Founder of Muslim Non-Profit to Receive Montgomery County Award

Community News



“Neal Potter Path of Achievement” Winners Announced

The inaugural Montgomery Serves Awards ceremony will take place Monday, April 30, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.  This event will honor some of our County’s most outstanding community leaders and dedicated volunteers.

In partnership with Montgomery County’s Commission on Aging and The Beacon newspaper, among those honored will be two Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award winners. This award, established in 1998 to honor volunteers aged 60 and older, was renamed in 2009 in memory of former County Councilmember, County Executive, and longtime civic activist Neal Potter.  This year’s winners, Tufail Ahmad and Ruby Rubens, were selected for their lifetime of volunteer service to our County.

Mr. Ahmad has been a community leader in Montgomery County for forty years. He has earned the respect, trust, and confidence of the community through his consistent efforts to bridge the gap between Muslim Americans and the larger community.  These efforts have become a model for others in Maryland and throughout the Capital area. After 9/11, Mr. Ahmad recognized the need for Muslim Americans to play a vital role in redefining their identity. He initiated dialogue between diverse groups to design grassroots initiatives.  As a result, Mr. Ahmad co-founded Montgomery County Muslim Council (MCMC), whose mission is to pursue equal social, economic, educational, and political development opportunities for all County residents. He also spearheaded several other community-wide efforts to help those in need. These include feeding the homeless living in shelters; organizing distribution of three meals a day for 7 to 10 days during Ramadan for homeless women at Sophia House; coordinating a Countywide food drive for the food bank; co-hosting various interfaith events; for the last seven years, participating in the distribution of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of fresh meat to needy families, and providing transportation services to assist seniors.  Mr. Ahmad also serves on various boards and commissions, including the Montgomery County Executive’s Asian American Advisory Group.

Ms. Rubens comes from a family with a long tradition of helping others, especially the young, the elderly, and those less fortunate. For over forty years, Ms. Rubens has been making a difference in the lives of residents in Montgomery County by devoting countless volunteer hours to a wide range of commitments.  These include providing budgeting assistance to low income families in Sandy Spring; working with the Montgomery County New Horizons Task Force to develop fair housing policies; advocating for residents of assisted housing projects before the Housing Opportunities Commission; and advocating on behalf of residents of Tobytown, Scotland, and other historic African American communities.

Ms. Rubens’ extensive volunteer work in the area of education includes being a member of the founding committee of Blacks United for Excellence in Education and its County-wide Saturday School Initiative, which provides tutoring and mentoring to enhance the academic achievement and social adjustment of African American students in Grades 1 through 12. She also has served as community coordinator for the National Council of Negro Women’s (NCNW) after-school program for more than 100 African American teen girls, and assisted in the development of the Montgomery County Public Schools Success for Every Student Plan. Her work as social action chair of the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority helped initiate the first collaboration on the County’s annual Women’s Fair, the Women’s Legislative Briefing, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Teen Day in County Government.

The Montgomery Serves Awards are being hosted by the Fund for Montgomery (FFM), the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC), and the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC).  FFM was created by County Executive Ike Leggett and the Office of Community Partnerships to raise private funding to continue important community building events that include the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and Celebration, World of Montgomery Festival, Community Service Day, and programs focusing on the County’s ethnic and heritage diversity.  The Fund for Montgomery is housed at The Community Foundation for Montgomery County, a regional affiliate of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

“Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors of the Fund for Montgomery,” said County Executive Leggett, “the County will be able to recognize residents who have given selflessly to help our neighbors in need and improve our quality of life.”

For information about the April 30th awards event and to reserve free seats, please visit or call the Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600.

Source: Montgomery County Press Release, April 9, 2012