In honor of their unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for others, Berks County philanthropists Carole and Ray Neag were presented with the 2017 Thun Award at a private ceremony on March 11.
Berks County Community Foundation, in partnership with Fulton Bank, held the annual Celebration of Giving at the Neag Planetarium at the Reading Public Museum to thank the Neags for their enduring support of numerous Berks County nonprofits and institutions.
“Carole and Ray have had an immeasurable impact on this community,” said Jeffrey R. Rush, Senior Executive Vice President and Regional President of Fulton Bank. “Many of their gifts to local organizations have been breathtaking in their generosity, and many of those gifts were historic moments for the organizations that received them.”
The Thun Award is presented to Berks County residents who generously contribute improvements to the quality of life in the community, said J. William Widing III, Community Foundation board chairman.
“Carole and Ray embody the leadership and love for this community that is found in all of the recipients of the Thun Award,” Widing said.
Along with the award, the Neags were given discretion to distribute a $5,000 cash grant from the Thun Award Fund. The Community Foundation administers the fund, which each year provides a grant to an organization chosen by the Thun Award recipients.
This year, the Neags chose to award the grant to Co-County Wellness Services. Co-County Wellness was founded in 1985 as Berks AIDS Health Crisis and was later known as Berks AIDS Network, or BAN. Today, Co-County Wellness Services continues to meet the needs of persons living with HIV in Berks and Schuylkill counties. The agency also provides prevention services related to HIV and STDs and teen pregnancy.
Ray Neag was one of the four founders of Arrow International, a world-renowned medical device manufacturing company. Carole Neag is a former emergency and maternity nurse who worked with numerous facilities to implement federal injury-prevention standards.
Organizations that have received significant gifts from the Neags include Albright College, Alvernia University, Berks County Community Foundation, Berks Nature, Berks Encore, Berks Youth Chorus, Caron Treatment Centers, Children’s Home of Reading, John Paul II Center for Special Learning, Kutztown University, Opportunity House, Penn State Health St. Joseph, Reading Public Museum, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Safe Berks (formerly Berks Women in Crisis), United Way of Berks County, and the University of Connecticut.
The Thun Award was created in 1988 to recognize the lifelong commitment that was shown by Ferdinand K. and Louis R. Thun to improve the quality of life in Berks County through philanthropy. Since that time, the award has been presented to Berks County residents who make significant contributions of civic service and who exhibit a steadfast commitment to the community. Not long after its founding in 1994, the Community Foundation became a partner in the Thun Award.
Recipients of the award exemplify the mission of the Foundation: to promote philanthropy and improve the quality of life for the residents of Berks County. Fulton Bank has been a partner in the Thun Award for many years.