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The James Award is named in honor of Bob James, former Memphis City Councilman and local business leader. Bob was a long-time supporter who believed ardently in the mission of Planned Parenthood. When he passed away in 2004, he left an endowment of $1 million to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for the annual benefit of Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, now Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi. The James Award is given each year to a Mid-South community member who has shown unwavering support to the ideals of Planned Parenthood. 


2018 Award Recipients:

  • James Award: Kayla Gore
  • Volunteers of the Year: Emily Berisso and Leslie Daniel
  • Young Volunteer of the Year: Sherrie Lemons

2017 Award Recipients: 

  • James Award: Shelby County Commissioners Reginald Milton and Van Turner

  • Judy Scharff Lifetime Achievement Award: the Memphis Panel of American Women represented by Joyce Blackmon, Dorothy "Happy" Jones, Modeane Thompson, Jeanne Varnell, and Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg

  • Volunteer of the Year: Felicia Actkinson
  • Young Volunteers of the Year: Bailea Coleman & Kelsey Richardson

2016 Award Recipients:

  • James Award: Representative Johnnie Turner
  • Judy Scharff Lifetime Achievement Award: Eddie Kaplan
  • Volunteers of the Year: Rachel Ankey and Tamara Hendrix
  • Young Volunteers of the Year: Hannah Piecuch, Ema Wagner, Nora Goodman-Bryan, and Annie Vento

2015 Award Recipients:

  • James Award: Clergy Organizers Against Amendment One including Rev. Earle Fisher, Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Rev. Steve Montgomery, Rev. Rosalyn Nichols, Rev. Walt Tennyson
  • Volunteers of the Year: Cara McClane and Megan Rubenstein 
  • Young Volunteers of the Year: Ozakh Ahmed and Allison Rogers 

2014 James Award Recipient: Beverly Marrero

2013 James Award Recipient: Barry Chase

2012 James Award Recipients: Gilliland Family

2011 James Award Recipients: Scharff Family

2010 James Award Recipient: Rose Johnston

2009 James Award Recipient: Betsey Mandel-Carley

2008 James Award Recipient: Virginia "Ginger" Ralston

2007 James Award Recipient: Congressman Steve Cohen

2006 James Award Recipient: Judy Ringel

2005 James Award Recipient: Jim Fri


Keynote speaker Dr. Brittney Cooper at the 2018 James Awards.


For more information about participating in this event in the future, please contact our Development department at [email protected].

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