NEW YORK, NY, May 1, 1996 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation today announced this year’s recipients of the third annual Aetna Voice of Conscience Awards honoring Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. The awards, presented in four categories, recognize people who emulate Ashe’s commitment to humanitarian ideals.
The award winners receive $25,000 and a crystal sculpture. The cash awards are directed to a non-profit organization with which they are affiliated. The recipients and their categories are as follows:
Achiever — Oseola McCarty. Her act of selflessness — donating $150,000, a large portion of her life savings, to the University of Southern Mississippi — drew national attention last year. She directed that the money, which she earned laundering other people’s clothes for more than 75 years, endow a scholarship fund for African-American students. She wants to give students a chance at education, one she never had after leaving school in the sixth grade to care for a sick aunt.
Activist — Dr. Roland Gutierrez, M.D. Dr. Gutierrez is a young pediatrician and full-time director/physician of the HOPE Clinic in North Philadelphia, a center serving the health care needs of residents of that predominently low-income, medically underserved area. A third of his clients have no health insurance, a third are HIV positive, and many are recovering alcoholics or drug users.
Aspirant — Kobi Little. Little, a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, is chief executive officer of Harambee Management, an African-centered management and consulting firm. He is also founder and chairman of the Center for Leadership and Action, an organization dedicated to training new African American leaders and fostering community development.
Aetna Achievers — Lynn Ragali and John Purcell. These Aetna co-workers have contributed countless hours to improving life for children in Hartford’s Frog Hollow, one of the city’s most economically depressed neighborhoods. Ragali established Amigos De Los Ninos, or Friends of the Children, which provides teens with an alternative to gangs and violence through athletics.
In presenting the awards at a luncheon in New York City, Aetna Chairman Ronald E. Compton said, “These five people embody the principles of Arthur Ashe. They carry on his spirit of integrity and the humanitarian ideals to which he was dedicated.”
The Aetna Voice of Conscience Awards were created as an expression of thanks to Ashe, who, after a highly successful tennis career, served on Aetna’s corporate board of directors from 1982 until his death in 1993. He was chairman of the board of the Aetna Foundation, the company’s philanthropic organization. The awards seek to identify and honor people who emulate Ashe’s commitment to humanitarian ideals; people who labor with little thought to their own advancement or recognition.
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