each taking a different path to focus on different areas — all of which are important to Kidsbridge. Kidsbridge is proud to be associated with such a vibrant and eclectic group of change makers!
Celebration attendees were treated to a warm atmosphere which included delicious food and drink. A live auction was also a highlight of the evening. Kidsbridge is appreciative of our supporters who attended the event, and is indebted to the many volunteers who worked so hard to create this enlightening evening! Thank you, UPstanders all, for celebrating with us!
The 2015 Honorees
A pioneer in the civil rights movement, Edith Savage-Jennings has been involved in numerous national, state and local campaigns. She has been a friend, advisor, lobbyist and fundraiser for numerous community, civic and service organizations.
Edith began her civil rights activism as a young girl of 13 when she led the integration of the Capital Theater in Trenton. In 1957, Ms. Savage-Jennings was asked to chair a major civil rights rally at Shiloh Baptist Church for the benefit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference where the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the invited speaker. From then on, Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King worked closely with Ms. Savage-Jennings, who became a close family friend, adviser and an instrumental participant in many important events during the 1960s and beyond.
One highlight in Ms. Savage-Jennings’ illustrious life occurred when she accompanied Rosa Parks in the White House during President Reagan’s administration. Another was when President Clinton appointed her to the federal Martin Luther King Commission, and a third took place in 2004 when Edith was presented the Rosa Parks Congressional Medal Of Honor.
Ms. Savage-Jennings has been instrumental in increasing the presence of women and minorities throughout local and state governments. Edith has raised funds and awareness for many causes relating to inequality and discrimination, and has been honored for her many contributions by numerous local, state, and national organizations. Throughout her social justice and civil rights activism, Ms. Savage-Jennings continues TODAY to be a counselor, mentor, minority affairs liaison and fundraiser for governors, congressmen and women, and civil rights activists on the front lines. Kidsbridge is honored to call this remarkable icon a friend, applauds her for all she has accomplished – and continues to accomplish — and appreciates her support.
The New Jersey Commission for Holocaust Education
The core mission of The New Jersey Commission for Holocaust Education is to promote holocaust education in the state of New Jersey. The commission designs, encourages and promotes the implementation of holocaust and genocide education; offers programs in New Jersey; and coordinates designated events that provide appropriate memorialization of the holocaust on a regular basis throughout the Garden State.
The Commission provides assistance to public and private schools and meets with county and local school officials, and other interested public and private organizations, to assist with planning courses of study on the holocaust.
Kidsbridge has a long standing collaboration with the Commission for more than a decade. Most recently it includes the training of docents for the Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum and partnering with Kidsbridge on an annual holocaust/ genocide awareness competition for youth for both Mercer County (since 2011) and throughout the entire state (new in 2016).
Kidsbridge is pleased to partner with two important men representing The New Jersey Commission for Holocaust Education, Dr. Paul Winkler, Executive Director and Phil Kirschner, Board Chair.
NJ Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson
Dan Benson, of Hamilton, was first sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly on January 10, 2011. Mr. Benson was elected to his first full term November 2011 and just won re-election to his second term. He represents the Fourteenth Legislative District, which includes East Windsor, Hamilton, Hightstown, and Robbinsville in Mercer County along with the Middlesex County municipalities of Cranbury, Jamesburg, Monroe, Plainsboro, and Spotswood.
In the community, Dan is active with the Hamilton Kiwanis, the Friends of the Hamilton Library, RWJ Hamilton Hospital Young Professionals and serves as the Kiwanis Advisor to Hamilton’s High School Key Clubs. He supports Kidsbridge each year at the Annual Walk2Stop Bullying. Dan has indicated that it is easy to support Kidsbridge and the Kidsbridge mission because everyone can relate to the problem of bullying and, as a community and a society, we ALL need to come together to eliminate the problem and make our world a better place.
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
Church & Dwight Co., Inc. was founded in 1846 and is headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey. Church & Dwight manufactures and markets personal care, household and specialty products under the Arm & Hammer brand name and other well-known trademarks.
The Church & Dwight Employee Giving Fund, Inc. (“EGF”) is a non-profit organization which was established in 2005 to support charitable organizations primarily in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, the region where their corporate headquarters is located and where many of their employees reside.
The EGF is a workplace giving program, supported by employees’ contributions, which are matched dollar for dollar by Church & Dwight. The EGF provides employees with the means to financially assist those who are less fortunate, to actively support and participate the good works of not-for-profit organizations. Since inception the EGF has donated almost eight million dollars.
Kidsbridge is very grateful to Church and Dwight and their employee giving fund for continuously supporting the Kidsbridge Museum Fund for At-Risk Youth that enables inner-city youth to learn bullying prevention and social emotional skills in the Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum.
Church & Dwight also demonstrated their support by sending employee volunteers to Kidsbridge in 2014 and 2015. Kidsbridge had just moved into our new location in 2014, and an employee work crew rolled up their sleeves, helping to prepare the new space by cleaning, painting, building, sewing and doing whatever else was required. Undaunted, the crew returned in 2015 and completed more of the same!
Representing Church & Dwight’s EGF is the Grants Committee Chair Mr. Andy Forsell. Said Andy, “Members of the EGF believe in the Kidsbridge mission and are proud to fund and support such a worthy nonprofit organization.”