2020 East Valley Man and Woman of the Year awards gala April 16

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The 2020 East Valley Man and Woman of the Year awards have been announced and recipients will be honored at the annual East Valley Night of Heroes Gala on Thursday, April 16, at Stonebridge Manor, 4000 E. Palm St. in Mesa.

The “Igniting a Future” themed gala will include silent and live auction items, as well as time to honor those individuals who have done exceptional work serving east Valley women and families, accoridng to a release.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Brad Smith, medical director and primary on-site physician for Mission of Mercy; Jessica Nicely, founder and CEO of Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation; and Paula Wirth of the Desert Cancer Foundation of Arizona.

Dr. Smith will be honored as the East Valley Man of the Year. He manages the day-to-day operations at seven clinic locations for Mission of Mercy, overseeing nearly 200 clinic volunteers and providing direct supervision of physicians and medical students. Two sites in the east Valley --- Mesa and Chandler --- provide free mobile medical programs for the uninsured, where 64% of all patients are women. MOM’s mission is to restore dignity, “healing through love,” by providing free healthcare.

Ms. Nicely, from Winged Hope Family Advocacy Foundation, will receive the East Valley Woman of the Year award for her critical work in founding and developing a non-profit organization in Gilbert that supports individuals and families who have been victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and other traumas. In addition to offering direct victim services, Jessica has spearheaded efforts to develop advocacy centers and renovate shelters, as well as provide training and education in awareness, prevention and treatment.

Ms. Wirth has spent more than two decades as a leader at every level for many east Valley causes and organizations. She will be recognized with the East Valley Legacy Award, which is awarded for long-term outstanding contribution to women and families. She is best known for her work as a founding member, board president and events chairperson for the Desert Cancer Foundation of Arizona, which has provided free mammograms to more than 1500 women.

Proceeds from the gala on April 16 benefit Positive Paths, which serves east Valley women with education and mentoring programs.

Positive Paths is a state of Arizona non-profit organization established  to invest in the future of women within our communities. They believe that supporting women strengthens families and builds strong communities, the release states.

Major sponsors of the gala include the Rudge Foundation, TrustBank, McColes Ranch, SRP, Intel, Dignity Health, TTG Advisors and Wells Fargo Bank.

Sponsorships, tables and individual tickets are available at positivepathsaz.org/annual-gala.

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