COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Women's National Team member Angela Ruggiero (Simi Valley, Calif.), a former Harvard standout, was nominated for the Jefferson Award for Public Service. The three-time Olympian (1998, 2002, 2006) joins 52 other athletes as nominees for the national recognition system honoring community and public service in America.
Ruggiero began her community involvement at an early age, helping to launch the Angela Ruggiero Girls' Hockey School and serving as a spokesperson for the Women's Sports Foundation. She has reached out to the international community as well, serving as the director of the New York Islanders' Project Hope, which provides educational opportunities to young Chinese athletes. In addition, Ruggiero spent six weeks in Uganda as a mentor with Right to Play, which uses sport and play to enrich the lives of disadvantaged kids around the world.
From the group of 53 athletes, five finalists will be chosen in each of two categories: Outstanding Athlete in Service and Outstanding Athlete as a Newcomer in Service. In June 2010, the 10 finalists will be invited to attend the Jefferson Awards National Ceremony in Washington, D.C., where the two winners will be announced.
Fans can vote for Angela by text messaging STAR36 to 55333, or online by clicking here. Voting ends Nov. 15.
NOTES: The Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard to establish a Nobel Prize for public service. Past recipients of Jefferson Awards for Public Service include Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell and Lance Armstrong ... Ruggiero will also be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 1 as a member of the gold medal-winning 1998 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team.