Larchmont resident Jill Martin was honored last week for her long service to Bridges to Community, a Westchester-based non-profit that takes volunteers to rural Nicaragua to work on development projects.
For almost a decade, Ms. Martin has been working with Bridges to improve the lives of thousands of impoverished children and families in Nicaragua. On Friday, May 7, the organization honored her dedication by presenting her with the “2010 Outstanding Vision and Commitment to Action” Award at the annual Spring Gala. Over 300 attendees, primarily from Westchester, crowded the ballroom at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel to applaud as she was recognized for her long history of service. The event raised approximately $200,000, the highest amount ever, to support Bridges’ ongoing efforts in Nicaragua, building homes, schools, sanitation projects as well as providing health care, economic assistance and education.
“This Gala recognition is about honoring the board of directors of Bridges as a whole,” stated Ms. Martin, “It is not about my personal contribution but what it means to work as part of a team on behalf of the organization.”
Keynote speaker Paul Alcorn, pastor at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, has known Ms. Martin for many years as a colleague on the Bridges board of directors and as volunteers in Nicaragua. He spoke of their mutual commitment to the mission of Bridges.
Ms. Martin has a long history of public service. A corporate attorney by background, she has devoted herself to such organizations as the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation as executive director and to the Mamaroneck Zoning Board, serving for eight years. Over the years her volunteer work expanded to third world countries, including Bridges to Community and Kids for Kids, an organization that supports a school and orphanage near Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Martin served on the board of directors of Bridges for eight years, focusing on “continuity” of the organization.
Bridges’ annual spring Gala provides a reunion opportunity for hundreds of volunteers who have shared experiences in Nicaragua while living and working in local communities for a week or more. They come from all over the USA and Canada representing high schools, universities, medical schools, faith based groups and business groups who have traveled, frequently more than once, to help out in this second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
For additional information: www.Bridgestocommunity.org. or phone: 914-923-2200.