Marjorie "Margie" Daru Fenton

Areas of Achievement: 
Community Building

Honored By

Honored by: Amazon Foundation
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Arch with Seating

"In 1995, the City of Tucson gave Margie Fenton, then director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a commendation for the ". . . dedicated and untiring efforts you have provided. Your selfless commitment, devotion and leadership . . . have truly made Tucson a better place to live. Under your leadership, the Jewish Community Relations Council has strengthened freedom and democracy by protecting civil rights and civil liberties. Through . . . the Dr. Martin Luther King Inter-faith Commemoration and the Freedom Run, you have united our diverse citizenry in the battle against intolerance." Clarence Boykins, President of the NAACP and director of the MLK Committee, calls her "my hero" and an African-American minister, Rev. William Battiste, says she is the "first lady of intercultural diversity in Tucson." She was given the Drum Major award from the MLK Committee. In addition to the above-mentioned projects, Margie developed the Holocaust Commission, the annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust) Commemoration, Project Isaiah (a food drive for the Community Food Bank), Hispanic-Jewish Dialogue, Inter-faith missions to Israel and the V.I.P. program whereby Jewish volunteers spend time on Christmas at local hospitals and the Handmaker Jewish Geriatric Center so Christians can be home with their families. She was also a board member and mentor at the University of Arizona's Apex program.

Margie was a volunteer with the Tucson Jewish Community Council (now the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona) and according to the late Dr. Benjamin Brook who was executive director, "Margie was a great volunteer. We have her everything (awards) we had. Whenever she accepted responsibility for a project, she took on the leadership role." Whether as volunteer or professional, Margie was mentor to many. She inspired others to give of themselves. When the effort began to name a state holiday for Dr. King, Margie made sure that the volunteers of the JCRC were an integral part of the Tucson committee. She also made all her volunteers feel special. Perhaps the most poignant example of that feeling was expressed by Genia Spitzer, a Holocaust survivor, "Whenever Margie sees us, no matter what she's doing, she drops everything." Many others could be quoted, but it would require volumes.

All of the above is a reflection of Margie's philosophy of life which is "you do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."

And no matter how busy a volunteer or professional, Margie is a devoted wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight." --Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona