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May 13, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: David Ujita, 415-541-9285

Asian American Recovery Services Receives
SF Mayor’s Humanitarian of the Year Recognition

San Francisco, CA -- Today at the Annual Achievement Awards and fundraising breakfast, the San Francisco Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities presented its annual “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. (AARS). The award was presented by San Francisco Supervisor, Gavin Newsom, and was accepted by Jeff Mori, executive director of AARS. SF Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., was present at this annual event, which took place at the Ramada Plaza Hotel International.

AARS was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award, as recognition of the agency’s selfless support of former agency employee, Scott Duong. Duong suffered traumatic head injuries in a ski-related accident in January 2002. AARS employees rallied in support of Duong and his family, through the generous donation of personal vacation hours, sick time hours, and personal monetary gifts. Terri Ragual, project supervisor of the San Francisco Traumatic Brain Injury Network, made the award nomination. “The support provided to Scott and his family was an exemplary demonstration of caring for another human being,” said Ragual.

The Mayor’s Committee is part of a nationwide structure established in 1947 by then President Harry Truman’s Committee for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities (now the President’s Office on Disability Employment). Truman established this network of committees in response to the disabled veterans who returned from World War II only to find themselves discriminated against in their attempts to find employment. Since then, every U.S. President has given his personal and active support to employment opportunities for all persons with disabilities.

“I am proud of all those at Asian American Recovery Services who gave selflessly to help a fellow employee, and congratulate everyone in receiving this tremendous honor. Our board of directors should also be recognized, for their unwavering support during this time of need,” said Jeff Mori.

The San Francisco Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities is a completely self-funded and volunteer-staffed organization. Since 1985, Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. has been dedicated to decreasing the incidence and impact of substance abuse in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. With a fiscal 2002 budget of nearly $10 million, Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. is the largest community-based organization in the United States providing health and well-being education and substance abuse treatment services targeting Asian and Pacific Islander communities while providing culturally-competent programs. For more information, visit the agency’s website at: www.aars-inc.org, or contact AARS, Inc. at 965 Mission St., Ste. 325, San Francisco, CA, or call (415) 541-9285.

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