Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades Announces 2012 Recipients of Annual
CHAMPION OF THE EVERGLADES AWARDS
* U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
* Ron Bergeron
* Florida Wildlife Federation
Awards will be Presented at the Marshall Foundation’s
Seventh Annual RIVER OF GRASS Gala
December 8 at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach
(Lake Worth, FL – October 2, 2012) Nancy Marshall, president of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, which works for the restoration and preservation of the greater Everglades ecosystem, today announced the recipients of the nonprofit organization’s fifth annual Champion of the Everglades Awards: the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; Broward County-based business leader,
Everglades enthusiast & member of the Florida Wildlife Commission Ron Bergeron; and the Florida Wildlife Federation, which is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.
The awards will be presented at the Marshall Foundation’s upcoming River of Grass Gala, which will be held on Saturday, December 8, at The Colony Hotel Pavilion, 155 Hammon Avenue in Palm Beach.
“The Marshall Foundation is proud to spotlight individuals and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution toward Everglades restoration over many years,” said Nancy Marshall. “Individually, each of our three Champions of the Everglades continue to inspire us for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the River of Grass. But collectively, they have been instrumental in forging both popular and governmental support for reviving, restoring and preserving one of America’s greatest natural treasures.”
The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation’s
Champion of the Everglades Award Winners 2012
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar, a fifth-generation Coloradan, was confirmed as the 50th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior on Jan. 20, 2009, in a unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate.
As Secretary, Salazar has worked to usher in a new era of conservation to protect our nation’s lands, wildlife, history and culture; implement a diverse, comprehensive energy blueprint to power the country and grow the American economy; empower our nation’s first Americans by helping to build stronger, safer and more prosperous tribal communities; and tackle the water challenges facing the country. Secretary Salazar has been an effective and tireless supporter of Everglades preservation and restoration, as part of the Obama Administration’s unprecedented support for the ecosystem.
Prior to his confirmation, Salazar served as Colorado's 35th U.S. senator, where he was a leader in creating and implementing a vision for a renewable-energy economy that is less dependent on foreign oil. He also was a champion for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, leading efforts to pass the 2007 Farm Bill and to create food and fuel security for America.
The four preceding winners of the Marshall Foundation’s Champion of the Everglades Award for Government Officials were Florida Governor Charlie Crist (2008), former U.S. Senator & Florida Governor Bob Graham (2009), U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (2010) and Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus (2011).
The Bergeron family settled in Florida in the mid 1800s. They lived and breathed a culture within the elements of nature. Ron Bergeron was raised in the small town of Davie as an eighth generation Floridian. He is now the president and owner of Bergeron Family of Companies, based in Ft. Lauderdale, He currently serves as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission over the entire Everglades. Saving the Everglades and protecting wildlife has always been one of Bergeron's lifelong passions. He has personally organized meetings and events with elected officials and media to ensure Everglades preservation, always emphasizing the importance of stopping irreversible damage to the great wetland. Bergeron has worked with the Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District stressing the importance of value engineering and analyzing cost versus benefit of restoration projects. An active member of the Broward County Airboat Association and the Everglades Coordinating Council, Bergeron also supports numerous charities including the Boys & Girls Club, Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Children's Harbor, Jacob's Shoes, Florida Sheriff's Explorers, Crime Stoppers, Broward County Police Memorial, Florida Arthritis Foundation and many others.
The four preceding winners of the Marshall Foundation’s Champion of the Everglades Award for Individuals were environmental philanthropist Mary Barley (2008), Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria and Family (2009), community and environmental activist Bobbi Horwich (2010) and Charlie Pelizza, Manager of both the Pelican Island and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuges (2011).
Florida Wildlife Federation
The Florida Wildlife Federation is a private, statewide, non-profit citizens' conservation education organization composed of thousands of concerned Floridians and other citizens from all walks of life who have a common interest in preserving, managing, and improving Florida's fish, wildlife, soil, water, and plant life. As the State Affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, FWF has been improving Florida's wildlife since 1937. The goal of the Federation is to be the leader in promoting, through education and advocacy, the conservation, restoration, sound management and ethical use of Florida's natural resources, to the end that present and future Floridians may live, work and pursue traditional outdoor activities in an outstanding natural environment. For more information, please visit www.fwfonline.org.
The preceding winners of the Marshall Foundation’s Champions of the Everglades Award for Organizations were the Board of Governors of the South Florida Water Management District (2008), the Everglades Coalition (2009) the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties (2010) and the National Wildlife Refuge Association (2011).
The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation’s
River of Grass Gala 2012
The Marshall Foundation’s seventh annual River of Grass Gala will be held at The Colony Hotel Pavilion, 155 Hammon Avenue in Palm Beach, on Saturday, December 8, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Kathryn Fox of Palm Beach is the Honorary Chair of this year’s River of Grass Gala and Palm Beach County School Board member Jenny Prior Brown is serving as Chair. Matthew & Thais Piotrowski are the official Co-Chairs of the annual fundraising event.
Tickets for the Marshall Foundation’s seventh annual River of Grass Gala are $350 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 561.233.9004 or visit www.artmarshall.org
About the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades:
Based in Palm Beach County, the Marshall Foundation champions the restoration and preservation of the greater Everglades ecosystem through science-based education and outreach programs. Annually, more than 25,000 elementary and high school students in Palm Beach County actively participate in the Marshall Foundation's various education programs.
Founded in 1998, the nonprofit organization has in recent years awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships and internships, planted nearly 100,000 native Florida trees in wetland areas, and involved more than 5,000 volunteers in hands-on restoration projects.
For more information about the Marshall Foundation, please call 561.233.9004 or visit www.artmarshall.org