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Finalists Announced for 2014 Farash Prize

Farash Foundation News Release

Finalists for the 2014 Farash Prize for Social Entrepreneurship have been announced by the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation. The winner, whose affiliated nonprofit organization will receive $100,000, will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 5.
The inaugural prize was awarded in 2012 to the late Thomas C. Ferraro, founder and executive director of Foodlink. The prize rewards the efforts of an outstanding social entrepreneur in the community, to encourage others to emulate those efforts, and to honor the entrepreneurial spirit of Max Farash, the Foundation’s founder.
“Each of this year’s finalists has a wonderful story to tell about her organization’s work and history, and each is a superb example of the social entrepreneurship that makes such a difference in our community,” said Isobel Goldman, Farash Foundation director of grants and programs.
Forty nominations were received for the prize.
The finalists are:
  • Louise Bingham Bennett, M.D., and Sadiya Omar, visionaries behind the revitalized Somali Community in Western New York. This organization fosters the growth, self-determination, and self-reliance of the Somali community by making them agents of their own advancement.
  • Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, founder and artistic director of the Borinquen Dance Theatre, a program encouraging Hispanic students, as well those in other ethnic groups, to stay in school and to develop self-esteem, confidence, and academic achievement. 

  • Christine Wagner, SSJ, founder (with the Sisters of St. Joseph) and executive director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, which provides health care, counseling, adult education, and social service advocacy to the uninsured in Monroe County.


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Residents of Rochester for virtually all of their lives, Max and Marian Farash cared deeply about their community. In 1988, they established the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation (www.farashfoundation.org), which makes grants to nonprofit organizations in Monroe and Ontario Counties, half of them for Jewish projects and programs.

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