We were so pleased to have such a fabulous turn-out for the 2009 Be the Difference Awards Lunch on Thursday Oct 22 at the Cocoanut Grove. Thank -you to all community members who joined us in celebration of those who make a difference in our community through their volunteer contributions. We look forward to seeing you again next year!
This year 36 nominees were recognized and 5 received special honors. Below are the stories of our 2009 Be the Difference Winners:
Santa Cruz Seaside Company- through its various entities SC Beach Boardwalk, Cocoanut Grove, and Boardwalk Bowl, the Seaside Company continues a family legacy of community support for hundreds of non-profit organizations and schools with donations, in-kind contributions, release time for volunteering and special events. They also provide scholarships for their employees to attend community college or universities.
Classic Cleaners uses its resources to directly benefit the less fortunate in our community. They have worked with the Walnut Ave. Women’s Shelter, have helped people prepare for job interviews and regularly support non-profit organizations. All 18 employees participate in these volunteer efforts. Classic Cleaners has touched thousands of lives and is a role model for giving back to the community.
David Heald's dedication and willingness to lead in positive, meaningful ways is an inspiration to many. Aside from running a growing local bank he continuously volunteers for dozens of non-profit organizations and foundations- focusing on community development, helping people with developmental disorders, and small business development. His leadership style affirms every person’s strength and inherent worth. He is a visionary leader who encourages and fosters community involvement in his friends and employees.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz recruits volunteers to serve as mentors to children in Santa Cruz County who are at greatest risk of school truancy and drop-out, drug use, teen pregnancy and/or criminal activity. Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters help kids to believe in themselves and their potential. We have all heard the saying that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Big Brothers Big Sisters represents the best example of this concept.
Kitty Bolte is passionate about the environment, sustainable gardens and providing educational opportunities for other young people. She has been an active volunteer for many years through numerous organizations and community projects. She tutors students at the Beach Flats Community Center, she has volunteered at the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), and she established a garden at the Pacific Collegiate School as well as a garden club. Kitty’s dedication and initiative show that regardless of age you can make a difference in your community.