[COMMUNITY] Mary Anne Foo Receives "Unsung Heroines" Award
- Orange County Resident Receives `Unsung Heroines' Award for
Leadership in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities
Rep. Ed Royce and Mitsubishi Motors U.S.A. Foundation Honor Founder
of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance
Orange County, CA U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-40-CA) today
joined community leaders to present the national 2004 "Unsung
Heroines" award to Mary Anne Foo, MPH, for her for her work as the
Executive Director and founder of the Orange County Asian and
Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), whose mission is to
enhance the well-being of Asians and Pacific Islanders by building
strategic partnerships in the areas of service, education,
organizing, and research . Through these activities, OCAPICA seeks
to empower Asians and Pacific Islanders so they can define and
control their lives and the future of their community.
"I am truly grateful for this acknowledgement," Ms. Foo
said. "However, this is really a recognition of many citizens in our
area who give generously of their time, talents, and dedication to
improving the communities of Asian and Pacific Islanders. I am
sincerely grateful to Representative Royce, The Mitsubishi Motors
USA Foundation, and `To The Contrary With Bonnie Erbe.'"
Ms. Foo was one of six women recipients chosen across the country to
be honored with the 2004 "Unsung Heroines" Award. The award -
sponsored by The Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation and the PBS-TV
public affairs show, "To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe" recognizes
women whose behind-the-scenes work in their communities makes a
lasting, positive impact. Each year, Members of Congress are invited
by Mitsubishi Motors to present the award to a woman who has given
her time and energy to improve the lives of others.
In addition to her work as Executive Director of OCAPICA, Ms. Foo
has worked the past sixteen years on improving opportunities for low-
income communities. She is also the principle investigator on
several research projects focused upon breast and cervical cancer,
cardiovascular and diabetes, and children's and women's health.
"Mary Anne's selfless devotion and dedication serves as a reminder
to all of us that we have an obligation to hold the highest
standards for our communities," Rep. Royce said. "She is a leader
and an inspiration, and I am pleased to be with her today as she
receives this prestigious honor."
Anna Schneider, Executive Director for Governmental Relations at
Mitsubishi Motors North America, was also present for the award
ceremony. Schneider echoed Rep. Moran's remarks, stating: "Mary Anne
is truly an `Unsung Heroine'. She doesn't do her work with the Asian
and Pacific Islander community to win recognition or awards; rather,
she sees a need in her community and simply wants to help. Her work
has positively impacted the health, education, and quality of life
among the members of her community."
This year marks the eighth anniversary of the "Unsung Heroines"
Awards, which were established by Mitsubishi Motors and "To the
Contrary with Bonnie Erbe" to recognize and honor women who work
behind the scenes in their communities to make a difference. Since
1998, thirty-two women in more than a dozen states and the District
of Columbia have been recognized as "Unsung Heroines . "
Each of this year's award recipients has made a significant
contribution to her community in the areas of providing much-needed
health care services for communities, finding homes for children of
incarcerated mothers, and providing a basic infrastructure of
support for underprivileged families. Award recipients are
recognized with a $10,000 Foundation grant to each recipient's
nonprofit organization, and the "Unsung Heroines Award" -- a Steuben
crystal sculpture, entitled "Star Stream"
The other 2004 "Unsung Heroine Awards" recipients are:
Hayley Ann Head, Upper Arlington, Ohio : Representative Deborah
Pryce (R-15-OH) will honor Ms. Head for her work as Program Director
of the TriVillage Mentor League for Big Brothers Big Sisters of
Central Ohio (BBBS). Ms. Head oversees an award-winning program
administered by TriVillage for mentoring between adults and high-
school volunteers and children from the region. During her 2 years
with the program, Hayley has worked tirelessly to match at-risk area
children with responsible volunteer mentors who serve as role models
for the children.
Laura and Sheila Braxton, Chicago, Illinois: Rep. Jesse Jackson,
Jr. (D-2-IL) will honor the Braxtons a mother-daughter team -- for
their work to aid the homeless and provide food for the poor
through "A Little Bit of Heaven," a facility located in Chicago 's
South Side. "A Little Bit of Heaven" provides around-the-clock
ministry to residents of the Roseland Community. Certified cooks
prepare nutritional meals three times each day for clients, and
provide assistance with substance abuse, medical and financial
assistance, job training, and other services.
Rev. Nicolene Durham, Decantur, Georgia: Rep. Denise Majette (D-4-
GA) will honor Reverend Durham for her work as the Shelter Manager
of Hagar's House, an emergency night shelter for women and children
run by the Decatur Cooperative Ministry. As the Shelter Manager,
Rev. Durham and fellow volunteers have aimed to fill the gap left by
other shelters by providing homeless women and children with a
clean, safe, and supportive environment to get back on their feet.
Hagar's House offers meals and beds for residents, as well as the
necessary tools and support for families to make it through
Dr. Patricia O'Connor, Arlington, Virginia: Representative James
Moran (D-8-VA) will honor Dr. O'Connor for her work at Vanguard
Services Unlimited, a nonprofit agency that provides substance abuse
and addiction treatment to more than 1,000 individuals and their
families each year. For almost 10 years, Dr. O'Connor has served in
several positions at Vanguard Services, including Chairman and
member of the Board of Directors. As a volunteer, she developed the
tutoring program to link Georgetown students with women in recovery
who have children.
"To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe," was launched in April 1992 on
PBS, was envisioned by creator, host and Executive-In-Charge Bonnie
Erbe as a platform for the multi-faceted views of involved, informed
women journalists and commentators of all racial and political
backgrounds. No other show provides such a platform. "To The
Contrary with Bonnie Erbe" is the only women-owned news analysis
program on national television. It airs weekly on more than 241 PBS
The Mitsubishi Motors U.S.A. Foundation was established in 1997 to
support diversity education and information, advocacy for women and
people of color, and programs that celebrate diversity. The
Foundation represents the national philanthropic efforts of
Mitsubishi Motors North America's Sales, Manufacturing, Finance, and
Research and Development divisions.