Mrs. Janet Troutman-Simmons has been selected to receive the 15th annual Ubora Award from the African Hall Subcommittee of the Springfield Museums. The award will be presented at a ceremony on Saturday, September 16, at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Shirley Jackson Whitaker, M.D., a local kidney specialist, will be guest speaker for the evening. The presentation will be followed by a reception at the Springfield Science Museum across the Quadrangle. The Ubora Award, which means "excellence" in Swahili, is presented to an African American who has made a significant contribution to the greater Springfield area. Mrs. Janet Troutman-Simmons has a long and distinguished record of community service. When her four children were young, she held leadership positions with a number of children's organizations. While staffing the Western Massachusetts office of U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke, she headed the Domestic Action Program, assisted by Arthur Jones and Geraldine Bilik, to establish the Westover Air Force Base Tri-City Day Camp. The program was recognized nationally as the best use of government funds for inner-city children. Mrs. Troutman-Simmons also chaired the Mason Square community committee which resulted in the establishment of the W.W. Johnson Life Center, providing mental health services to a large area of the city. She was a member of the Women's Council of the City of Springfield, the Community Council of Greater Springfield, the Springfield Cultural Council, the Inner-City Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Board of the Urban League of Springfield. Still actively involved in the community, Mrs. Troutman-Simmons is currently on the Stewardship Committee for St. Peter's Episcopal Church and recently completed service on the boards of the Mental Health Association and Kimball Condominiums. Admission to the Ubora Award ceremony is $15 per person. For information or advance reservations, call 413-263-6800, ext. 325.