2019 National Philanthropy Day Award Recipients
Outstanding Corporation - Lovelace Health System
Lovelace Health System is comprised of Lovelace Medical Center, Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital, Lovelace Women's Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital, Lovelace Regional Hospital and Lovelace Medical Group, including New Mexico Heart Institute.
As a trusted health care provider for New Mexicans over the past 96 years, Lovelace Health System continues to invest in services, technology and new facilities to meet the needs of our community. And, investing in the health of New Mexico means serving you and your loved ones with quality, compassionate care. That’s why we continue to support and give back to the community through donations, volunteer time and our taxes. Lovelace gave over $728,000 in charitable contributions and community support in 2018 and since 2003, has invested nearly $405 million in facilities, services and technology. We also provide more than 3,600 fellow New Mexicans with jobs, making Lovelace Health System one of the largest employers in the state. Lovelace is proud to be the best place to care and be cared for.
Outstanding Small Business - AIC General Contractors
AIC General Contractors has a long history of doing whatever it takes to get a job done right, often accomplishing what other contractors said was impossible. Our Analyze-Innovate-Construct process starts with an in depth understanding our clients’ goals, and then develops innovative approaches that use our construction expertise to deliver high value solutions. Our success with this process has resulted in 94 percent repeat or referral business. The long lasting business relationships represented by these numbers are built upon the performance, trust and communication created when people experience the reality of the AIC promise; “Our expertise means you pay less”.
All AIC General Contractor projects are completed by a team – our ability to work from the beginning of the process with both architects and owners means results in high-quality buildings that we’re excited to showcase.
Outstanding Foundation – Laguna Community Foundation
Ronald (“Ron”) J. Solimon is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna - one of the nineteen Pueblo Indian Tribes of New Mexico. His paternal bloodlines also go to the Pueblo of Zuni. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the New Mexico State University College of Business, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Following a distinguished career in several industry sectors, including economic development at the tribal level, advocacy at the national level for American Indian and Alaska Native enterprise development, defense contracting, government & public relations, gaming & hospitality, travel & tourism, and higher education, Mr. Solimon now provides business development representation and other consulting services to various companies and organizations through his own company—Solimon Business Development & Strategy LLC.
Ron is the former Director of the Center for Lifelong Education (“CLE”) at the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Arts (“IAIA”)in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He retired from this position in June of 2015. Prior to joining the President’s Cabinet at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Ron served as the Executive Director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc., President & CEO of Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc., a for profit, federally-chartered corporation and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc., a not for profit, state-chartered corporation. Ron currently serves on several Boards and Commissions, including the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Inc., New Mexico First, and Laguna Community Foundation, Inc. Ron was appointed by the City Council and Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Commission on Indian Affairs. He was elected by his Commission colleagues to serve as the Chair. Most notably, Ron was recently selected and sworn-in to service (8.14.2019) on the newly established New Mexico Ethics Commission. He was also appointed (8.23.2019) to serve on the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors. This will be his third term of service on the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors. Ron has also served on the governing boards of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Albuquerque Community Foundation, University of New Mexico Health Science Center, Laguna Development Corporation, and Native American Professional Parents, Inc. (“NAPPR”). He recently completed his term of service on the Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group, Inc. Board of Directors. At the national, state, and local levels Ron also served on the Boards of Directors of the U.S Travel Association, the Tourism Association of New Mexico (now known as the “New Mexico Hospitality Association”), the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, and the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau (now known as “Visit Albuquerque”). Ron was elected to the New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame in 2013. Ron has received many awards and accolades for his service and advocacy in the several industry sectors in which he has worked. Ron and his wife Elaine live in Albuquerque. They have two adult children, two grandsons and two granddaughters.
Outstanding Youth – High School
My name is Lennon Jie Quan Washburn. I am a Chinese American, and live in Albuquerque New Mexico. I am a senior at Amy Biehl Charter High School. My school focuses on community service and emphasizes how the kindness and compassion we give to the world affects all of us. The school has inspired me to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. I wanted to learn a new perspective on how other organizations support families while a child is in the hospital. However, I also learned how the importance of health and family togetherness is part of a child’s healing. The Ronald McDonald House provides that sense of healing and togetherness to every family that walks through the doors. The staff are the kindest people, with warm hearts and smiles. Being there, makes me happy and I always feel welcomed and at home. I strive to have the families to have that same feeling. I am passionate about the medical field, and I hope to one day become a Pediatric Rheumatologist so that I can help children with autoimmune disorders.
Outstanding Youth – Elementary/Middle School
Jayden Allen is a kind, compassionate 12 year old boy who is in the 8th grade at the Albuquerque School of Excellence. He was 9 years old and it was right around the holidays when he and his dad, Elton, were on a trip to Costco and Sam's Club for the family business, Trail Rider Pizza, when he noticed and realized the huge amounts of people in need out on the streets. He decided he wanted to do something about that and when they got back to the pizza shop he started preparing brown paper sacks filled with a water bottle, chips and some of his own personal tip money from working at the pizzeria. He put a note inside each bag that said "I believe in the good things coming" which was meant to instill hope. It is also a quote from one of our favorite songs that he found inspiring and thought could help others. We made it a mission to go in search of people in need and gift them these special care packages.
The East Mountain Telegraph newspaper got wind of this and ran a small article on Jayden which started bringing donations from the community further enabling him to give more. He was also featured on channel 13 news packing and handing out bags which brought in even more donations to help the cause further. Over the last three years this has been an ongoing project daily. At any given time the family has at least 10 bags in their car to give out to anyone in need. They have given out over a thousand bags over this span of time. They still always contain a water bottle, snacks, the note that says "I believe in the good things coming" and a variety of other items that have been donated, including socks, gloves, sunscreen, chapstick, toothbrushes and toothpaste (which is usually donated from local dentists) hats, scarves, soap and shampoo. The community has really come out and rallied around Jayden helping him to continue with this project by providing support and encouragement.
When he grows up Jayden wants to be an archaeologist and a pilot and is currently registered with the EAA young Pilots of America program. He helps out at the pizzeria often and over the summer he held a volunteer position at the East Mountain Library. He also volunteers at the wheels museum at The Rail Yards Market.
Outstanding Youth Collaboration
Sandia Vista Elementary School is part of the Rio Rancho Public Schools district. Located in north Rio Rancho, it opened its doors in August 2008 to 350 students. 11 years later, over 700 students walk through these doors every day. Besides a traditional K-5 track, we have a Montessori program. Our primary students begin their education at age 3 and continue through the end of 5th grade.
Our Student Council was create last year and after reaching out to multiple establishments to establish a philanthropy partnership, it was Ronald Mc Donald House who answered us and said, “Please! Choose us!” The group of twelve 5th graders, along with teacher sponsors Jimmy Marez, Jasmine Stewart, and Jaime David, executed our school’s vision and established very successful fundraisers to support the Ronald McDonal House.
Our school believes in giving to those in need without the expectation of getting something back in return. The toiletry drive last January was very successful and the students were able to visit RMH in April to present over 4,000 items families could use while staying at the house. It was a wonderful day! In return, the Garza Family Mc Donald’s Corporation gave the students a huge thank you by providing lunch, a magic show and crafts. It was truly a wonderful day.
We did a “Penny Wars” competition among all the grades in the Spring. Paper money deposited in the jug counted as a plus and but coins were a negative. You can only imagine the fun everyone had “sabotaging” other grades’ collections but adding coins to the bills! We raised $2,300 in one week! We presented a check to the Ronald McDonald House at a school wide assembly. One of our students, Alex Donner, presented the brand new bicycle to the RMH he won in the school library contest. It was a very touching moment for everyone!
We appreciate the support we get from the Garza family. Like grandparents whose job it is to spoil their grandchildren, they always find a way to thank our students! The Kindergarten class were the winners of the Penny Wars competition and they were served lunch under a tent at our school’s Field Day in May. We appreciate their generosity and truly love the partnership we have with them.
The 2019-2020 school year promises more exciting opportunities to raise money for this very worthy cause. Principal Patricia Di Vasto and Assistant Principal Miranda Jeantete are very proud of our school’s work and we both feel our students are examples of what helping others in need is all about.