2013 New Mexico Award Dinner

JUNE 17, 2013



Hundreds Gathered to Celebrate Families’ Contributions to New Mexico


The DiGregorio and Gardenswartz families were honored for their contributions to New Mexico at the 31st annual New Mexico Spirit of Achievement Award Dinner. Among the nearly 220 guests at the dinner was former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who congratulated Christine and Joe DiGregorio, Sonya and Art Gardenswartz, and their families. The event on May 23 raised nearly $50,000 to benefit the nation’s number one respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health.

The Spirit of Achievement Award is presented to those who demonstrate their commitment to community through civic and charitable contributions and actions. The DiGregorio and Gardenswartz families are two of New Mexico’s most distinguished philanthropic clans. In addition to their contributions through their careers in the independent grocery industry, Christine and Joe DiGregorio sponsor a golf tournament called California Markets Classic, which benefits adults with disabilities. They also established a scholarship for students majoring in business at the University of New Mexico at Gallup.

The Gardenswartz family has provided sporting goods to New Mexicans for nearly 75 years. Art Gardenswartz, who opened Gardenswartz Sportz in the mid-1970s, was instrumental in starting many sporting activities in the Albuquerque area, including the city’s first organized running event, the LeRoy Bearman 5-Mile Run. Members of the family are involved in a variety of community organizations, including the Albuquerque Jewish Federation, the Albuquerque Coalition of Outdoor Development, the Ronald Gardenswartz Jewish Community Center, Safeteen New Mexico and The American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“For 31 years, National Jewish Health has presented the prestigious Spirit of Achievement Award to citizens in and around Albuquerque,” event emcee Debbi Moore said. “These award recipients have contributed tremendously to our community with their time, talents and resources in all areas of life – personal, business and civic. Tonight, the DiGregorios and the Gardenswartzes will join this distinguished group.”

The New Mexico Spirit of Achievement Award Dinner committee included Clara Apodaca, Kathleen Avila, Pat Vincent-Collawn, Dale Dekker, Jesse Dompreh, Greg Leyendecker, Edward Lujan, Debbi Moore, Cynthia Renhart, Jennifer Riordan, Michael Stanford and Lynn Trojahn. National Jewish Health local trustees, who support the institution and its dinner in Albuquerque, include Adelmo “Del” Archuleta, Dale Dekker, Christine and Joe DeGregorio, Marcia Hembree, Sherman McCorkle, Michael Stanford and Lynn Trojahn.

National Jewish Health, which is based in Denver, has strong ties to New Mexico. Its physicians treated nearly 2,300 New Mexico residents with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related diseases from 2010 to 2012, and thousands more in the 31 years since the Spirit of Achievement Award Dinner began. Over the last three years, National Jewish Health also provided nearly $96,000 in charity care to New Mexicans.

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the number one respiratory hospital in the nation.

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