2013 Recipients of Muriel Gilman Award

2013 - Bernie and Peg Kenny

Tonight we honor two very special people, Peg and Bernie Kenny. There are those individual, very special people, who simply will not be denied by quirks of fate, but who, despite the greatest of odds, will overcome all adversity and pursue their dreams for the benefit of all. Peg Kenny knew as a young girl that she possessed a passion and a talent to comfort and care for infants. Her dream was to be a pediatric nurse so that children could benefit from her special talent. Quirks of fate intervened, a lack of financing, an early marriage and the arrival of her children. Luckily, Peg had married a special man, Bernie Kenny. Bernie encouraged her to pursue her dream and she did.

During the last 50 years Team Kenny has provided foster care for over one hundred infants. They have nursed and care for the most vulnerable among us. So many children, effectively homeless and alone at birth, have known the loving touch of a mother and shared the joy every child deserves in their early most formative months thanks to the talents of Peg and the support of Bernie Kenny. All of their children have been given that early developmental support which so enhances the likelihood that they will be successful in life.

The Kenny's have six children, four of whom are former foster children whom they have adopted, in addition to the many children they have fostered. Their children, every one of them, and the community here in Delaware have benefitted immensely from the loving touch of Peg and Bernie Kenny. We thank them for their refusal to be denied and their strength to persevere and succeed and for the love they deliver.

Vivian Young

The 21st Century Fund presents its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Vivian B. Young.

Ms. Young's accomplishments in the world of volunteerism are so long it is impossible to put them all into this space. She has been a tireless advocate for children's issues for almost 50 years during which time she served in Switzerland, Kenya and Suriname as well as the United States. Many people know her as the chair and organizer of Stand for Children Delaware. However, Ms. Young has also been active with such organizations as the Children's Defense Fund, the Salvation Army, and the State of Delaware Foster Care Review Board as well as many others. During the 1960's Ms. Young worked with Marian Wright Edelman on the Washington Research project. She and her husband Leonard have been married for 58 years and have one son and two grandsons.