Honoring Jim Parke and Passion for the Possible

On November 19th, buildOn celebrated service, education and leadership at the first ever Virtual buildOn Gala. The buildOn Gala gave us the opportunity to award buildOn’s highest honor — The Jim Parke Constructive Leadership Award — to two outstanding buildOn students.

During one of the most crucial moments in buildOn’s early history, the late Jim Parke saw what was possible through service and stepped up to help buildOn’s mission thrive, forging a partnership between buildOn and GE that’s lasted nearly thirty years. The two students given this year’s award exemplify Jim Parke’s passion for the possible:

Cameron Townsend – buildOn Detroit

Cameron is a recent graduate of Western International High School, where he contributed more than 1,140 hours of service to the Detroit community. Known for supporting his peers and his natural leadership, Cameron even led service projects for other buildOn students in high school!

Elizabeth Fortress – buildOn Boston

Elizabeth recently immigrated to the U.S. without her family, and immediately went into service helping her community. She didn’t miss a single buildOn online service project from March to June of last school year, and made and donated more than 300 masks to members of the community.

We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who supported our first ever Jim Parke Award, including campaign leads Marilyn Parke, Gary Wendt, Denis Nayden and everyone who stepped up to contribute. The buildOn programs at Elizabeth and Cameron’s high schools will each receive $25,000 from the funds raised by this campaign.

Thank You to Our Jim Parke Campaign Donors:

  • Andrews Family Foundation
  • Diahann Billings-Burford
  • Larry Bossidy
  • Craig & Mary Boswell
  • Kathy Cassidy
  • Christopher Coffey
  • Marriann Cole
  • James Colica
  • Bill Conaty
  • Rick D’Avino
  • Allison & Brian Doubles
  • Ekedahl Family Foundation
  • Virginia Ertl
  • Fred Fraenkel
  • Leonard & Theresa Frano
  • Marc Friedman
  • Lauren & Trevor Fuhrman
  • Brett & Karen Fuhrman
  • Mike Gaudino
  • Tom Gentile
  • Brendan Gilligan
  • Dacia & Robert Gonzales
  • Veronica & Robert Green
  • Olga & Chris Hartwell
  • Randi Hedin
  • Sue Ellen & David Henry
  • Terri & Dan Janki
  • Paul Johanson
  • Lorie Jurick
  • Margaret Keane
  • Norman Liu
  • James & Rebecca Loree Foundation
  • Jeff Malehorn
  • John Malfettone
  • Jane & Tom Mann
  • Jeanine & Jack Markle
  • Jim McNerney
  • Marc Meiches
  • Getty Melaku
  • Jody & John Myers
  • Britta & Denis Nayden
  • David Nissen
  • Christina & Geoffrey Norman
  • Lesley Parke
  • The Jim Parke Foundation
  • Patricia Pond
  • John Raffaeli
  • Deborah Reif
  • John Rice
  • Kyle & Trevor Schauenberg
  • Shona & John Seifert
  • Doug Seymour
  • Janet & Keith Sherin
  • Pamela Sinnott
  • Edward Stewart
  • Martha Sullivan
  • Jennifer & Don Torey
  • Karen & Mark Vachon
  • Mary Ellen Vogel
  • John Walker
  • Jennifer & Brian Ward
  • Gary Wendt
  • Jenny & Jim Ziolkowski