ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Judge Belvin Perry Jr. was awarded the Central Florida Urban League's highest service honor, the Bob Billingslea Legacy Award, at the second annual Cornerstone Awards & Gala at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort held on Saturday, October 5, 2013.
The Cornerstone Awards & Gala is the Central Florida Urban League's signature event. It is a celebration of corporate organizations and individuals that have made a significant impact on the Central Florida community by making progress towards the organizations' core goals: personal, economic, health and youth empowerment.
This year, more than 400 people attended the gala celebration, sponsored by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Derrick Brooks served as the keynote speaker at the event. He retired after 14 seasons with the NFL and founded Derrick Brooks Charities that positively impacts youth living in the Tampa Bay area.
The CFUL Legacy Award is presented to an individual whose work has created a lasting impact on the Central Florida community and is a respected leader both personally and professionally. The award is named after Robert "Bob" Billingslea, a retired Disney executive, who championed 40-plus years of advocacy for social and economic equality n our society.
"Judge Perry is a perennial success on the bench and in the community. When you look at Judge Perry's background, his story is inspiring. From humble beginnings to becoming prosecutor and now chief judge, his life is a commitment to excellence and the law. He also is a tremendous supporter of his alma mater, Jones High School, where he mentors young men and women and helps them continue their studies in college through sponsored scholarships and later as they pursue full-time careers," says Central Florida Urban League President Allie Braswell Jr.
Other notable winners were recognized for their contributions to the Central Florida Urban League's key goals and the community at large.
"All of the recipients, corporate and individual, epitomize our shared goals to create a better community for everyone. We celebrate the champions who are investing in our youth, health, personal and economic goals," says Wesley Harris of UPS, CFUL Board Chair.
Wal-Mart Corporation received the Cornerstone Award for Personal Empowerment/Workforce Development in the Corporate Category. This year, Wal-Mart and the Central Florida Urban League leveraged its employer assistance program to identify new associates for stores opening in the Central Florida area.
"We partnered with Wal-Mart to open a new center in Washington Shores this year. Through workshops and publicity throughout the community, we let the community know that Wal-Mart was hiring and identified over 400 potential candidates with suitable job skills who needed work. Everyone received job and interview skills coaching, and many of them were hired to work at Wal-Mart. It was a powerful way to plug into the community's needs, personally empower these job candidates, and make a difference," says Braswell.
Dr. Monica Reed, who serves as the CEO of Celebration Hospital and former medical director at Florida Hospital, received the Cornerstone Award for Health Empowerment in the Individual Category. Braswell says Dr. Reed's lifetime commitment to Whole Person Health in the Orlando area, specifically to women, serves as a role model to others.
"As the only woman of color serving as a hospital system leader in the Southeastern U.S. area, she is a true trailblazer for women across all races. Her tireless efforts across Central Florida – from medical news reporter to successful book author to acclaimed administrative leader – have all promoted Whole Person Health," says
Yolanda Cade of AAA, who chaired the Cornerstone event. "With the addition of the two new women's health facilities in Winter Park and Celebration – the Celebration Health Women's Institute and Florida Hospital for Women – Winter Park – she continues her efforts to bring innovative and world-class medical care to women living in the Central Florida area," added Cade.
In addition to Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Dr. Monica Reed, and Wal-Mart, other notable Cornerstone Award winners included:
- Youth Empowerment (Individual): Orlando businessman/hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen
- Youth Empowerment (Corporate): Florida Citrus Sports
- Personal Empowerment (Individual): Aaron J. Gorovitz, Senior Partner of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor and Reed
- Economic Empowerment (Corporate): Wells Fargo Bank
- Economic Empowerment (Individual): Doreen Hargreaves of Fidelity Funding Mortgage Corporation
- Health Empowerment (Corporate): The Health Care Center for the
Homeless' HOPE Team
"We are making headway around our goals, but we continue to need the support of corporations, individuals and philanthropists to provide support to deliver the multitude of programs to give people a 'hand up' in society, not a handout," says Braswell. "There are still a lot of people in our community who need help every day."
About the Central Florida Urban League:
The Central Florida Urban League was founded in 1977 to assist Central Floridians in achieving social and economic equality. As an affiliate of the National Urban League, the chapter works to support the Central Florida community by offering professional, economic, and social support. Today, more than 60,000 residents have benefited from the organization's various empowerment programs. The organization works to support the National Urban League's "I Am Empowered" campaign to ensure every American has access to quality and affordable Jobs/Workforce Development, Education, Healthcare Awareness & Access and Housing by 2025. For more information, please visit www.cful.org.
SOURCE Central Florida Urban League