New Providence Boy Scout Council "Good Scout Award" for Community Service, 6-27-13
Union County's "Women of Excellence Award" for Community Service, 3-22-13
Christine Ferdinand received the Soroptimist "Making A Difference For Women Award" on March 25, 2009.
Christine & William Ferdinand received the American Cancer Society's "Jody A. Morrow Humanitarian Award" at the ACS's Diamond Ball on November 22, 2009.
The Operation Bling Foundation was honored with a Joint Resolution from the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate on September 29, 2011.
Christine Ferdinand receives New Providence Boy Scout Council "Good Scout Award" for Community Service, Introduced by Carol Cunningham on 6-27-13
I am delighted to be here tonight to introduce my friend, Christine Ferdinand. Almost 2 years ago Chris found herself standing in this exact spot introducing me as I received the Good Scout Award from the Berkeley Heights Boy Scouts. At that time I thought to myself...Chris should be receiving this award...and here we are. I am going to use five words to describe Chris...
FAMILY - there is nothing more important to Chris than her family. She is not shy about sharing her love for, pride in and respect for her husband of almost 35 years, Bill and their children and their spouses and soon-to-be spouses; Brad and wife Cydney, Peter and fiance Stacy, Gwendolyn and fiance Shaun. In the Spring, her grandson, Brandt, arrived. This caused quite a knitting frenzy in Chris' house and Brandt is now the apple of Chris' eye. Having lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 1991, Chris knows how important the relationships with her family are.
FAITH - Chris has a deep faith, not an "in your face" faith, but a quiet, reflective faith. She just has to hear that someone is facing a struggle in their life and they are immediately included in the journal that serves as her prayer list. Her original prayer list was on a 3 x 5 card and now has grown with names that has filled two journals. Over the years, literally thousands of names have appeared on Chris' prayer list.
FRIEND - I have known Chris since we were both high school students at Governor Livingston. Chris was a couple of years behind me (which makes me as Chris occasionally points out, older than she is!). Chris is the "go to" person in her wide cirlce of friends for advice, favors, comfort or just a nice chat! For many of her friends, Chris was the first to get married, the first to become a mother, the first to become a mother-in-law and the first to become a grandmother. As the rest of us approached or are approaching those milestones, Chris is the one we look to for advice.
FERDINANDS - (and by that I mean Ferdinand Jewelers - her "real" job, the one she gets paid to do). Chris and her husband Bill are the owners of Ferdinand Jewelers in New Providence. Chris and Bill have worked side by side as small business owners in New Providence for almost 30 years (now that's a lot of togetherness!). In those 30 years, Ferdinand Jewelers has earned a well-deserved reputation for honesty, fairness, and unwavering support for the community in which they work. I asked Chris the other day how many sets of ears she as pierced. She wasn't sure, but its numbers could be in the thousands...most are children from the local community.
And finally...the reason she is being honored tonight, FOUNDATION. Operation Bling Foundation is Chris' "baby". Although Bill is a huge part of Operation Bling, he works for and reports to Chris, which Chris likes to remind him of! Chris had a "lightbulb" moment back in 2008 and in an incredibly short period of time found herself establishing a non-profit organization which brings beautiful jewlery to cancer patients. I will let Chris share more information on Operation Bling with you in a few minutes. I will tell you that in the five years that Operation Bling has existed, Chris has been honored by the Soroptimist Club with their "Making a Difference for Women" award, by the American Cancer Society with their "Jody R. Morrow Humanitarian Award", by the County of Union with their "Women of Excellence for Community Service" and by the NJ State Senate and Assembly. Those honors along with others Chris has received for the work Operation Blind does should give you an idea of just how much of an impact the Foundation has had. I invite you each to go online at www.operationbling.org and read the testimonials to see for yourself just how big that impact has been. A word of advice though...be sure to have a box of tissues because I dare you to read the testimonials without shedding a tear or two.
So, five words Family, Faith, Ferdinands and Foundation describe Chris. It is my pleasure to introduce my friend, Christine Ferdinand.