Albany, NY- Renee Hallock and Howard Gross will be the toast of the evening September 30, as Best Buddies of the Capital Region hosts the fourth annual Evening Under the Stars event sponsored in part by the Albany Times Union. The two individuals respectively, have made great contributions to the Best Buddies and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities communities.
“Each of these honorees has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy toward a shared vision with Best Buddies,” expressed Nicole Burch, Area Director-Best Buddies Albany. “Friday night is not only a chance to honor Renee and Howard for their contributions, but also a chance to recognize the progress the programs have made, and continue to make each day.”
Renee Hallock, who will appropriately be receiving the “Founders Award”, is the original founder of Best Buddies New York. From 1999, Renee has been committed to the Best Buddies’ social inclusion program, pairing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with their non-disabled peers.
The only organization globally to focus programs on these particular mentorships, Renee has paved the way for the program to now positively impact around 1,200 students annually. From one original college chapter, there are now 76 chapters throughout the state and Best Buddies New York serves approximately 30,000 people a year.
The “Corporate Citizen Award” will be given to Howard Gross, President of e-BizDocs. Howard, in coordination with Best Buddies, integrates individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the business community. These positions provide employment and leadership development. Nicole Burch explained, “e-BizDocs empowers employees with meaningful work and provides them with life changing opportunities.” Several of Howard’s employees have been working with him for ten plus years.
Evening Under the Stars will be held at the sky top terrace of Taste, in downtown Albany. The event is scheduled to gather 200 Capital Region professionals and philanthropists. Preceding the award ceremony will be a silent auction, featuring unique, high- end goods and services.
Money raised from this event support Best Buddies New York’s general operations and programmatic services for the community at large.