SOURCE: Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice, San Jose

February 28, 2008 19:46 ET

Dr. Richard Levy and John & Denise York Named 2008 Silicon Valley Exemplary Community Leadership Award Honorees

Silicon Valley Conference for Community & Justice Will Present Awards at 43rd Annual Gala on May 8, 2008

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - February 28, 2008) - Dr. Richard Levy, chairman of Varian Medical Systems, Inc., Palo Alto, and the San Francisco 49ers RESPECT campaign, represented by Denise and John York, owners of the 49ers, have been named recipients of the 2008 Silicon Valley Exemplary Community Leadership Awards.

The awards have been presented annually by the Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice (SVCCJ), San Jose, and its predecessor organization for 43 years. Dr. Levy and the Yorks will be honored on Thursday, May 8, 2008, at a Gala dinner benefit at the Fairmont San Jose.

Dr. Levy is being honored for his many contributions to Silicon Valley's social welfare, such as championing the extension of health care to vulnerable populations and leading targeted giving for the emerging community needs of our most disadvantaged communities through United Way.

Denise and John York are being honored for the San Francisco 49ers RESPECT community outreach campaign, created to leverage the power of the 49ers brand and the players and coaches to demonstrate the importance of showing RESPECT. The campaign teaches Bay Area youth about the importance of demonstrating RESPECT for their families, schools and communities.

Leading the planning committee for the event are Michael J. Fister, president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems, Inc., chair for Denise and John York, and Tim Guertin, CEO of Varian Medical Systems, chair for Dr. Levy.

This black tie optional awards dinner benefits SVCCJ programs and honors Silicon Valley industry and community luminaries. Honorees are chosen for their outstanding personal and organizational leadership and for setting examples to emulate for creating a just and diverse multi-cultural society.

For Gala tickets ($2,500 for a table, $250 for individual tickets), contact Sandra Gray, SVCCJ, 408-286-9663, extension 336.

About Dr. Richard Levy: Richard Levy has been chairman of the Varian Medical Systems Board of Directors since 2002. He was CEO of the company from 1999 to 2006.

Levy holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate in nuclear chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is also vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Co-Chairman of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network's Smart Health Initiative. He is a member of the boards of directors of Sutter Health, Pharmacyclics, Inc., and newly-elected Chairman of United Way Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Advisory Panel of the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth and is an active participant in summits for CCI (Center for Corporate Innovation, Inc.), with a focus on improvement of the national healthcare system. He is a past chairman of the board of directors of the American Electronics Association.

About Denise and Dr. John York: In addition to working tirelessly to achieve success on game day, Denise and John provide thousands of people in their community the tools to succeed in life. Under their leadership, the team's community program and 49ers Foundation has grown tremendously. In 2007, 49ers players, coaches, staff and alumni participated in 170 community events and donated more than 3,500 hours of volunteer time, while the 49ers Foundation has grown from $200,000 to a record $1.5 million raised and donated in 2007 to Bay Area non-profit organizations and causes, bringing the total to more than $5.5 million over the last five years.

The 49ers Foundation is closest to their heart, founded in 1991 and one of the oldest of its kind. Both John and Denise personally head many of the Foundation's activities, making frequent visits at the 49ers Academy, a classroom program serving 6th, 7th and 8th grade at-risk students in East Palo Alto. The two periodically drop in to work with students in the Academy's small, nurturing and personalized environment.

Under the couple's direction, the team also took a significant step in 2006, spearheading the "Respect Campaign," which works with youth to impart the value of respect in three important areas of their lives: families, schools and communities.

Denise and John were instrumental in the Foundation's major fundraising programs during the last two seasons with the sale of the 49ers Respect Rim baseball cap. All the proceeds from the sale of the Respect Rim went to the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium and Partners Ending Domestic Abuse. To date, the Respect Rim has raised $53,400 to support the cause.

The couple has also continued to emphasize the importance of the Foundation's involvement in the Bayview/Hunters Point YMCA and the Hunters Point Boys & Girls Club.

Along with the team's owners, 49ers players, alumni, coaches and staff frequently visit the Bayview/Hunters Point YMCA, donate tickets to the youth and financially support the YMCA's programs. Most recently, the 49ers Foundation pledged $250,000 over a five-year period to renovate the new facility. John was on hand to help Bayview community leaders cut the ceremonial red ribbon in November, 2005 in honor of the grand opening of the gymnasium.

Denise and John also have continued to support the efforts of the Hunters Point Boys & Girls Club, one of the Foundation's yearly beneficiaries. Their partnership with the City and the San Francisco Giants has helped to expand recreational opportunities for youth in one of the most underserved neighborhoods in the Bay Area.

About Silicon Valley Conference for Community & Justice (SVCCJ): Founded in 1965 as the regional office of The National Conference of Christians & Jews, SVCCJ is the only Northern California/Silicon Valley nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism at all levels. Its diversity training programs serve adults and young people from kindergarten through college age. Each year its programs reach 20,000 victims of crime; 14,000 youth and educators; 500 community volunteers and leaders; and engage more than 300 faith leaders in innovative programs across the Silicon Valley region. (

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