The Max and Marian Farash Charitable
Foundation awarded the 2014 Farash Prize for Social Entrepreneurship to Sr.
Christine Wagner, Executive Director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood center. The award
recognizes and rewards the grassroots efforts of those who work to bring about
first awarded in 2012 to the late Thomas Ferrara of Foodlink, encourages the
continuation of innovative approaches that not only meet, but reduce, community
needs. By recognizing an individual, the Prize seeks to inspire others to take
extraordinary action to enhance our community.
As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the
Neighborhood Center, Sr. Christine has worked to ensure health care for the
uninsured and under-insured from Rochester and eight surrounding counties. To
do this, she has tirelessly and continually recruited the funds, the equipment,
the volunteers and the health care professionals to make it all happen.
Opened in a small
abandoned building in December of 1993, the Center has now tripled in size,
serving more than 2000 people each year with medical care, dental care, mental
health counseling and many medical specialties. The Center is also now an educational center to more than fifty students
each year, who are obtaining their nursing or doctoral degree, or pre-and post graduate
license in mental health counseling.
From a stack of forty
nominations, the five-member selection committee narrowed their nominees down to
four and chose Sr. Christine Wagner as the 2014 winner. “In her work at the Center, Sr. Christine is
the definition of a social entrepreneur for the good of the community,” said Edward
Hourihan, Jr., Trustee of the Farash Foundation and Chair of the Selection
Committee. “We are pleased to honor her with the 2014 Farash prize.”
The prize carried with
it a gift of $100,000 to benefit St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center. Christine also received an original sculpture
created by Nancy Jurs, a renowned artist from Scottsville.
“I’m honored to receive
this award and to be recognized with Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, Dr. Louise Bennett
and Sadiya Omar,” said Sr. Christine. “The legacy of going into a community and recruiting others to help you
solve a societal problem actually goes back 350 years to France, to the original
mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. I’m amazed at the continued growth and success of the Neighborhood Center
for these twenty-one years, and I’m grateful to all the volunteers, donors, staff
and board members who have contributed to our success. I am truly overwhelmed and very grateful to the
Farash Foundation to receive this wonderful recognition.”
The award was presented
November 5th at the Dryden Theatre of the George Eastman House,
followed by a reception for nominees and their guests. A congratulatory dinner for the nominees
followed at the Genesee Valley Club.
in 1993, St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center is an incorporated ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph that
provides medical, dental and mental health care to more than 2000 individuals
each year, who are uninsured or underinsured. For more information visit www.sjncenter.org.