2019 Alumni Award Recipients Announced

Last year’s honoree for the J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumnus Award, Darrel LeJeune (83A).

The Up with People International Alumni Association is proud to announce the individuals selected to receive awards at the 2019 Reunion in Tucson, Arizona.  These award recipients were nominated by their fellow alumni.  Those individuals with records determined to be the worthiest of recognition by the selection committees were chosen for these various awards.

The awards evening is a highlight of the reunion weekend.  On Friday, July 26, these award recipients will be recognized in front of all those in attendance at the reunion.

We want to invite you to join the Up with People International Alumni Association in offering our sincerest congratulations to these individuals. We want to welcome you to join us at the Reunion this summer to join in the awards presentations, sharing memories with your Up with People friends, getting back on stage for a few songs, and, of course, some sunny pool time by going to this link to find more information and to register for the Reunion!

J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumni Award – Alumni considered for this award are those who have made an exceptional contribution to humankind by carrying forward the ideals of Up with People.

Paul de Lange, 86A: Paul is the Founder and President of New Day Impact, a Dutch non-profit serving needy individuals and families, primarily in Albania, Kosovo and Brazil.  New Day Impact is a developmental-aid organization, led by volunteers, which focuses on providing sustainable solutions in the areas of construction of houses, schools, day-care /crisis/community centers, access to clean water, health-care and other support services to serve less fortunate, poor and minority populations, mainly families with children.

James E. MacLennan Everyday Hero Award – Alumni considered for this award are those who have served others steadily with countless small, yet effective acts of kindness and time commitment.

Palmo Carpino, 79A: Recently, Palmo Carpino completed his 1,000th blood/plasma/platelet donation.  These donations directly impact cancer patients, organ transplant patients, and accident victims, who might not survive without the availability of these blood products.

Christoph Goergen, 89A: Through music and action, he has created positive change, increased understanding, respect and dignity in Mozambique. He has engaged the local communities to create positive change.

Angela Minicucci, 84C: In 2011 Angela followed her heart and stepped away from her architecture firm to focus her efforts on helping others. She accepted the position of President of Casa d’Italia in the Little Italy section of Montreal.  Angela became the first female president in the history of the 75-year-old Casa. Under Angela’s direction, the newly restored Casa came back to life as a “place of heritage, culture, and collective memory”.  Her energy now focused on ways to bring people together by offering opportunities for the older generations to share their stories and pass along their wisdom and skills to the younger generations.

Pierantonio Nebuloni, 74A: Pierantonio Nebuloni has been a strong advocate of Amici dei Bambini for many years. In 1991, he adopted three children through the organization. Since then he has been part of the Board of Directors, their representative in various international meetings and supported them with personal funds.

Gabrielle Serafini, 89B: Over the past 26 years, Gabrielle has dedicated her life to improving the health of marginalized communities in resource-limited settings with a gender-focused lens. As co-founder and CEO of WelTel, a virtual care platform, she leads the healthcare community in transforming the lives of women, children and all those impacted by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and more recently, the opioid crisis with this powerful communication tool that increases adherence and client participation.

Gary Stephen, 69A: 17 years ago, Gary founded “Wingman Ministries” using volunteers to reach out to men in his community who are struggling with life.  He selflessly ministers full-time to those upon whom most of society has given up: the drug and alcohol addicts, and incarcerated men who have not been able to live functional, productive lives, introducing them to the Lord Jesus, mentoring them, and involving them in effective educational opportunities.

Outstanding Cast Representative Award – This award recognizes a person who has served as a Cast Representative for at least two reunion years (including the current year), whose cast consistently participates in the UWPIAA Reunion and who consistently keeps their cast connected during non-reunion years.

Tony Laanan, 89C: [From his nomination form…] Tony is the only reason we are all in contact as a cast. He has worked tirelessly to keep contact lists up-to-date, to facilitate personal and group news updates, to set up email and, later, Facebook groups, etc.  Tony makes his best effort in reunion preparations for the cast and is always ready to arrange to meet between reunions as well.

3 thoughts on “2019 Alumni Award Recipients Announced”

  1. Congratulations to each of you, more than well deserved I’m sure. Enjoy your time together, it will go quickly.

  2. Toni – You are just a Fabulous guy and we are grateful for your years of work on all our behalf!


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