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The Jim Moran Foundation Award

Family Advocate Nanci Thomas Honored with The Jim Moran Foundation Award

Jan Moran (front, left) presents Nanci Thomas with The Jim Moran Foundation Award and a $50,000 check to the Oscar Thomas Foundation

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.

South Florida artist George Gadson, who created the bronze sculpture, joins Jan Moran (left) as she unveils The Jim Moran Foundation Award with 2011 honoree Nanci Thomas.

"I am honored to receive an award that carries Jim Moran's name," said Nanci Thomas, executive director, Oscar Thomas Foundation. "Through this grant, the Oscar Thomas Foundation can deliver programs that may not otherwise have been possible. I promise to continue to serve others in a way that would make Mr. Moran proud."

Jim Moran established this annual award in 2003 to recognize those who have a history of giving back to their community through active service and personal commitment. The individual must exemplify the characteristics of the mission of The Foundation, reflect proven accomplishments that address real community needs and/or concerns, and inspire others to embrace civic and charitable responsibility in meeting the needs of their community.