HYDE PARK – The five honorees to be awarded this year’s Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award include former State Senator Stephen Saland, who cast the deciding vote for New York’s Marriage Equality Act.
The awards, to be presented on Sunday, October 18 at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, also include Maria Cuomo Cole, Laurie Marker, Bill Strickland and Yoshiomi Tamai.
Under Maria Cuomo Cole’s leadership, HELP USA has become the largest provider of homes and services for homeless in the United States. As founder and executive director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, Dr. Laurie Marker has pioneered research, established conservation models and created cooperative alliances on behalf of the Cheetah that never existed before.
Former Senator Stephen Saland cast the decisive vote on June 24, 2011, approving same-sex marriage in New York. He was also a proponent of domestic violence protection law.
As president and CEO of Pittsburgh Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its division Bidwell Training Center, William Strickland created an educational model that creates empowering educational environments for adults-in-transition, urban and at-risk youth.
Yoshiomi Tamai has raised $1 billion in US dollars to enable 95,000 orphaned students to finish higher education. His Ashinaga Foundation educates and nurtures future leaders to contribute to society via caring attitudes, open minds, and the energy to act.
The awards, presented annually, are given to those who have made significant contributions in areas that were the focus of Mrs. Roosevelt’s life including education, advocacy, social justice, public service and human rights.
The ceremony raises funds to support programs including Girls’ Leadership Worldwide, which empowers girls to be socially-conscious leaders; Eleanor Roosevelt Emerging Leaders Program for community college students and other initiatives.