AIFL to honor builders of ‘Diverse and Vibrant Tucson’

Kate Hoffman
Ron Barber

The Tucson chapter of the America-Israel Friendship League will honor Kate Hoffman and Ron Barber with its Building a Diverse and Vibrant Tucson Award at its annual dinner on Sunday, April 15 at the Westin La Paloma Resort.

Hoffman created the nonprofit Live the Solution, which helps Arizona families achieve financial independence and home ownership by bringing together families, employers and nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Old Pueblo Community Services, Financial Education Collaborative of Southern Arizona, Arizona Housing Alliance and Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Barber has held management positions in community organizations and state and local governments for 40 years. He became U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district director in 2007 and was standing next to her when both were shot on Jan. 8, 2011. Since the shooting, Barber and his family have established the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, which is initiating an anti-bullying program in public schools and a community educational campaign to eliminate stigmas about mental illness and increase awareness of symptoms, prevention and treatment services. The fund will also work with faith leaders to call for civility in political campaigns and public discourse. In addition to having served as the director of Head Start and regional administrator and state director for the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities, Barber has served on numerous boards, including the Educational Enrichment Foundation, United Way, Our Town, COPE and the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Proceeds from the dinner will support AIFL’s educational programs, such as the Youth Ambassador Student Exchange. Registration begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $150; tickets and sponsorships are available at aifltucson.org or by calling 322-9544.