PITTSBURGH, PA - Joyce A. Bender has been chosen as a 2006 Community Champion by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, WQED Multimedia, and the Pittsburgh Foundation, for her steadfast volunteer service to the Western Pennsylvania region. Ms. Judy Painter, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania nominated Ms. Bender for this distinguished award. The Community Champions program is part of a national volunteer recognition program called the Jefferson Awards, which, was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sam Beard and United States Senator Robert Taft. Fifty Community Champions will be chosen throughout the year and six to eight of them will be honored as Jefferson Award recipients. One recipient will represent the Pittsburgh region at a national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. In January 2007, a reception will be held to honor all the Community Champions.