This year Cupertino hosted the Human Value Awards (HVA) for the first time, on Monday June 27th, 2011. The event took place at the Cupertino Community Hall. Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong was the Guest of Honor.

The Human Values Awards are given to extraordinary individuals and organizations that uplift humanity through their selfless service to society. The Human Value Awards have been presented to over 100 people and organizations in more than 30 cities across the United States. The year 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the Art of Living Foundation which sponsors the the Human Values Awards.

“The Greater Bay Area has some outstanding individuals and organizations that rarely get recognized for their commitment to helping others, We celebrated this occasion by highlighting exceptional achievements in the areas of, environmental stewardship, non-profit governance, unsung heroes and youth leaders. ” said Bonnie Rosen, the event chair.

Three finalists were chosen from the 15 inspiring nominees. In First Place came Kyle Weiss, who co-founded FUNDaFIELD with his brother to enrich the lives of less fortunate kids in Africa through sports and ultimately provide soccer fields, equipment and tournaments to African youth. Over the course of three years the Weiss brothers were able to raise more than $100,000 to accomplish their goals. Next, Anna Sidana, founder of One Million Lights, was awarded Second Place for working to improve the daily lives of children and adults in India by providing clean and healthy lighting. Her selfless journey to provide solar operated lights to light up lives in remote areas of the world with no electricity certainly lit up faces in the audience. The third finalist Rajni Madan, founder ofJeena Inc., was recognized for creating a friendly and safe environment for children with special needs to learn life skills necessary for self-care to help them build constructive relationships.

The finalists were chosen by four judges: Linda T. Alepin, Alicia Gonzales, Kathleen Long and Ravi Pathak. The judges have demonstrated the importance of social service in their own lives by founding unique programs such as the Global Women’s Leadership Network and City of Sunnyvale’s Youth, Family & Child Care Resources program. Along with the judges, Mayor Wong, Council Members Orrin Mahoney and Kris Wang and Rotary Club President Bev Lennihan along with members Jerra Rowland, Jagi Shahani and Mahesh Nihalani were present to support the nominees and the mission of HVA.

Following the Awards Ceremony a brief Networking Session took place during which nominees mingled with others and were able to share ideas and vision for their respective organizations. Overall, HVA united individuals who take initiative to improve the lives of others through various service groups. “We had an wonderful evening and thank you so much for providing this opportunity to know more organizations who are doing the great service for our communities locally and internationally,” said Betty Yuan, representing NCCCAF, one of the nominees for the award.

The Art of Living Foundation is an educational non-profit organization with a mission to educate and strengthen the individual, and to create a violence-free and stress-free society. It offers educational programs to eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging, restore human values, and encourage people from all backgrounds, religions and cultural traditions to come together in celebration and service. Founded in 1981, the Foundation works in a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and provides guidance on how to aid countries with education reform, disaster relief, economic development, peace initiatives, and conflict resolution