Newswise — SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University invites the regional community to join in honoring three of the world’s most deserving unsung humanitarians this fall with the presentation of the $1 million 2014 Opus Prize. Gonzaga announced the finalists earlier this week.

In partnership with the Opus Prize Foundation, Gonzaga will host the Opus Awards Ceremony & Community Reception, set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16 at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. The three finalists will be introduced in short videos that outline their work and impact. One will be announced as winner of the Opus Prize. The two finalists will each receive $100,000.

A community reception follows the celebration; attendees will have the opportunity to meet the finalists. Tickets for the event are free and will be available through TicketsWest starting Aug. 25.

The public is also invited to two other events during Opus Week, Oct. 14-16:

• Finalists will discuss their work and answer questions in a community panel discussion, Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. on Gonzaga's campus in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room.

• Spokane area ecumenical leaders will participate in an Interfaith Service, Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 5 p.m. on Gonzaga’s campus in the University Chapel in College Hall. This service will celebrate faith and humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Additional public events are being planned and will be announced.

“We hope the entire community will join us in honoring these inspiring individuals,” said Michael Herzog, chief of staff to the president of Gonzaga, and chair of Gonzaga’s Opus Prize Steering Committee.

The three finalists are: Rev. Joseph Maier of the Mercy Centre Human Development Foundation in Bangkok; Sister Tesa Fitzgerald of Hour Children in Queens, New York; Gollapalli Israel of the Janodayam Social Education Center in Chennai, India.

For more information, please contact Mary Joan Hahn, Gonzaga community and public relations, at (509) 313-6095 or via email at [email protected].

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