SOME is pleased to announce that the organization honored Raul Fernandez, Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment and the Chairman of ObjectVideo, and Linda Jo Smith, Chairman of the SOME Governing Board, at this year’s SOME Harvest Gala. Mr. Fernandez and Ms. Smith accepted the Father Horace McKenna Humanitarian of the Year awards at the 2016 gala on Saturday, November 19, at the National Building Museum.
SOME presents its Humanitarian of the Year award to individuals who have performed extraordinary work on behalf of the poor and homeless in our nation’s capital. Mr. Fernandez and his wife, Jean-Marie, founded the Fernandez Foundation, which helps better the lives of Washington, D.C.-area kids by providing them education, health care and other essential needs. In addition, Mr. Fernandez is a co-founder of Venture Philanthropy Partners, which has established a $31 million fund to make investments in Washington-area nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Fernandez is Chairman of the nonprofit organization Fight for Children and is a member of multiple nonprofit boards, including D.C. College Access Program (DCCAP), D.C. Public Education Fund and the Economics Club of Washington.
Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation and Co-Chair of this year’s gala, said, “It is a privilege to recognize Raul and his philanthropic endeavors. Raul’s generous initiatives have played a key role in bettering the Washington, D.C., community. SOME is honored to have Raul’s support in the fight against homelessness and poverty in our nation’s capital.”
“It is an honor to be selected for the 2016 Father Horace McKenna Humanitarian of the Year Award,” Mr. Fernandez, a native Washingtonian, said. “SOME has done extraordinary work for those in need throughout Washington, D.C., and it is a privilege to be recognized by such an important organization.”
“The dedication of Raul and his wife, Jean-Marie, to the betterment of the lives of their neighbors is truly representative of the legacy of our founder, Father Horace McKenna,” said Father John Adams, President of SOME. “All at SOME are so pleased to honor Raul’s generosity and commitment to the campaign to relieve homelessness.”
Linda Jo Smith, who is also being recognized, has served on the SOME Governing Board since 2003 and is currently Chairperson of the Board. Ms. Smith retired in 2011 from Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) as a Public Affairs Manager in Pepco’s Government Affairs and Public Policy division, where she was the first female offset printer for the company prior to transitioning into government affairs.
Ms. Smith is a strong community activist and has been recognized for the work she has done with NBC4’s Food for Families Project and the Anacostia River Clean-Up Project. She has also been a part of many organizations in the past including the Ways and Means Committee of the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization and the Benning-Ridge Civic Association in addition to serving on the Executive Committee of the District of Columbia Federation of Civic Associations.
Ms. Smith is thrilled to be recognized at this year’s gala by SOME. “It is an honor to be recognized with such a prestigious award. Father McKenna was a true champion of the poor and believed everyone deserves the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. It has been a pleasure to serve as President of SOME’s Board. I look forward to continuing to serve the Washington community and assist those in need.”
Fr. John Adams said that Ms. Smith is most deserving of recognition. “Linda Jo’s deep desire to improve the lives of the most vulnerable folks in our city is done with great enthusiasm and with great compassion. We are privileged to recognize her for embodying the mission and spirit of SOME as she works tirelessly and creatively to restore hope to those in great need.”