Brooke Shields, Frankie Valli and More to be Honored by NECO, 5/12

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On Saturday, May 12th, 2012, Brooke Shields, Frankie Valli, Carol Baldwin, Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini, and GenerAl Raymond Odierno will join other Ellis Island Medals of Honor recipients at a Pre-Gala Reception hosted by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO) at 4 p.m. at The Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park. NECO will present the 26th AnnuAl Ellis Island Medal of Honor Ceremony on Ellis Island at 6:30 p.m. The Ceremony will be followed by a Gala Dinner in the historic Great Hall. WPIX-11 Senior Correspondent Marvin Scott and renowned entertainer Tom Dreesen will be the Masters of Ceremony.

Each year since 1986, NECO has honored our nation's diverse past by sponsoring the Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor annually pays tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America's unique cultural mosaic. The Medals are presented on Ellis Island, in a dramatic ceremony, to American citizens for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world.

According to Nasser J. Kazeminy, Chairman of NECO, "NECO is about investing in the power of caring, whereas people from all cultures and walks of life stand together arm in arm to make a real difference in our world through shared compassion and philanthropy – not just for now, but to also inspire future generations who will continue to preserve and build upon the legacy that each of our cultures has contributed. With our Medalists, we will see America at its best. We will see every color, every race from so many walks of life – together – celebrating the magic that is America. Our Medalists' influence and achievements truly inspire and touch the lives of people everywhere."

Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, and leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity. They are awarded annually to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation's most prestigious awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. To date, more than 1,800 American citizens have received Ellis Island Medals of Honor.

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