AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Reinforcing our Commitment

-2013 Allstate Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year Award  

  • Allstate New Jersey’s Betty Neal-Mantion is the 2012 Allstate Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year

  • As this year’s winner, she’s considering which nonprofit will benefit from the $5,000 Allstate grant that accompanies the  recognition

  • Her friend’s death at the hand of an estranged husband motivated Neal-Mantion to speak out against domestic violence 

 Surprised and humble

 Neal-Mantion learned she won the award at a market operating
committee meeting in mid-March, leaving her “very surprised and grateful and
humble,” as she said later that evening. “I was trying to hold it together. I’m
still trying to grasp it. I never would have expected recognition at this
level.”

Gathering courage from others

 As Neal-Mantion considered this, she heard about The Allstate
Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign, which also emphasizes the importance of talking about domestic
violence. Even more inspired to take action, she spent a great deal of time
researching a local organization she could help, ultimately settling on Purple
Reign.

 “That generosity of those who gave to the Giving Campaign, and
their spirit of caring and giving, gave me the courage to go one step further
and hold the celebration,” she said.

 “Love you, girl”

 Neal-Mantion held that fundraising gala on July 15, 2012, her
50th birthday, and raised $2,000 for Purple Reign. The event featured music,
including a performance by Grammy Award winner Gordon Chambers, a performance by
actor/comedian Reggie Reg and plenty of noisemakers, cheering and
clapping.

 “We wanted the rafters of heaven to open up and for applause to
be heard for who [Alice] was,” Neal-Mantion said. “It was also symbolic in that
we were creating noise and awareness around the silence of the crime of domestic
violence. Sadly, most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the
police. It’s the violence plus the silence that results in
tragedy.”

 The event also included the sale of some special T-shirts.
Designed by a friend’s daughter, the shirts depict two women, along with the
phrase “Love you girl.” Those three words carry unique significance for Neal-Mantion, as
she and Jenkins would end every phone conversation by saying, “Love you, girl,”
and “Love you back.”

 In February 2011, the two women talked for nearly an hour before
their cell service dropped the call. They reconnected later that night, but
because Neal-Mantion was at a friend’s house at the time, she said goodbye and
hung up without their usual exchange. Still, the two women promised to talk the
next day. Neal-Mantion did get a call the next day, but it was from
Jenkins’ brother, delivering the news that her dear friend of 30 years had been
killed.

 The shirts, the celebration, the donations to Purple Reign and
the support and encouragement of family and friends are all helping Neal-Mantion
turn that tragedy into a “triumph.”

 “To me,” she said, “the healing is in doing something to honor
her and to help others.”

***************************************
-2016 Vashti  school of Future Leaders Community Service Award
-2016 NJCEDV Women Of Color Task Force, Community Service award
-2017 Community Service Recognition at Oziel Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Stars NJ State Wide Esther Day.
-2018 St. Matthew Women's Day Committee , Community Service Award
-2018 Harambe Social Service Community Service Award
-2018 Star of Bethlehem Chapter #26 Order Of eastern Stars Community Service Award
-2018 Northern NJ Black Nurses Association, Community Service Award
-2019 Community  Improvement Association of the Oranges (CIAO) Community service Award

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