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Announcing the 2017 Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Award Winners to be Honored by the Human Relations Council Santa Monica Bay

The Human Relations Council of the Santa Monica Bay Area (HRC Santa Monica) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Awards. The winners will be feted on Thursday, April 27 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Santa Monica Bahai Center.

Named after long-time HRC Santa Monica board member and former Morley Builders CEO Mark J. Benjamin, the awards recognize those individuals who volunteer their time to promote understanding among diverse people, take actions that make a difference and demonstrate compassion for others.

The 2017 Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Award winners are Judi Barker, Neil Carrey, Elizabeth Cruz and Steve Vielhaber. Here’s a brief note on each honoree:

For over 30 years, Judi Barker has been an active volunteer, leader and supporter of numerous organizations including the Santa Monica Police Activities League, Santa Monica Family YMCA, Santa Monica History Museum, Santa Monica Airport Association and the Santa Monica Kiwanis Club.

Neil Carrey has been active in nonprofit and civic organizations since 1968, serving as a volunteer and in various leadership roles with the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica, Vista Del Mar, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Santa Monica Youth Athletic Foundation and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Elizabeth “Liz” Cruz has been active in the Pico Neighborhood of Santa Monica, where she was born and raised, and continues to be a leader as the Vice Chair of the Virginia Avenue Park Advisory Board, a mentor to parents, youth and families through Familias Latinas Unidas and Charla y Joyeria, and a community builder through her work with residents at Community Corp of Santa Monica.

Steve Vielhaber has served for many years as a volunteer at Chrysalis, helping homeless individuals prepare to find employment and return to lives of self-sufficiency. He has served as a program volunteer working directly with clients, as well as in leadership roles on three board committees – Finance, Programs and Development.

The Human Relations Council Santa Monica Bay Area is a non-profit organization that promotes a culture of fair treatment, inclusion and equal access to opportunities. It is led by an all-volunteer board of directors who represent residents, business, non-profit organizations, faith congregations and local government.

The awards presentation will take place on Thursday, April 27 at the Santa Monica Bahai Center, 3102 Colorado Boulevard, Santa Monica. Street parking is available along with parking at the Westside Christian Fellowship Church. There will be a buffet dinner at 6:00 pm and the awards presentation begins at 7:00 pm. The event is open to the public but RSVPs are required. Please RSVP to: https://humanrelationscouncilmarkjbenjamin.eventbrite.com

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