Child and community advocates to be honored at Spirit of Hope Celebration

July 18, 2011

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505 

ALBUQUERQUE—Nominations are being sought for the Third Annual Alice King Public Service Award and the First Annual Patty Jennings and Polly Arango Citizen Advocacy Award. The winners of the awards will be honored at New Mexico Voices for Children’s Spirit of Hope Celebration in September at the Rio Grande Zoo.

The Alice King Public Service Award honors a public leader who has demonstrated throughout their career an outstanding commitment to and service for New Mexico’s children and families. The Patty Jennings and Polly Arango Citizen Advocacy Award is presented to a New Mexican who has demonstrated outstanding community service and civic engagement in advocating for New Mexico children and communities.

Alice King was New Mexico’s beloved First Lady while her husband, former Governor Bruce King, served three terms in office and is credited with the establishment of the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department.

Patty Jennings, the late wife of state Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, was an advocate for early intervention, special education, and other services for children with special needs, and was instrumental in the creation of the NM Medical Insurance Pool.

Polly Arango, beloved mother and long-time member of the NM Voices Board of Directors, was a passionate advocate for special needs children and their families. Polly believed in the power of personal stories to communicate with policy-makers, and was a successful advocate as well as founder of Family Voices and Parents Reaching Out. Polly and Patty often worked in tandem to make New Mexico a better place for children.

Patty Jennings passed away in early 2009, and the Patty Jennings Citizen Advocacy Award was inaugurated that same year. Polly Arango passed away in 2010. Rather than creating a separate award in Polly’s name, the Jennings and Arango families requested that the women be honored together.

Nomination deadline for both awards is 3pm on Friday, August 12, 2011. The awards will be presented at the Spirit of Hope Celebration, on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque.

Nomination criteria and forms, as well as submission instructions and online submission portal, are available online at Forms are also available at NM Voices during regular office hours at 2340 Alamo Ave. SE, Suite 120, in Albuquerque. Call 505-244-9505 for more information.


New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p);