Bank of America Charitable Foundation bestows honors

Five local Southern Nevadans and two nonprofit organizations were recently named recipients of the fourth annual Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards presented by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation at an awards ceremony Oct. 18 at Cili Restaurant.

The honorees were chosen for their work to improve the community.

The five 2007 Local Heroes are: Lyn Acebo, founder of Camp Mend-A-Heart and the Children’s Heart Foundation; Marilyn Gillespie, founder of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum; Neal Marek, creator of the “Treat Your Feet” program for the blind and elderly that focuses on foot care for seniors; David B. Osman, creator and founder of the Nevada Youth Alliance; and Ken Richardson, a founding member of the Nevada State Task Force on Organ and Tissue Donation.

Each of the five Local Heroes will receive a $5,000 donation to a nonprofit organization of his or her choice.

The nonprofit organizations named Neighborhood Builders are Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and Shade Tree shelter.

Each organization will receive $200,000 in grant funding during the course of two years and receive leadership training.

Shade Tree is a safe shelter for abused women and children and the homeless. The Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas offers programs and services to at-risk youth.

In other news:

* Six members of the North Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Department received the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award Oct. 3 at a North Las Vegas City Council meeting ceremony.

Capt. Yaphet Miller, Capt. Jeff Hurley and Station 53 firefighters Ben Erickson, Dennis McLane, Elmore Williams and Steve McKlein were honored with the award for rescuing 11-month-old Jaielayah Swindell from an apartment building fire Nov. 13, 2006.

The annual Firemark Award is given to firefighters throughout the country in recognition of their valor and commitment to educating communities on fire prevention.

* Vincent Pilon, executive pastry chef at Mandalay Bay, represented the United States in the 2007 World Chocolate Masters Competition Oct. 20-22 in Paris.

Pilon, who won the American competition in May, competed against representatives from 19 other countries at the finals.

Naomi Mizuno of Japan was named the winner of the competition. Pilon placed 10th.

If you know of a worthy candidate for this column, mail information to Newsmakers, Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070, or send faxes to 383-4676.

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