Celebrating What’s Right With The Region

St. Louis Area Foodbank President & CEO, Frank Finnegan, accepts the Foodbank’s “What’s Right With The Region” award from Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder & Chief Executive Bear, Maxine Clark / Photo by Ryan Farmer

How often do we sit around in board rooms and community centers, discussing what’s wrong with St. Louis?

What would happen if, instead, we spent just a fraction of that time celebrating what is right with the St. Louis region?

The Rev. Jerry W. Paul, president emeritus of the Deaconess Foundation, asked those questions as he accepted the Leadership Award from Focus St. Louis last night.

Paul was the top honoree at last night’s What’s Right with the Region awards ceremony, an event that for 15 years has been highlighting and applauding some of the best things happening in the bi-state region.

In his speech, Paul suggested that acknowledging and expecting greatness is the best motivator for positive change.

The honorees at last night’s event, would tend to agree.

Focus St. Louis honors St. Louis area companies, individuals and organizations with What’s Right with the Region awards in four categories:

• Demonstrating Innovative Solutions

• Fostering Regional Cooperation

• Improving Racial Equality & Social Justice

• Promoting Stronger Communities

Some of the awardees were projects and individuals many of us may never have even known about, despite their remarkable efforts in our community.

The city of St. Louis Department of Human Services was honored for their Special Needs Registry, a database of information about St. Louis residents who may require assistance in the event of an emergency. Individuals with special needs may voluntarily enroll to provide information. Emergency response agencies use the information to provide better service in a disaster.

In the Improving Racial Equality & Social Justice Category, Deborah Nelson-Linck was honored for her work on The Hands On Black History Museum. Nelson-Linck started the museum to help children, fellow educators and parents explore the many ways African-Americans have contributed to the rich history of our country.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank was honored to be in such good company as an award recipient last night. We received an award for Promoting Stronger Communities for untiring work to feed families in need.

A complete list of last night’s honorees can be found at https://www.focus-stl.org/ProgramsInitiatives/PromotingCommunityConnections/WhatsRightWithTheRegion.aspx

    Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank



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