Montgomery County will honor two residents for lifetime volunteer service during its inaugural Montgomery Serves Awards ceremony April 30 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.
Among those to be recognized, Tufail Ahmad and Ruby Rubens were selected to receive the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award, according to a county news release.
Established in 1998 to honor volunteers 60 and older, the award was renamed in 2009 in memory of the former County Council member, county executive, and longtime civic activist.
Ahmad and Rubens have been active volunteers in Montgomery County for more than 40 years, the release stated.
Ahmad recognized the need for Muslim Americans to play a vital role in redefining their identity, initiated dialogue between diverse groups to design grassroots initiatives, and as a result, co-founded the Montgomery County Muslim Council, whose mission is to pursue equal social, economic, educational, and political development opportunities for all residents, according to the release.
He also spearheaded efforts to help those in need including: feeding the homeless living in shelters, organizing the distribution of three meals per day for seven to 10 days during Ramadan for homeless women at Sophia House, coordinating a countywide food drive for the food bank, co-hosting various interfaith events, participating in the distribution of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of fresh meat to needy families, and providing transportation services to assist seniors.
Rubens has devoted countless volunteer hours to a wide range of commitments, according to the release, including: providing budgeting assistance to low-income families in Sandy Spring, working with the Montgomery County New Horizons Task Force to develop fair housing policies, advocating for residents of assisted housing projects before the Housing Opportunities Commission, and advocating on behalf of residents of Tobytown, Scotland, and other historic African-American communities.
She is a member of the founding committee of Blacks United for Excellence in Education and its countywide Saturday School Initiative, which provides tutoring and mentoring to enhance the academic achievement and social adjustment of African-American students, has served as community coordinator for the National Council of Negro Women’s after-school program for African-American teen girls, and assisted in the development of the Montgomery County Public Schools Success for Every Student Plan.
Her work as social action chair of the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority helped initiate the first collaboration on the county’s annual Women’s Fair, the Women’s Legislative Briefing, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Teen Day in County Government, according to the release.
The Montgomery Serves Awards are being hosted by the Fund for Montgomery, the Montgomery County Volunteer Center, and the Corporate Volunteer Council.