Local Teen Wins Prestigious Annual Philanthropy Award
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April 17, 2007 BOSTON --- Although just 17 years old, Nick Simmons-Stern is an inspirational local philanthropist. As a result of his work on behalf of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Nick has been selected to receive the prestigious 2007 Young Philanthropist Award from Women in Development of Greater Boston (WIDGB).
With this award, WIDGB celebrates a young person who, despite his or her age and limited resources, has taken on a leadership role in serving a nonprofit and inspires others to do the same. Nick will be honored at a reception on Tuesday, May 1, where members of the Boston-area philanthropic community will celebrate his efforts and award the American Cancer Society Relay for Life with a contribution of $1,000 in Nick’s honor.
Since the age of 14, Nick has done more than many twice his age to support the Relay for Life in Needham, Dedham, and Wellesley as a volunteer, leader, and fundraiser. After losing his mother to cancer when he was 13, Nick made a commitment to supporting the Relay, first by playing a key role in creating his own team of 70 members in 2004. During this annual overnight event, hundreds of teams gather around the nation and take turns walking or running laps. Nick has become more deeply involved each year, recruiting participants by reaching out to his own networks as well as making presentations at local churches and for community groups and town councils. By 2006, Nick had grown his team to 125 walkers; that year alone, they raised $30,000.
In addition to building Relay teams, recruiting volunteers, and raising money, Nick has taken an incredible leadership role in the organization:
• 2004: Nick was named Honorary Chair of the Relay in his area.
• 2005: Nick, at the age of 15, was selected as Co-Chair of the Relay.
• 2006: Nick was selected to Chair the Relay in Needham, Dedham, and Wellesley. As such, he had numerous adult committee leaders reporting to him, and he led monthly committee meetings.
• Under his leadership in 2006, Nick’s local Relay efforts raised $300,000 and grew more rapidly than other Relays held in New England.
• 2007: At present, at the age of 17, Nick is Chair of the local Relay’s Web efforts, overseeing the online fundraising, and he has been selected to sit on an AMC national task force to review the Relay for Life and how to best manage the program.
Nick is so committed to serving the Relay for Life, he says that, when he goes off to college, he sees himself involved with the organization, in whatever community that may be. Says Nick, “and if there isn’t a Relay there ...I’ll start it!”
WIDGB is also celebrating the work of 2007 Young Philanthropist Award runner-up, Rachael Piltch-Loeb. A resident of Sharon, Mass., at the age of 14 Rachel founded Amour Jewels, her very own commercial co-venture non-profit that is registered with the state Attorney General’s office. From the very beginning, the sole purpose of her venture was to raise money to fight breast cancer. Turning a hobby into a fundraising powerhouse, Rachel makes and sells her own jewelry, providing 100 percent of profits to the Massachusetts Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Now 17 years old, Rachel has donated an astounding $70,000 to date. In celebration of her efforts, WIDGB will be making a $500 donation to the Komen Foundation.
WIDGB is honoring both teens at its Young Philanthropist Award Luncheon, on May 1, 2007 at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge with keynote speakers Carol and Deborah Goldberg. Mother and daughter are active local citizens and philanthropists. Carol was with Stop & Shop Companies for thirty years, including as President and COO. Her daughter Deborah spent six years on the Board of Selectmen in Brookline, also serving as Chairman.
If you want to learn more about the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, visit their Web site at www.relayforlife.org/relay/. To learn more about Rachael Piltch-Loeb and Amour Jewels, visit Rachael’s Web site at www.amourjewels.com.
Since 2003, Women in Development of Greater Boston’s Young Philanthropist Award has recognized and celebrated the contributions of young philanthropists, male or female, who make a difference in advancing the spirit of philanthropy in the greater community. The goals of the Young Philanthropist Award are to recognize a young leader who inspires philanthropy, to highlight a model of philanthropic practice for future generations, and to illuminate the vital contributions made by a young philanthropist that advance the mission of a nonprofit organization.
Past Recipients of the Young Philanthropist Award include:
2006: Tallen Kendall Sloane, founder of “Tallen’s Challenges” on behalf of The Home for Little Wanderers.
2005: Alexandra Azzolino, Acton, Founder, Kids Kount!, a 501(c) 3 organization raising funds to support organizations fighting childhood diseases.
2004: Jenny Whitcher, Topsfield, Founder of Habitat for Humanity, New
York City Youth United Program, New York, New York.
Women in Development of Greater Boston is a nonprofit professional association of nearly 1,000 members whose mission is to promote and support the advancement of women in the development profession and the importance of philanthropy. Today it is one of the largest organizations of advancement professionals in Massachusetts. WIDGB offers a variety of programs, services, and opportunities for volunteer involvement. Members help one another develop and improve professional skills, share information about employment opportunities, and foster a climate which promotes professional achievement.
For further information, please contact Women in Development of Greater Boston at (617) 489-6777 or visit the website at www.widgb.org.
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