Press Release for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Caring Awards Presented

 University of North Florida students Sara Hindman and Teri DeLucca were honored Wednesday at the River Club for their many hours of volunteer work at the University and also in the community.

During a noon luncheon, UNF officials announced that Hindman is the recipient of the Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award, and DeLucca is the recipient of a scholarship at the Heart of America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Hindman, who is from Orange Park, is a senior majoring in special education. Her specific area of interest is deaf studies. She has devoted approximately 10 hours a week to her volunteer work for more than 10 years.

A long list of organizations have benefited from Hindman’s tireless efforts. They include the Special Olympics, Hubbard House, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Sulzbacher Center, the Diabetes Association, the Red Cross and UNF’s Disability Services Program. She has also been a volunteer at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine and at the Webb Center for special-needs’ students.

Hindman has been the director of the University’s Volunteer Center for the last two years. Her efforts resulted in the establishment of Volunteer Gateway, a database program at UNF which matches volunteers with volunteer opportunities and manages the resulting data.

Hindman will be presented with a bronze sculpture created by renowned sculptor Frank Eliscu, who designed college football’s Heisman Trophy statue. She will receive also receive a cash award to be given to the charity of her choice.

DeLucca, who lives in Jacksonville Beach, is a senior majoring in psychology. She has done volunteer work at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen, worked with the elderly at an assisted-living facility, mentored children, taught Sunday School and helped clean up local highways.

Of her many volunteer activities, DeLucca said she’s derived the most satisfaction from volunteering at Camp Healing Powers, which is a weekend camp designed to help children who have lost a family member. DeLucca provides support and counseling for the children.

DeLucca will travel to the Heart of America Foundation in Washington for a six-to-10 week stay. Her scholarship includes transportation and housing as well as a stipend to cover living expenses. She will be involved in variety of civic projects sponsored by the Foundation during the course of her scholarship.

The scholarship program was created in 1994 through a $50,000 contribution from UNF Trustee Emeritus Hugh H. Jones Jr. The gift established the Bill and Angie Halamandaris Endowment.

The Heart of America Foundation was set up to promote selflessness and public service. Its goals include recognizing the most caring men and women in America though the National Caring Awards. Outstanding young adults who have displayed compassion and caring also are honored.

The Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award was established in 1992 by the friends of Albert Ernest and Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, N.A. It is awarded each year as a tribute to a UNF student who demonstrates the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism exemplified by Ernest, a prominent Jacksonville businessman and civic activist. Ernest was president and chief executive officer of Barnett Bank of Jacksonville and later vice chairman of Barnett Banks Inc. After retiring from banking in 1990, he began a third career, forming Albert Ernest Enterprises to work in investment and general consulting.