Created by WEDU, the WEDU Be More Awards luncheon is one of the station’s premier events that annually pays tribute to outstanding achievements made by dedicated and generous individuals, as well as nonprofit organizations.
Co-hosting the ceremony were Lissette Campos, Director of Community Affairs for ABC Action News and host of the Positively Tampa Bay segment seen weekdays on ABC in the Tampa area and Jack Harris, legendary media personality and co-host on WFLA’s morning radio show. Together, Ms. Campos and Mr. Harris led the event for more than 480 guests through an afternoon filled with heartfelt stories and encouraging messages. Sonya Little from the City of Tampa also joined the celebration and presented the Mayor’s proclamation recognizing February 21st as WEDU Be More Awards Day.
The event kicked off highlighting a new category to be awarded during the 2014 WEDU Be More Awards. The Be More Vocal Award will honor an individual, family, or organization that lends its voice in support to a cause or issue. Named in honor of long-time local columnist Steve Otto who has served the Tampa Bay area for more than 40 years and currently writes for the Tampa Tribune, the award joins other award categories supported by local media organizations.
2013 WEDU Be More Award winners:
Be More Informed, Marketing Campaign Award ~ Broadening horizons through creative and results-driven original marketing campaigns using multimedia platforms is the basis of this award. (Sponsored by: The Nielsen Company)
WINNER: Starting Right, Now
Finalists: Children First, Inc; Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay
Be More Entertaining, Special Events Award ~ Special events can achieve a multitude of goals and the organization that demonstrates the most successful – based on measureable objectives.
WINNER: Lazydays Employee Foundation & Stageworks Theatre
Finalists: Are You Safe, Inc.; Heartbeat International Foundation, Inc.; Housing and Education Alliance, Pinellas PACE Center for Girls; Wheels of Success
Be More Brilliant, Innovation Award ~ The organization that developed an original idea and displays/delivers it in a uniquely creative way as a means to achieve organizational goals was recognized.
WINNER: Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay
Finalists: Circle of Friends Ministry; Gulf Coast Dental Outreach; Tampa Crossroads, Inc.; Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA; The Pier Aquarium
Be More Enriched, Arts & Culture Award ~ This award recognized outstanding achievement specifically for programs related to the arts, performance, historic or zoological exhibits.
WINNER: Asolo Repertory Theatre
Finalists: Art Center of Sarasota
Be More Knowledgable, Educational Outreach Award ~ This award was bestowed upon the one organization that, through a specific project, offered guidance, knowledge, emotional or physical support, and/or a mentorship program aimed at improving specific aspects of community life and introducing and/or conducting programs to enrich and empower the community.
WINNER: Florida Studio Theatre
Finalists: CASA; Community Tampa Bay; More Health, Inc.; Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA; The Familiy Literacy Academy at Lake Wales
Be More Humble, People’s Choice Award ~ Driven by an online poll with more than 30,000 [unique] votes from the general public WEDU's viewing area. (Sponsored by Warren, Averett, Pender, Newkirk, P.A.)
WINNER: Coordinated Child Care of Pinellas County, Inc.
Finalists: Children First, Inc.; Junior League of Tampa Bay; Religious Community Services, Inc.; Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA; The Pier Aquarium
Be More Relevant, Best Use of Video Award ~ A short video that will, or has, compelled someone to seek services; volunteer their time or support an organization financially.
WINNER: Big Cat Rescue
Finalists: Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay; Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County; Enable America; Suncoast Hospice
Be More Involved, Mason Dixon Award for Volunteerism ~ Mason Dixon, community philanthropist and Q105 radio personality, ultimately chose and presented the award to the most-deserving recipient - from the five finalists - that received the most online support.
WINNER: Dr. Antonio Gayoso, My Hope Chest
Finalists: Lila Mulholland; Martin Rainey; Krista Sparkman; Timmie Weisbaum; Brent White
Be More Inspiring, Rising Star Award ~ Recognizes an individual under 21, who has distinguish themselves in the community through acts of kindness, inspiration, or dedication.
WINNER: Hailey Scheinman, 8yrs old
Finalists: Haley Greene; Devante Robinson; Johouda Santos; Chaiara Sineoni; Chanel Torres
Be More Entrepreneurial, Engaged Philanthropist Award ~ Recognizes an individual that distinguishes themselves by not only supporting an organization through financial commitments, but also through action.
WINNER: Alisa Savoretti, My Hope Chest
Finalists: Karen Mertes; Natasha Nasciemento;
Be More Giving, The Ryan Nece Foundation Power of Giving Award ~ Bestowed upon the organization / individual/family who by the use of a simple altruistic gesture of time, talent or treasure, made a tremendous impact in someone’s life. Based on newsgathering with media partner ABC Action News, Mr. Nece decided the ultimate winner of his namesake award.
WINNER: Mario de Armas
Finalists: Cpl. Lonie Bingnear & Officer Michael Jasiukiewicz;
Be More Encouraged, Judges’ Choice Award ~ Given to an organization demonstrating an overall appeal due to its original and extraordinary approach to its respective endeavor and/or providing an independent voice for those less heard.
Finalists: Florida Studio Theatre; Ruth Eckerd Hall; Starting Right, Now; Tampa Crossroads, Inc.
Be More Empowered, Small Nonprofit Award ~ Recognizes organizations that exemplify the truth in the statement that “big things come in small packages.”
WINNER: Music Sweet Music, Inc.
Finalists: Ad 2 Tampa Bay; Casey’s Cookies; LAMPLighters;
Be More…Unstoppable, Nonprofit of the Year Award ~ Decided by an independent judging committee and given to one organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency be more. In addition to many other benefits, the organization recognized with this award received a $1,000 WEDU Community Investment Grant.
WINNER: The Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay
Finalists: Asolo Repertory Theatre; CASA; Florida Studio Theatre; Gulf Coast Dental Outreach, Inc.