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32nd Annual Spirit of Achievement Dinner Honors Six New Mexico Citizens for Community Contributions

Albuquerque, NM —

More than 250 people gathered on May 22 to honor six outstanding New Mexicans for their contributions of time, talents and resources at the 32nd annual New Mexico Spirit of Achievement Awards Dinner. The event was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel Albuquerque and raised more than $45,000 for the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health, bringing the amount raised since the inception of the dinner to well over $1 million.

“For 32 years, National Jewish Health has presented the prestigious Spirit of Achievement Award to citizens in and around Albuquerque,” said Dale Dekker, member of the Dinner Committee. “These award recipients have built a legacy of achievement by contributing their time, talents and resources in all areas of life – personal, business and civic.”

The Spirit of Achievement honorees were Joanne Fine, retired chief communications officer, United Way of Central New Mexico; William, Thomas and Michael Keleher, of the law firm Keleher & McLeod; and car racing legend Al Unser, Sr., and his wife, Susan, founders of the Unser Racing Museum and the Unser Discovery Campus. Debbi Moore, president and CEO of the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce, served as emcee for the event. These six individuals join an impressive list of past recipients of the Spirit of Achievement Award, including New Mexico governors, judges, business leaders and philanthropists.

The Dinner Committee included Adelmo Archuleta, Loretta Armenta, Kathleen Avila, Susan Broersma, Dale Dekker, Valerie Dodd, Harris Hartz, Marcia Hembree, Sherman McCorkle, Debbi Moore, Julie Morgas Baca, Tom Rutherford, Michael Stanford, Lynn Trojahn, JoLou Trujillo-Ottino and Marla Wood.

The funds raised at the event benefit patients in New Mexico and around the country who receive care from National Jewish Health in Denver for respiratory, immune, cardiac and related diseases. In the last three years, people from New Mexico have traveled to National Jewish Health for care nearly 2,400 times, and in 2013, the institution provided $73,000 in charity care to New Mexicans.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.

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