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September 25, 2008
Manhattan Institute's Social Entrepreneurship Awards Announced

by Heather Joslyn
Grass-roots programs focused on helping homeless people, rebuilding hurricane-devastated New Orleans, and rescuing girls from the sex trade are among the winners of the eighth annual Social Entrepreneurship Awards, given by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a think tank in New York that focuses on free-market issues.

The award focuses on groups whose work either replaces or complements existing government efforts, says the institute. ?At a time when both major party presidential campaigns are emphasizing the importance of national and community service, these award winners underscore the fact that the impulse to serve?and creativity about how to do so?runs deep in America,? said Howard Husock, the institute?s vice president of programs and director of its Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, in a statement announcing the award winners.

The institute?s William E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award, which carries a prize of $100,000, goes to George T. McDonald, founder of the Doe Fund, in New York. Created in 1990, the charity works to develop and implement programs that attack the problems of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism.

Prizes of $25,000 each will be given to the following Social Entrepreneurship award-winners:

  • Richard Grausman, founder of Careers through Culinary Arts Program, commonly known as C-CAP, a New York group created in 1990 to give high school students preparation for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry, via home-economics courses and afterschool and summer programs.
  • Rachel Lloyd, founder of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, or GEMS, a New York group created in 1999 that works to rescue girls as young as 11 from the prostitution and pornography industries. The charity serves more than 1,200 girls per year through a variety of programs.
  • Susan McWhinney-Morse, a co-founder of Beacon Hill Village, a Boston membership organization started in 2001 that helps elderly local residents reamin in their homes. More than a dozen similar groups have sprung up around the country, following Beacon Hill?s model.
  • Zack Rosenburg, co-founder of St. Bernard Project, a New Orleans group started after Hurricane Katrina that has rebuilt more than 140 homes with the help of more than 8,000 volunteers.
  • Robert L. Woodson Sr., founder of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, a Washington organization created in 1981 whose Violence Free Zone program aims to link adults in a troubled neighborhood with local schools to prevent school violence. The program has expanded to cities across the country from its pilot effort in Washington in 2004.

The awards will be given out to winners at an event October 27 in New York.

The Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, created in 2001, is supported by the William E. Simon and JM Kaplan foundations, both of New York. 

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