*LOS ANGELES – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will hold its first Awards of Excellence event in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles, located at 605 South Irving Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90005.  The event will feature a strolling supper and reception that will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by an awards program at 7:15 p.m.  The event co-hosts are Rolonda Watts and Judge Joe Brown.

This event is part of TMCF’s regional Awards of Excellence program, which honors deserving individuals across the country. Honorees are chosen based on their proven leadership, community involvement, professional and civic excellence, as well as their contributions to education and diversity.

This year’s honorees include the Honorable Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; Faye W. McClure, vice president, Farmers Insurance; Don Newcombe, baseball legend, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers; Holly Robinson Peete, actress and activist; and City National Bank.

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is preparing the next generation of leaders.  Our organization has proudly supported Justice Marshall’s legacy and commitment to education by providing over $100 million in scholarships to deserving students.  We are excited to present our first Los Angeles event, recognizing the outstanding achievements of our 2011 honorees, as well as our partners, who stand with us in making sure young people have access to quality education,” says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.

The Los Angeles Awards of Excellence event chairman is Paul W. Sweeney, Jr., Esq.  The event host committee includes William Bernfeld, Esq., Jeryl Bowers, Esq., Wayne Bradshaw, Samantha Davies, Alida M. Garcia, Esq., Lawrence Hinkle, Esq., Mary V. Jones, Michael Lawson, Esq., Mattie McFadden-Lawson, John Sweeney, Esq., and Gayle Thigpen-Allen. The Los Angeles Awards of Excellence is the last of six regional events taking place in 2011. The New Jersey Awards of Excellence event was held in the Greater Newark area in March; the First Annual Distinguished Young Leader Awards took place in Miami in May; the First Annual Awards of Excellence was held in Chicago in July and the Eighth Annual Awards of Excellence took place in Charlotte in early October. For sponsorship opportunities and ticket information, please contact: Mary V. Jones, [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 201-227-8427.

2011 Honorees:

Honorable Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney, Central District of California
In December 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Andre Birotte Jr. to serve as United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  Mr. Birotte was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate and was sworn in on March 4, 2010.  Prior to this position, he served as the Los Angeles Police Department’s Inspector General.  Mr. Birotte holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Faye W. McClure, vice president, Farmers Insurance
Faye W. McClure is the vice president of strategic marketing for Farmers Group, Inc.  In the area of growth and new initiatives, Ms. McClure has excelled far beyond expectations. She doubled the growth occupational discount business topping $1.3 billion in 2010. She launched the Hispanic initiative that has resulted in over $600 million in business. Her small business, African American and Women’s initiatives are on target to garner over $2 billion in new business for Farmers. She was recently featured in the Black Business Association’s News Magazine as one of the top African-American corporate executives.  A Los Angeles native, she is a graduate of Pepperdine University.

Don Newcombe, baseball legend, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Don Newcombe is still the only player in baseball history to win the sport’s three major awards: Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Most Value Player.  Mr. Newcombe played an often overlooked role in the country’s civil rights movement, along with Dodger teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.  Joining the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues in 1945, Mr. Newcombe had no idea he was on the verge of changing the course of sports history.  Secretly, Brooklyn Dodger President Branch Rickey decided to integrate Major League Baseball, as an unwritten rule had prevented blacks from playing since the 1880s.  In 1946, the trio broke the minor league color barrier, then the major league barrier when Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  Campanella joined in 1948, and Newcombe arrived in 1949.  Following his retirement, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1970s as the team’s Director of Community Affairs.  Today, he serves as special advisor to the chairman of the team.

Holly Robinson Peete, actress and activist
Actress, author, talk show host, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by the entertainment industry all of her life. Her career as an actress dates back more than two decades and has led her to becoming a voice for her father, her son and her community.  In 1996, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father’s courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s. Then in 2005, inspired by their oldest son’s autism diagnosis, HollyRod Foundation’s mission expanded to provide access to treatment, support and other resources to disenfranchised families affected by autism. Through HollyRod Foundation and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support on both Parkinson’s and autism.

City National Bank
City National Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of City National Corporation.  It is backed by $22.5 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment and trust services through 78 offices, including 16 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City and Nashville. The company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $58.5 billion in client investment assets, including more than $36 billion under direct management.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American Justice, was established in 1987. TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending our 47 member-schools, which include public Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). TMCF’s work is critical to guaranteeing our country a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World . . . One Leader at a Time by focusing on three areas: Scholarships, Capacity Building and Programmatic Support, and Public Policy & Advocacy.

TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World … One Leader at a Time by focusing on: scholarships; capacity building and programmatic support; and public policy and advocacy. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and has a “Four Star” rating by Charity Navigator.  For up-to-the-minute information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit: www.thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org.




Alonda Thomas
Alonda Thomas PR
[email protected]