For her compassion and commitment to Broward County's children, families and seniors, Nanci Thomas has been named the 2011 recipient of The Jim Moran Foundation Award.
With this honor, Ms. Thomas received a $50,000 unrestricted grant for the Oscar Thomas Foundation—the nonprofit of her choice—and a bronze sculpture created by South Florida artist George Gadson of an open book with a child climbing a ladder supported by an outstretched hand. Considering the tremendous hardships on so many who are struggling to make ends meet in today's economy, the Board of Directors increased its annual grant for The Jim Moran Foundation Award from $25,000 to $50,000.
"Nanci believes every child is special and has the potential to achieve great things," said Jan Moran, chairman and president, The Jim Moran Foundation. "I know my husband would be so proud of her and the Oscar Thomas Foundation for helping children discover the very best in themselves through art, academics, and multi-generational interactions."
Ms. Thomas has served as an educator, counselor and family advocate for the past 25 years. By providing free tutoring, mentoring, and reading and math instruction, many at-risk students not only improved but excelled in their academic performance. Following her husband's passing in 1997, Ms. Thomas founded the Oscar Thomas Foundation to empower children and youth through art, education and community service. With her vision to carry on Oscar's dream, the organization now far exceeds expectations for a neighborhood nonprofit. An enriching community-based environment, it offers lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth; encourages self-awareness, expression, creativity and leadership; and connects young people and seniors through meaningful volunteer experiences.