Midwestern University and community leaders will join together on Saturday, October 20th to recognize and honor individuals for their commitment to helping others at the annual Bright Lights, Shining Stars gala. The event will be held at Midwestern University's Glendale campus at 19555 North 59th Avenue.
Glendale resident and beloved Valley of the Sun broadcasting icon Al McCoy will be the recipient of the 2012 COMET (Community Outreach: Motivating Excellence for Tomorrow) Award, which was established by Midwestern University and the City in 1999 to recognize outstanding individuals who have shown exemplary commitment to the community. Mr. McCoy has been the radio voice of the Phoenix Suns basketball team for 41 years. He also became the first play-by-play announcer to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 19, 2004, and he received the 18th Annual Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. McCoy has also received the Silver Circle Award from the Arizona chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The COMET Award will be presented by Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and CEO of Midwestern University, and the Honorable Mayor Elaine M. Scruggs, City of Glendale.
In addition to the COMET Award, Dr. Goeppinger will present the 2012 Shooting Star Award, which recognizes a community leader for outstanding contributions to healthcare and education, to UMOM New Day Centers, the largest homeless shelter for families in Arizona. UMOM's mission is to provide homeless families and individuals with safe shelter, housing, and supportive services to assist them in reaching their greatest potential. UMOM has been a dedicated partner site for Midwestern University faculty and students who provide medical services and education as well as teen career counseling to the shelter's clients.
Five Spirit of Service scholarships will be awarded at the gala to students representing three Midwestern University colleges for the 2012-2013 academic year. Scholarship recipients include: Erika Anderson from the Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT); Gina Buiocchi and Burrell Richards from the College of Pharmacy-Glendale (CPG); and Evelyn Height and Daniel Wright from the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine (AZPod/CHS-AZ). The Spirit of Service scholarship program recognizes outstanding Midwestern University students based on community service, leadership abilities, academic standing, and financial need.
The black-tie-optional event, which raises over $100,000 annually in scholarship funds for students in all of Midwestern University's colleges, also features an outdoor reception, formal dinner, live entertainment, and a silent auction.