Multiplying Good Recognizes Owen Colley, J.C. Hall, Larry Fitzgerald and Dawn Staley at 2020 NYC Jefferson Awards

NEW YORK, March 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, Multiplying Good, the nation's leading nonprofit fueling personal growth and leadership through public service, held its 2020 NYC Jefferson Awards honoring extraordinary public service. The organization recognized the work of 6-year-old Owen Colley, NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, New York City social worker J.C. Hall LMSW, and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. 

The Jefferson Awards is the longest-running awards ceremony honoring public service. It was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sam Beard, and Senator Robert Taft Jr. The Awards bring together a diverse group to celebrate the impact service has on individuals, communities, workplaces, and schools. The NYC event, held at Capitale, was attended by 300 members of New York City's sports, philanthropy, and business community including retired New York Knicks player Allan Houston, New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry, Cein+ CEO Lili Gil Valletta, and Aerie Global Brand President Jennifer Foyle.

"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," explained Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good. "With everything that's happening right now, it can be hard to believe, but tonight is proof that we really do live in a wonderful world." 

Six-year-old Owen Colley received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Individual 25 Years and Under. Multiplying Good recognized Colley for his Little Clay Koalas initiative. Upon learning about the devastating Australian brush fires, the 6-year old began handmaking clay koalas and offering them as a "thank you" for donations to organizations fighting to save Australia's wildlife. Colley recently garnered national attention when his initiative prompted more than $300,000 in donations to support wildlife animal rescue in Australia.

"When there's a problem, you always can find a way to solve it. And that's what my family and I did," Colley said during his acceptance speech. 

J.C. Hall LMSW received 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.

"The opportunity to serve is just that; it's an opportunity. It's a privilege. I firmly believe being selfless is one of the most selfish things you can do," Hall said. "It feels good to be of service. It's a reward unto itself and it is in giving of ourselves that we gain ourselves."

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

Fitzgerald was 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. During his acceptance speech, Fitzgerald spoke about the connection between service and hard work. 

"Multiplying good is something that is done on purpose. It has to be a mission. Multiplying the good in the world multiplying good in others involves a disciplined and consistent life," Fitzgerald said during his acceptance speech. "Whether it's our time our money or our vision, we must make it a disciplined practice of investing into the lives and good causes that are all around us."

Staley is the head women's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina and the 2020 USA Basketball Women's National Team Olympic head coach. She was recognized for her service with the Dawn Staley Foundation, and for her work as Co-founder of Innersole, a nonprofit dedicated to providing new sneakers to homeless children and children in need.

"I don't believe service has to be a grand gesture, nor do I believe it has to be a big statement, but I do believe that it has to come from the heart," Staley said during her acceptance speech. 

The NYC Jefferson Awards was supported by the generosity of Paulson & Co., Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards, visit

About the Jefferson Awards

Since 1972, the Jefferson Awards has been the most prestigious recognition platform for service in America. The New York City Jefferson Awards is part of Multiplying Good's rich history of celebrating of service. It uses the power of recognition to inspire attendees to greater heights of good.

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 or engaging with their online communities via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.



Multiplying Good's gold Jefferson Award Medallion Jefferson Award recipients NFL player Larry Fitzgerald, NYC social worker J.C. Hall LMSW, Multiplying Good CEO Hillary Schafer, 6-year-old Owen Colley, and USC Head Coach Dawn Staley pose at the 2020 NYC Jefferson Awards at Capitale

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