In honor of the founder's father, the Leon David Simmons Award is bestowed upon extraordinary family caregivers of the ill, disabled, and elderly during the Annual Caregivers Award Luncheons. The luncheon is held in celebration of National Family Caregivers’ Month. COME has recognized over two hundred family caregivers from the Bronx to as far as Columbia South Carolina. Caregivers are nominated by their physicians, pastors, co-workers, employers, families, and friends.

The first luncheon was held on November 19, 2007, at the Dreiser Loop Center in Co-op City. The event was sponsored by AARP Peachtree Chapter 4997, AARP New York State Office. Jacqueline Cherry was recognized as a family caregiver for her father.

Leon David Simmons Award History

The 2021 Leon David Simmons Gala Nominees 

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Caregiver Outreach Mentorship Empowerment Inc. (COME) has worked tirelessly for the past 16 years to honor family caregivers who continuously sacrifice care for sick, elderly, or disabled individuals. Caregivers have been drastically impacted by COVID and require our support and services more than ever. The sudden impact of the pandemic forced everyone to reevaluate life, value health, and extend charity. Caregivers found themselves without home care, educational support, childcare, reduced access to medical services, and financial hardship. Some caregiver’s lost their jobs due to the stay-at-home order, and others lost their jobs due to no support in caring for their loved ones. Amongst the chaos of dealing with the everyday struggles of family caregiving, Caregivers were faced with increased trauma, and more individuals reported significant mental health concerns, including depression, suicidal ideations, and mental fatigue.


For the past sixteen years, COME has held an Annual Fundraiser Gala where we gave these extraordinary family caregivers from the community the Leon David Simmons Award in recognition of their selfless work caring for loved ones. Due to the COVID pandemic, like many, we’ve had to reimagine our Annual Gala and conducted a Virtual Caregiver Gala on November 20, 2021. We wanted to let family caregivers know they are not alone and still find a way to show caregivers that they are supporting during this time. The gala will be virtual again this year. Click the links below to view the event.

Watch our 15th Annual Family Caregiver Gala-Virtual Edition


Mirtha Garcia

"I care for my husband."


Lydia Olivera

"I care for my parents."


Norman Grant

"I care for my mother."


Jahi Murray

"I care for my grandparents."


Cherokee Black

"I care for my sister."


Natalie Clark

"I care for my mother."


Tia Jackson

"I care for my son."


Beverly Briggs

"I care for my companion."


Lisa Benton

"I care for my mother."


Rev. Fredrick Miller

"I care for my mother."