VOL. 114 | NO. 48 | Friday, March 10, 2000
NCCJ names honorees of 2000 Humanitarian Awards
NCCJ names honorees of 2000 Humanitarian Awards
Four well-known men who have contributed to Memphis in a variety of ways over the years have been selected as the recipients of the Year 2000 Humanitarian Awards, presented by The National Conference for Community and Justice, Memphis Region.
James B. Jalenak, Dr. Scott Morris, J. Martin Regan Jr. and Charles Scruggs will join the ranks of 92 past recipients of the award who, by word and deed, exemplified a commitment to making our community a better place for all its citizens, said Arthur B. Malkin Jr., NCCJ board chair.
This will be the 39th presentation of the awards, founded in 1962. The annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner recognizes individuals in the community. This year's event will be held May 4 at 7:30 at the Peabody. Tickets are $150 and $250 and are available through May 1 by calling the NCCJ at 278-3551.
Honorees are chosen for their commitment to the community and their efforts across racial, religious and cultural lines. The individuals chosen for this award truly work to make Memphis a better place for all, Malkin said.
"I know of no better representatives of the mission of NCCJ than this year's honorees. It is our pleasure to recognize them for their continuing efforts on our community's behalf, he said.
Jalenak is a partner in the Memphis law firm Hanover, Jalenak and Blair, a fellow of The Tennessee Bar Foundation, and immediate past president of the Memphis Rotary Club. Jalenak graduated from East High School, Yale University and Yale Law School. He is a member of The Memphis Jewish Foundation, Memphis Urban League, Rotary Foundation, and Depot Redevelopment Corporation of Memphis and Shelby County. Jalenak also is past president of Temple Israel, the 13th largest Jewish congregation in the United States. He has served as vice president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, as Memphis Yale Club President, as Plough Towers officer and director, as a Memphis Zoological Society member, and has worked extensively with the Memphis City Schools in a variety of capacities. Jim and his wife, Natalie Block Jalenak, have two children, Margaret Amie Jalenak Wexler and Catherine Ann Jalenak Levit, and two grandchildren.
Morris came to Memphis in 1986 and founded the Church Health Center, which today serves a growing segment of the population. Morris was born in San Diego, attended the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, completed his undergraduate study at the University of Virginia, attended the University of London, completed graduate work at Yale and received his medical degree at Emory University. He is an ordained elder in the Methodist Church, as well as a published writer and frequent speaker on health care and the church.
Morris also serves on the Memphis Redbirds Triple A Baseball Foundation, Memphis Shelby County Medical Ethics Committee, County Mayors Advisory Committee on Health Policy, and the Urban Youth Initiative.
Honors he has received include the 1999 Layman of the Year Award from the Kiwanis Clubs of West Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisville; the 1999 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Memphis City Council; 1999 induction into the Society of Entrepreneurs; and 1998 Distinguished Physician Award for the State of Tennessee-The Tennessee Medical Association.
Regan is a native Memphian, who attended Christian Brothers High School, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee Law School. He is a partner with Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson and Mitchell, and serves as counsel to various diocesan organizations.
Regan worked closely on plans for the St. Peter Village campus and has been instrumental in working with government officials involving HUD funding since the development of St. Peter Manor in Memphis. In 1981, he was instrumental in securing the original funding for St. Peter Villa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on the St. Peter Village Campus.
For two years, Regan worked to secure facilities and funding to expand Catholic Charities Homeless Service programs, including Genesis House, Dozier House and Sophia's House.
His services, however, have not been limited to Associated Catholic Charities programs.
Regan has worked with Ave Maria Home and St. Patrick Neighborhood Housing Corp., as well as with the Sacred Heart Missions Housing Corp. in Walls, Miss.
He has consulted closely with Sister Elaine Wicks in Project Outreach to help the poor in Fayette County. Regan also works with the Community Foundation, Southern College of Optometry, Memphis Partners, Southeast Foundation, Southeast Mental Health Center and the WDIA Goodwill Fund.
Scruggs is known as "Mr. Chuck" to youngsters and their parents who watch "Hello Mr. Chuck!" and WKNO's "Ready to Learn" children's programs.
Since coming to Memphis in 1972 as vice president and general manager of WDIA-AM, Scruggs has been engaged with numerous community organizations.
He served with Lucius Birch as co-chair of the first NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner in 1975, and he currently is a Golden Heritage Member of the organization.
In 1982, while at WDIA, he led a campaign that helped save the town of Mound Bayou, Miss. He continues to serve as the volunteer president of the non-profit WDIA Goodwill Fund.
Scruggs also organized the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation in 1982 and served as its first president. As one of the founders of the Museum Foundation, he worked for almost 10 years to establish what is now the National Civil Rights Museum. He also served on the Museum Foundation's board of directors and its executive committee for more than 12 years.
He is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and an NCCJ regional advisor, past presiding chair and past national trustee. In addition, Scruggs serves on the President's Circle at Christian Brothers University and on Project RAP, Beat the Odds Advisory Committee.
Scruggs' commitment is to youth, and he has spent a lifetime working for children.
"They are our future ... the people we are going to have to live with," he said.