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NANAY Founder Dr. Joy Bruce Gets Local Hero Award

On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, Dr. Joy Bruce, Founding President and Chair of NANAY received the Local Hero Award from Bank of America, along with four other community leaders, in recognition of her dedication to serving neighborhoods across Miami. The 2009 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards Ceremony was held at the Freedom Tower, Miami Dade College, Florida.

A neuropathologist and professor of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Bruce has invested countless hours in advocating for the needs of the growing Asian American community across Florida. Her passion for serving the needs of the community led her to form the National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and the Youth, Inc. (NANAY) that now serves elders and at risk youth in Miami-Dade County, particularly in North Miami where NANAY Community Center is located.

Other Local Hero awardees were Norma Joan Abraham for her lifelong involvement in many community organizations, Pedro Martinez for establishing Harbor House to rehabilitate distressed urban properties, Ray Parria for helping more than 300 students become entrepreneurs, and Carlos Pereira for establishing the Centro de Orientacion del Inmigrante, Inc to help the immigrant community.

The awardees were selected by Bank of America’s special committee made up of Mo Abety (Executive Officer, The Children’s Trust), Alejandro Aguirre (Publisher, Diario Las Americas), Cesar Alvarez (CEO, Grrenberg Traurig LLP), Gepsie Metllus (Executive Director, Sant’La Haitian Neighborhood Center), and Dr. Eduardo Padron (President, Miami Dade College).

As part of the award, each local hero was given the opportunity to direct a $5,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to an eligible nonprofit organization of their choice. Dr. Joy Bruce chose NANAY as Bank of America’s Local Hero Award beneficiary. NANAY also received a separate $5,000 grant to support its programs. In addition, Dr. Bruce successfully negotiated for a $4,000 grant from Bank of America to support the Statewide Asian Summit to be hosted by the Asian American Federation of Florida, where she serves as Interim President.

“At Bank of America, we understand that the success of our business depends on the health of the communities we serve”, says Kenneth D. Lewis, CEO and President of Bank of America. “Our Neighborhood Excellence Initiative is a core part of our strategy to strengthen the communities where we live and work. By recognizing and supporting local leaders, we are helping meet long-term needs in our communities, during challenging times and beyond.”

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NANAY is a partner with the 2010 Census. The census will be mailed or delivered to over 130 million households in less than a year, but it’s never too early to start letting people in your community know about it! CENSUS DAY IS APRIL 1, 2010.

Emerito F. Salud - A lawyer from the Ateneo law School ' 73, a member of the NY Bar since 1994, a FILAM community activist, a radio-commentator of RadioPinoy USA, he is currently the Director for Advocacy of NaFFAA Region 1. He is also a member of the NJ Chapter-Movement for Free Philippines, founded by the late Senator Raul Manglapus, and a founding member of Kaibigan Inc., based at the Port of Newark, NJ, a support group for Filipino merchant mariners (seamen).

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