Hospice founder recognized with $35,000 Making A Difference Award

View the video tribute to Julia Quinlan above, which was filmed by Erin Dubec, Anthony Scalia and Nicholas Libraro.

On May 6, 2016, Julia Quinlan was recognized and awarded $35,000, at the 20th Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award Ceremony at Ramapo College.

The award was established by businessman Russel Berrie in 1997 to reward New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act.

“Through this award, we honor the contributions of people who don’t seek recognition for what they do, yet generously give of themselves to make New Jersey a better place,” said Angelica Berrie of Englewood, president of The Russell Berrie Foundation. The top honoree of the award receives $50,000. Second place – which Quinlan received – wins $35,000, and the third place honoree receives $20,000.

“I’ve dedicated my life to do this work and make people aware of the hospice, aware of being able to be in hospice care and receiving the care you should receive at the end of your life. It has been very rewarding to me,” said Quinlan in a recent interview with The New Jersey Herald.

The Russell Berrie Foundation was established in 1985 by Russell Berrie, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Russell Berrie had a passion for giving that was grounded in his deep belief in humanity, the importance of touching the lives of ordinary people, the importance of strengthening the local community in New Jersey and the power of using philanthropy to help achieve transformational change. The Russell Berrie Foundation seeks to continue Russ’ mission by providing significant support to strengthen New Jersey’s art, cultural and health care institutions and celebrates everyday people who make a significant difference in the lives of others through the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.

Hospice Honors


Photo by Paul Wheeler- Shown at the Quinlan Hospice awards ceremony Thursday at Panther Valley are, from left: Sue Dell, R.N., Excellence in Care Award; Honorable Paul W. Armstrong, J.S.C. Ret.), Pioneer Award; Lucian Fletcher Jr., M.D., Founder Award; Cecelia T. Clayton, MPH, Excellence in Leadership Award, and Skip Klimas, Heart of Hospice Award. Not shown are Noel Balch and Frances Howe, Spirit of Hospice Award.

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice’s friends, staff, volunteers and supporters joined together on April 28 at the Panther Valley Golf Club to celebrate those individuals who have advanced the cause of hospice in our community and beyond. Lucian Fletcher Jr., M.D., received the Founder Award for his almost four decades of service as a board member. Skip Klimas, owner of S.K. Paper Shred, received the Heart of Hospice Award for his tireless fundraising for hospice. Hospice volunteers Noel Balch and Frances Howe received the Spirit of Hospice Award for their almost 20 years of service as hospice volunteers. Sue Dell, RN, long-time nursing supervisor and clinical manager, received the Excellence in Care Award.

Cecelia T. Clayton, MPH, received the Excellence in Leadership Award for her service as executive director for more than a decade.

Honorable Paul W. Armstrong, J.S.C. (Ret.), received the Pioneer Award for his more than 40 years of work advancing the cause of patients’ rights.

Robert Vandenbergh, chief operating officer of presenting sponsor Lakeland Bank, served as emcee for the event. The music was supplied by DJ Ray Cordts.

Other major sponsors included Newton Medical Center, Contral Security, Eastern Propane, Lion Technology, Regional Cancer Care Associates LLC and Smith-McCracken Funeral Home.