The biannual Water Bearer Awards dinner will be held Nov. 1 at the Catholic Multicultural Center and will honor six people who have made great contributions to the Madison community. The 2012 Water Bearer Fall Honorees are: Dr. Earlise Ward, Frances Huntley-Cooper, Janet Pariano, Nancy Rodriguez, Judge Paul Higginbotham, and Jon Gramling.
The “water bearer,” a biblical term, is the individual who each morning and night went to the well to bring water — the essence of life — back to the village and the family. The Village People Water Bearer Award is presented to individuals or groups committed to community in all aspects of life, a commitment that goes beyond work, and whose actions and deeds exemplify that commitment to supporting the Village and the family and giving, in essence, what the Village needs to continue and grow. Honorees are also supportive of the mission of Today Not Tomorrow Inc./Club TNT, sponsor of the Water Bearer Awards.
The Water Bearer Awards ceremony has been held since 2003 and over the years the Water Bearer family has gotten pretty big with close to 80 people honored. That long list of Water Bearers is quite diverse, too, in the ways they have contributed to the greater Madison community.
“Because Today Not Tomorrow is so much about strengthening the community, we would really be remised if we didn’t let that show through the Water Bearers,” says Club TNT public relations director Jeanne Erickson.“There are so many people in the community doing so many wonderful things in so many fields that we really want to make sure that there is representation from many different groups. It’s something that we really strive for.”
The Water Bearer Award is presented to an individual or group that is committed to community in aspects of their life, that go beyond their work, and whose actions and deeds exemplify that commitment supporting the village, the family, and giving, in essence, what is needed by the village to be able to continue and grow.
“I really like the ability to explain to people why they have been chosen and to really recognize those who have been energizing the community and refreshing the community,” Erickson says. “There are so many awards given in the community and they are all given for different reasons. But this particular award, because it comes from a place from people who are usually not looking for that recognition — that’s the part that I really like.”
The event will feature delicious food and networking and performances by The Madison Gospelaires, who were founded in 1985 by Will and Dorothy Williams and also feature Johnell Justice and William Brown. The group sings traditional, quartet-style a capella gospel hymns.
“It’s a little something different because we usually have a lot of youths performing at the Water Bearer event,” Erickson says. “This year we will have some older adults performing and it will be a nice change of pace.
“The fun thing coming out of this is that next year in 2013, Club TNT will be celebrating its 10th year and we are very excited about that,” Erickson adds. “We will be holding a major fundraising event for next year’s celebration. It will be a big event.”
For more information about the Water Bearer Awards, contact Jeanne Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org