Paramus-based Health Care Organization Honors Three Local Women for Courage and Advocacy

CarePlus Foundation of Paramus introduces three Northern New Jersey women - Julia Orlando, Mary Ann Uzzi, and Nancy Schuring - who are being honored at the May 29th Courage Awards Gala being held at the Venetian in Garfield.

Paramus, NJ, May 19, 2013 --( Three North Jersey women are amongst the honorees at the CarePlus Foundation 15th Annual Courage Awards Gala to be held May 29, 2013 at the Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey. Julia Orlando, CRC, Ed.M, MA, Director of the Bergen County Housing, Health, and Human Services Center; Mary Ann Uzzi, former chairperson of the CarePlus Foundation; and Nancy Schuring, Foundation supporter and owner of Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff will be recognized for their leadership and advocacy for programs and services that support the mental health care needs of others.

The Courage Awards Gala, now in its 15th year, honors and celebrates individuals, groups, and corporations who work tirelessly on behalf of others facing the daily and life-long challenges that are compounded by mental illness and mental health-related issues. Orlando, Uzzi, and Schuring join actor, Academy Award winning writer, founder of The Trevor Project and Hasbrouck Heights native, James Lecesne as honorees.

As the Director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center in Hackensack, Julia Orlando works to further the mission of the award-winning center: to end homelessness by providing a full continuum of housing services including homelessness prevention, temporary shelter, and permanent placement. Her efforts extend beyond this role to her work as an appointed member of Governor Christie’s Interagency Council to End Homelessness. She also serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Alliance against Homelessness and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the newly formed NJ Coalition to End Homelessness. Additionally, Ms. Orlando is an appointed member of the Bergen County Human Services Advisory Council and Workforce Investment Board, as well as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee to the Bergen County Mental Health Board. She was a contributor to Bergen County’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. Orlando is an active member of Women United in Philanthropy and currently serves on the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity in Bergen County. She also served on the Bergen County Sheriff’s Operation Reentry Professional Advisory Committee. Ms. Orlando is a resident of Oradell.

A member of the CarePlus Foundation Board for 10 years, Mary Ann Uzzi held the office of Vice Chair and Chair, has served on numerous committees, and chaired two of the Courage Awards Galas. Mrs. Uzzi has also served as a trustee on the CarePlus Board for the past six years, championing growth of the organization by supporting efforts to establish a Development department. As a long-time resident of Paramus, she and her husband John raised their family here and she developed strong roots within the community through participation in the "Music for Humanity" Benefit Concerts by St. Michael's College Wind & Jazz Ensembles, whose beneficiaries included Family’s Promise, Sacred Heart Church, Food Pantry, American Red Cross, and the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. She also includes membership in the Northern Valley Rotary Club and the local chapter of The American Red Cross as part of her philanthropic activities.

While Nancy Schuring enjoys local success as the owner of Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, her philanthropy extends well beyond the northern New Jersey area. A gem-buying trip to Madagascar in 2008 moved Mrs. Schuring to find ways to help the people of the area partake in financial opportunities of the gem industry. This inspired her to create The Devon Foundation, which provides gem-cutting training and scholarships in East Africa, to help locals develop lifetime skills and opportunities for employment. In the past five years, The Devon Foundation has expanded its reach by educating people in Tanzania, another gem-rich African nation. In 2012, Mrs. Schuring was introduced to CarePlus and intrigued by the help provided to so many in her area, including customers and friends of Devon, which inspired her to donate $20,000 worth of Kwiat diamond jewelry for the 2012 Gala. That donation added a substantial amount to the event’s total fundraising efforts, and created a wonderful story of giving at the event. On behalf of Devon, Mrs. Schuring is once again continuing her generosity to this year’s fundraising with another donation of fine diamond jewelry that will be raffled both at the Gala and upcoming Golf Outing.

CarePlus President and CEO Joseph Masciandaro commented that, “Each of the women represent all that is good about the work that we do and the people we touch. Their tireless efforts on behalf of others is a culture that we have developed at CarePlus, and to honor their efforts is a privilege.”

The Gala includes a cocktail hour, dinner, silent auction, raffle, and more. The Courage Awards Gala is the Foundation's largest annual fundraiser, attracting attendees from across the state, including representatives and supporters from the Northern New Jersey business community. The Foundation is currently welcoming sponsors and dinner guests. For more information, visit or call 201-986-5070.

About Care Plus Foundation, Inc. (“CarePlus Foundation”)
The CarePlus Foundation ( – a supporting arm of CarePlus – was created with a mission to decrease the stigma of mental illness and pave the way to accessibility of care for those looking to seek help. As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible in accordance with Federal and State regulations.
Care Plus Foundation, Inc.
Alexis Fatigati