Annual Inspiration Dinner Honoring Cheryl Jennings
International Association of Sufism Annual Inspiration Dinner
The 2017 Annual Inspiration Dinner will be held Friday September 22, 2017 at 7pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael, CA. IAS will be honoring Cheryl Jennings, the former news anchor for ABC7/KGO TV in San Francisco and Host & Co-Producer of the Emmy award-winning Beyond the Headlines.
The Annual Dinner celebrates the unique expression of personal development, service to the larger good, and skilled achievement in the life of a local member of our Bay Area community. Among past honorees are: actor, activist and counter culture pioneer Peter Coyote; author and cosmologist Brian Swimme; religious studies scholar Huston Smith; Homeward Bound Executive Director Mary Kay Sweeney; Novelist Nafisa Haji; Dominican University Professor Harlan Stelmach; theologian and educator Matthew Fox, and the philanthropic activists the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.
This year’s honoree Cheryl Jennings is an inspiring example of our human capacity for multi-dimensional, heart-felt devotion to community and service. Cheryl’s story is remarkable for the determination, humility and heart that characterize her pursuit of her devotion to her calling and her contributions to our Bay Area and larger communities. She began her career on a volunteer basis working fifty hours per week at KNBR radio and worked her way up to become the longest tenured woman news anchor in Northern California. She has garnered nine Emmys, seven “Gracie” awards (the top national award of the Alliance for Women in Media), and two of the highest honors in broadcast journalism: the George Foster Peabody Award and the Radio Television News Directors Association Edward R. Murrow Award. While her value to our Bay Area community as a local reporter and newscaster who has for more than three decades brought us all closer and informed us is widely recognized, her reporting has also had an impressive international scope, leading her to travel as far afield as Mexico, Kosovo, Afghanistan, South Africa, Korea, Israel, the West Bank, Viet Nam and Peru. In 1989, Cheryl was the first local reporter on the air, ten minutes after the Loma Prieta earthquake. On camera for hours, she was also one of the last reporters to go off the air that night, and was widely praised as an example of the public service that news journalism contributes in moments of public crisis.
In tandem with her groundbreaking career in journalism, Cheryl has been an energetic and generous contributor to humanitarian causes of all kinds, often with local roots and global impact. Among the many organizations that have benefited from partnership with Cheryl are: Camp Okizu, a summer camp for children who have cancer; the Taylor Foundation Camp in Livermore for children with other life-threatening illnesses; the Performing Stars of Marin, Search for the Cause, the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto, Community Action Marin, Marin Abused Women’s Services, and Love Is the Answer, a Novato organization providing services to seniors in need. In 2005, Cheryl traveled to Afghanistan for the first time to cover the work of Roots of Peace, a non-profit mine-clearing organization created by Marin resident Heidi Kuhn. This story led Cheryl to create with Kuhn and Kuhn’s daughter an affiliated organization, Pennies for Peace, which initially helped Bay Area schoolchildren raise money to clear land mines from playgrounds and build and repair schools in Afghanistan. The Pennies for Peace program has now extended to more than 100 schools nationwide and serves communities in Israel, the West Bank and Vietnam.
IAS is proud to honor Cheryl this year and invite you to an inspiring evening to celebrate the many contributions she has made to our community and her profession throughout her memorable career.