18th Annual Brother Raymond L. Fitz Award Co-Recipients Announced

On Friday, March 9, 2018, the Montgomery County Family and Children First Council will recognize Rev. Sherry Gale and Rev. Vanessa Oliver Ward at the 18th Annual Brother Raymond L. Fitz Award Luncheon. This prominent event will be held from 11:30 a.m.to 1 p.m. at Top of the Market in downtown Dayton.

Rev. Sherry Gale is in her tenth year as Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church. A graduate of Ashland College, she received a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, Master of Science from Miami and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an active and tireless member of many community collaborations, including the City of Dayton Human Relations Council Board, Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence, Montgomery County Re-Entry Policy Board, Dayton Cooks! Board, and Wesley Community Center Board.

Rev. Vanessa Oliver Ward is the Co-Pastor of the Omega Baptist Church. She is a graduate of the College of Wooster and United Theological Seminary, and she received a Master of Philosophy from Hebrew Union College. She has been involved with a wide array of community organizations and initiatives, including the Dayton Public Schools Accountability Committee, Miami Valley Urban League, Mayor’s City of Learners Advisory Team, Diversity Committee of the Premier Hospital Board, and Dayton Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Both of the Co-recipients have been sponsors of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Enrichment program serving children in the Dayton community. Rev. Gale and Rev. Ward have dedicated their lives to the cause of nurturing and protecting children and families. Hundreds of youth and their families have benefitted from their passion, energy and natural abilities as servant leaders. They both have extensive service to the community, and they inspire and encourage others to join them to make our community a better place for children and their families.

18th Annual Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Ph.D. Award
The Brother Raymond L. Fitz Award honors someone who exemplifies Brother Ray’s dedication to nurturing and protecting children and families by his or her daily efforts in the community. The Montgomery County Family and Children First Council serves as the lead human services collaborative addressing issues that affect children and families across the county. The Council established the award to honor Raymond L. Fitz, former President of the University of Dayton, and first Chair of the Family & Children First Council, for his years of leadership and service to the community.