FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 19, 2010
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GALE GERINGER (307) 634-8195


Mary Ellen and Tom RushNamed Thomas Foundation Leadership Award Winners



Susan Thomas (center) with 2010 Leadership Award Winners Med (left) and Tom Rush
Cheyenne – "Generosity, love, understanding, forgiveness, respect, compassion. Those are the values I saw every day in the Rush household," says a former foster child of Med and Tom Rushof Casper. It is partly because of those strong principles that the Rushes have been selected to receive the third annual Leadership Award from the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation. The Leadership Award recognizes and honors individuals who champion the needs of young people in Wyoming.

The Rushes have been foster parenting for over 21 years, taking in teen boys who had no other place to go.
Susan Thomas, foundation director, said, "There are many weary spirits and injured minds out there. Med and Tom have steadfastly given many male adolescents a chance to heal – to become whole.I am honored to know these two amazing people."

The Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation Leadership award was presented to the Rushesyesterday at the Wyoming State Fair at the Ag Appreciation picnic. In addition to the honor, the award comes with a $2,500 check to be used as the winners choose.

"Counselors, mentors and educators deserve recognition for the work they do with our children, especially those who are at-risk. I want them to know that we value their time, efforts and dedication," Susan Thomas said.

The Rushes were nominated by Rose Fry, also of Casper, who said, "The Rushes have a philosophy when the youth enter their home…all that has happened in the past is forgiven and they start from that day to put their lives back together."
The Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation focuses on Wyoming's at-risk youth population and those who champion young people. This award is the second of three key elements to the Foundation. The others are a scholarship program for at-risk students and grants to Wyoming groups and organizations. Earlier this summer, the Foundation selected 14 students to take part in the scholarship program that includes mentoring and financial support for students who do not meet Hathaway guidelines. More information on the scholarship program and grants can be found at www.thomas-foundation.com.
The foundation is named in part for the late United States Senator Craig Thomas who championed the cause of Wyoming's youth.

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