Do you know who Michelangelo was?
I am sure your first thought will go to the famous artist of the Italian Renaissance born in 1475, much-admired for the "David" and "Pietà" statues and the ceiling paintings of Rome's Sistine Chapel. But the Michelangelo I am referring to is somehow even more important … at least for us.
He was an orphaned and homeless little boy that Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, our founder, met on the streets of Naples in 1944. His name was Michelangelo and he inspired our Monsignor to start what would become his life project: the creation of a Town where children could learn to become self-confident, creative and responsible participants in their communities.
Monsignor Carroll-Abbing was so touched by this little boy that he instituted a prestigious award and named it after him. The “Michelangelo D’Oro” Children of the World Award is conferred – in our founder’s words – upon persons of “upright life, without distinction of race, nationality, or religion, who have contributed in a truly outstanding fashion to the welfare of children and have rendered notable service to the cause of Boys’ Towns of Italy.”
In 72 years, since the foundation of our organization, only a few people have received this award. This year at our New York Gala on April 4, the “Michelangelo D’Oro” was bestowed upon Mr. Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO of First Data.
Thanks to his leadership gift, A Chance In Life will establish a new Fund for Entrepreneurship for at-risk youth in Italy, Ethiopia and India. Please visit our webpage to learn more.
But this year the “Michelangelo D’Oro” award goes also to another special person ...
You may have not sculpted the "David" or "Pietà" statues from a piece of marble, but you are doing much more. Thanks to your humble and generous contributions, you are providing a chance in life to our children around the world. This year and always, the award goes to you too!