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The Ernie” Award Established to Honor Local Community Leader
On September 8, 2011, at a leadership giving society event for United Way, “The Ernie” award was unveiled to honor Ernestine “Ernie” Morris Raclin for her achievements through United Way, improving the quality of life in St. Joseph County.
Ernestine Morris Raclin is an inspirational, influential community leader who has made exemplary volunteer and philanthropic contributions. She quickly acknowledges the impact of her father, Ernest Melvin Morris, and her mother, Ella Keen Morris, in the development of her passion for her primary areas of interest, including education, economic development, arts and human services. Well known for her unwavering commitment to advancing the quality of life in ways that care for those less fortunate, Ernie has demonstrated her commitment through countless leadership positions—nationally, regionally and locally.
Ernie has served as a model for others to follow. She has the unique distinction of being the first woman to join the following boards: First National Bank of Chicago, the local Chamber of Commerce, People’s Energy, MidCon, and NIPSCO. She was the first woman to chair a campaign for the University of Notre Dame, as well as the first woman to serve as a member of the advisory board at Indiana University of South Bend.
In the early 1970s, Ernie was the first woman asked to chair a United Way annual campaign in St. Joseph County, as well as the first female to chair a United Way campaign in the United States.
The passion demonstrated by Mrs. Raclin for the well-being of our community is unsurpassed. Therefore the United Way Worldwide and United Way of St. Joseph County established the “The Ernie” award in honor of Ernestine Morris Raclin to recognize her community leadership.
The award design was inspired by the Greek goddess Nike, sculpted by Dora C. Natella, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at IUSB. "The Ernie" award will be presented annually to successive outstanding community leaders who follow in Ernie’s footsteps, recognizing their dedication to the community through United Way.
Ernie’s sixteen grandchildren sponsored this traveling award and presented it to their grandmother at the giving society event.
The United Way of St. Joseph County board of directors, volunteers, donors and staff are forever grateful to Ernie for her remarkable lifetime of tireless service to our community on behalf of those in need.
United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating long-lasting change, ensuring all residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health. For more information about United Way of St. Joseph County, visit www.uwsjc.org, find us on facebook, or follow us on twitter @uwstjoecounty.
Contact Person: Brenda Harley
Company Name: United Way of St. Joseph County
Telephone Number: 574-232-
Email Address: bharley@
Website Address: www.uwsjc.org
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