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Alamo man receives university's Kennedy Laureate Award

Financial adviser, philanthropist lauded for career success, community service

Alamo resident Eric Rudney has been named a recipient of the Kennedy Laureate Award from John F. Kennedy University and is set to be honored this weekend in Blackhawk during a dinner fundraiser for the Pleasant Hill-based college.

The award is given to people or groups who embody the ideals of lifelong learning and community service through excellence in their respective fields and in service to others, according to university officials.

"I am honored to receive this wonderful recognition and to assist in raising critical scholarship funds to help under-served students and returning military veterans," Rudney, a local financial adviser and philanthropist, said in a statement.

Rudney has decades of investment management experience and currently works as president of Rudney Associates in Alamo.

He has also dedicated time to a variety of Contra Costa County nonprofits and has held leadership positions with groups such as Diablo Regional Arts Association, Las Trampas Inc., the Wheelchair Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Oakland Children's Hospital, Summit Bank, Chabot Science Center and Kerosene Lamp Foundation.

University officials singled out his 20-plus years of volunteer work with Las Trampas, a program that supports adults with developmental disabilities to help them discover their capabilities and to lead full lives in their home, at work and in the community.

Rudney developed the idea for the program's "Reuse, Recycle, Repeat" gift bags, which employs Las Trampas adults to make gift bags from new and partially used miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner and other items donated by East Bay hotels. The gift bags are then distributed to nonprofits such as Shelter, Inc., and Monument Crisis Center.

Joining Rudney in receiving Kennedy Laureate Awards this year are Wente family of Livermore and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend of Maryland.

The Wente family includes fourth- and fifth-generation winemakers in California's Livermore Valley. Kennedy Townsend is the niece of the university's namesake and served as Maryland's first female lieutenant governor.

The awards will be handed out during a fundraising dinner this Saturday at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum. Proceeds will fund educational scholarships, and a 1:1 matching grant up to $100,000 has been set up to support the university's Undergraduate Success Center, which offers dedicated services and resources to support Hispanic, Latino and under-served students.

The ceremony will include dinner and tour of the auto collection, silent and live auctions, and comments from the award recipients. Tickets are $300 each for a VIP Reception and dinner or $200 each for dinner. For more information, contact Anne Marie Taylor at 969-3491 or amtaylor@jfku.edu.

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