2012 Pioneer Award Presented by Amtrak

Washington Wizards and Amtrak to Recognize Three Community Leaders in Honor of Black History Month

Black History Month, a remembrance of important people and events in African-American history, has been celebrated annually in the United States during the month of February since 1976.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Pioneer Award was created by the Washington Wizards and Amtrak to recognize African Americans within the Washington, DC community, who through hard work and dedication, have positively impacted the communities in which they live. During halftime of the Wizards vs. Magic game on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, the Wizards and Amtrak will recognize this year's recipients: Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, Executive Director at Bright Beginnings, Inc.; Natalie Randolph, Head Coach of the Coolidge High School varsity football team; and Neal Henderson, Founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club. All three recipients are pioneers in their own right, and their ongoing contributions continue to enrich the Washington, DC community.

"We are excited to join forces with Amtrak to present these deserving individuals with the Pioneer Award," stated Washington Wizards Executive Vice President Greg Bibb. "They have distinguished themselves and provided an outstanding example by improving our community and we are proud to honor them for their efforts."

In addition to the Pioneer Award presented by Amtrak, the Wizards will promote special programming during home games and online throughout all of Black History Month.