Outstanding Neighbor in Cambridge Award Announced

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Today, the Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Peace Commission, Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern, and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale announced the creation of a new Outstanding Neighbor in Cambridge award that will be a part of the city’s annual Meet your Neighbor Day celebration that occurs each September. The goal of this award is to recognize and reward extreme acts of kindness.  A prize of $500 each year will be given to the winner or divided among multiple winners. The funds can be used for individual benefit, used to host a neighborhood event, or donated to an organization of the winner’s choice.

“During this time of great division in our society, it is so important that we uplift those in our community who support and help others," said Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern.  "There are so many stories in Cambridge of neighbors helping neighbors and the creation of this award is to celebrate those individuals and inspire others to do the same.“ 

This new award seeks to share and celebrate the stories of those in the Cambridge Community who reach out in powerful ways to connect with the needs of fellow neighbors and to highlight the impact of grassroots civic engagement. The initial criteria for the award will focus on residents of Cambridge who have touched the life of one or more of their neighbors. 

“A strength of this city is how our community works collaboratively to support our fellow residents,“ said Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager.  “Cambridge is a unique and special place because our residents understand the importance of meaningful social connections. This award is becoming a reality because of the vision and generosity of one of our residents, Alison Sander.  I want to thank Alison for asking the city and the Cambridge Community Foundation to become partners in administering this annual award.” 

“By honoring outstanding neighbors, this award will serve to strengthen our city's social fabric and preserve the long-held values that define Cambridge -- of kindness and caring, inclusive diversity and sense of possibilities,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  

The Outstanding Neighbor in Cambridge award is endowed by a gift from a life-long Cambridge resident, Alison Sander, who has been deeply inspired by some of the extraordinary Cambridge neighbors who touched her life over the years she has lived in Cambridge. The Cambridge Community Foundation will house the funds for the award.  

“Having neighbors that you can count on for social support, for kindness, and for deep acts of caring is part of what makes Cambridge a special place to live. This award seeks to recognize individuals who build bridges across divides, inspire us to go the extra mile, and deepen the fabric of civic support in our community,” said Sander.

Nominations from the public will be sought before July 30, 2020, and a panel of judges will meet to select a winner or winners. The Mayor of Cambridge will announce the winner or winners during a special event associated with the September 2020 Meet Your Neighbor Day.

The members of the inaugural Outstanding Neighbor in Cambridge Working Group include:
Marc C. McGovern, Cambridge Mayor
Louis A. DePasquale, Cambridge City Manager
Geeta Pradhan, Cambridge Community Foundation President & CEO;
Brian Corr, Cambridge Peace Commission Executive Director;
Alison Sander, Cambridge resident;
Adriane Musgrave, Cambridge resident; 
Lee Gianetti, City of Cambridge’s Director of Communications; and up to three additional members to be named.
A panel of judges, which will be selected from across the city, will be announced by April 30, 2020. 

For more information, contact Brian Corr, Cambridge Peace Commission Executive Director at bcorr@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4694.

About Meet Your Neighbor Day
Meet Your Neighbor Day is a Cambridge-specific approach to building connections and community in our city.  Meet Your Neighbor Day is built on the foundation of two nationwide efforts — Welcoming America’s “Welcoming Week” and the “National Neighborhood Day” initiative — and organized in collaboration with another City of Cambridge partner —the Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity. Inspired by the growing need to connect with each other, Cambridge has borrowed from these two national initiatives and adapted them to fit the needs of our city. Learn more.

About Cambridge Community Foundation
The Cambridge Community Foundation is THE local giving platform for Cambridge, supporting our city’s shared prosperity, social equity, and cultural richness, with roots that go a century deep. The Foundation is a convener and catalyst for transformative change in Cambridge, supporting equity in the city through civic leadership, grant making to nonprofits and collective giving in partnership with generous donors from the community. As a civic leader, the Foundation identifies emerging and critical needs, convenes all sectors of the city and directs resources where they can make the greatest difference.

About Cambridge Peace Commission
The Peace Commission promotes peace and social justice within Cambridge and in the wider world by working with other municipal agencies, communities of faith, nonprofit organizations, and the community as a whole to build connections and strengthen relationships, and to promote positive dialogue and foster understanding.

Page was posted on 9/16/2019 8:21 PM
Page was last modified on 9/16/2019 8:21 PM
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