Owen Colley, J.C. Hall, Larry Fitzgerald, and Dawn Staley to Receive National Jefferson Awards for Service to Others

Honorees will be recognized for their extraordinary public service at the NYC Jefferson Awards on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Multiplying Good, the nation’s leading nonprofit fueling personal growth and leadership through public service, will recognize Six-year-old Koala sculptor Owen Colley, NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, New York City social worker J.C. Hall and University of South Carolina coach Dawn Staley at the NYC Jefferson Awards on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Multiplying Good and its esteemed Board of Selectors give National Jefferson Awards to individuals and corporations who have made a significant impact on others through service.

"Our National Jefferson Award recipients are at the top of their respective fields. To see them contribute so much in service of others is empowering. Recognizing them for those efforts inspires others to do whatever they can to create positive change in their communities," explained Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good.

The Awards, to be held at Capitale in New York City, bring together a diverse group to celebrate the impact service has on individuals, communities, workplaces, and schools.

"The Jefferson Awards allow us to use the power of recognition to share the stories of our honorees. It is our way of inspiring hope in our country in a time when we are overwhelmed with stories of division," Schafer said.

Owen Colley will receive the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Individual 25 Years or Under. Colley will be recognized for his Little Clay Koalas initiative. Upon learning about the devastating Australian brush fires, the 6-year old was determined to help. He began hand-sculpting clay koalas and offering them as a "thank you" for donations to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, an Australian wildlife rescue group. To date, Owen's clay koalas have inspired people to give more than $295,000. 

“It’s important for people to do things for other people, because if you do something for someone, maybe one day that person will do something nice for somebody else,” Colley explained. “I feel really good about getting this award. I don’t really have words for it.”

J.C. Hall will receive the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service benefiting the New York Community for his work with Hip-Hop Therapy. Hall runs the Hip-Hop Therapy Studio at Mott Haven Community High School. The studio gives students the opportunity to engage in the therapeutic process of writing, recording, and performing their music. The late Edgar H. Tyson founded Hip-Hop Therapy as a contemporary approach to mental health treatment that utilizes Hip-Hop culture as a therapeutic medium.

“Having the opportunity to work in service of youth through Hip-Hop in the birthplace of the culture has been the ultimate privilege of my life,” Hall said. “It is an unbelievable honor to receive an award for doing what I love, and I am tremendously grateful for the recognition this may bring to the restorative potential of Hip-Hop therapy.”

Larry Fitzgerald and Dawn Staley will receive the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service in Professional Sports.

Fitzgerald will be honored for his service through the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund. The First Down Fund exists to promote reading proficiency and technology access for K-12 youth as cornerstones to success at school and in life, and to support efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors. Additionally, Fitzgerald has worked with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, including traveling to Malaysia to help provide hearing aids to adults and children in need.

"I've embraced service to others because I've seen firsthand the effect it can have on entire communities," Fitzgerald said. "Service is not only my responsibility; I view it as a privilege."

Staley is being recognized for her service with the Dawn Staley Foundation, which sponsored after-school programs for middle school children living in Philadelphia, from 2000-2008 and for her work with Innersole, which she co-founded. Innersole is a nonprofit dedicated to providing new sneakers to homeless children and children in need. Her motivation for Innersole came from her difficult childhood in Philadelphia, where basketball helped her focus on something she loved, and having access to good sneakers helped to make her feel like she could achieve her sports goals.

"I remember how much I was affected by someone choosing to serve others, to give back," said Staley. "Not only did it help my family and me in our time of need, but it also inspired me to choose service."

The NYC Jefferson Awards is supported by the generosity of Paulson & Co., Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. To learn more visit: http://bit.ly/CelebrateGoodNYC

About Multiplying Good

Multiplying Good is a national nonprofit that channels the power of public service to unleash the potential in individuals. For nearly 50 years, they have honored those who build better communities, trained young leaders, and activated individuals and organizations to multiply the impact they can deliver. Through a continuum that starts with engagement and culminates in recognition, they fuel personal growth and multiply the power of service to others. Through recognition, they inspire individuals and those who hear their stories to deliver greater positive change. You can learn more about the organization by visiting MultiplyingGood.org or engaging with their online communities via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


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