Eric Santiago of Avondale, who has dedicated his entire 23-year professional career to identifying and addressing community needs to assist the most vulnerable, has been named the 2015 Margie Frost Champion Against Poverty by the Arizona Community Action Association.
Joining Santiago as an award winner at this year’s conference are:
- Arizona State Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, Legislative Leadership Award, who supported legislation including Medicaid expansion and the protection of children, and successfully fought against the predatory lending bill introduced in 2015. Rep. McGee represents Paradise Valley.
- José Bedolla, Glendale, Beating the Odds Award for overcoming near homelessness following a stroke that left him partially paralyzed while continuing to ensure his disabled son remained active in high school and on track for graduation this spring.
Mr. Santiago, currently regional director for First Things First, will receive the award at the 2015 ACAA Annual Conference, May 7-8, at the Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West, 860 N. Riverview in Mesa.
Mr. Santiago’s award is named after Frost, a longtime community activist and creator and former director of the East Valley Men’s Center, a facility for homeless men re-entering society. The 1990 Mesa Woman of the Year and recipient of the 1995 Alma Blew Award for Most Outstanding Service to Humanity, Frost died in 2008.
The ACAA will present Betsy Bolding, now retired after a 25-year career at Tucson Electric Power, with the President’s Award for her lifetime achievements, advocacy and efforts to make services, resources and support available and accessible to low-income individuals and families throughout the state.
Ms. Bolding, a longtime member of the ACAA board of directors, never wavered in her focus from her roles as the first director of the governor’s Southern Arizona office under Gov. Bruce Babbitt to board positions with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Women’s Studies Advisory Council and Arizona Theatre Company, among others.
The Arizona Community Action Association promotes economic self-sufficiency for low-income people through collaborations with Arizona’s Community Action Agencies to develop solutions to poverty through public-private partnerships, research, and interagency cooperation.
The ACAA mission is to advocate, educate and partner to prevent and alleviate poverty. For information, visit www.azcaa.org.