Community Honors Nonprofits During the Seventh Annual WEDU Be More Awards®

Winners Announced for the “Academy Awards for Nonprofits”
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Feb. 10, 2012 - PRLog -- WEDU, west central Florida’s primary PBS television station, recognized more than 61 non-profit organizations and individuals in the area who applied for honors and recognition in the seventh annual WEDU Be More Awards™, held Thursday, February 9, 2012 at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa.  Great stories, unscripted moments, inspirational messages and nail-biting anticipation were at the heart of the celebration that has become known as the Academy Awards for Nonprofits.

Hosted by WEDU, the WEDU Be More Awards™ luncheon is one of the station’s premier events and paid tribute to outstanding achievements made by dedicated and generous individuals, as well as nonprofit organizations, for 2011. For the fourth consecutive year, Tampa Bay’s own Jack Harris, legendary media personality and co-host the WFLA radio morning show, served as a WEDU Be More Awards™ Master of Ceremonies. Joining Mr. Harris as co-host this year was Lissette Campos, award-winning journalist, Director of Community Affairs for ABC Action News and host of the Positively Tampa Bay segment seen weekdays on ABC in the Tampa area. Together, Mr. Harris and Ms. Campos led the event for a 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 9th as WEDU Be More Awards™ Day; this is the seventh annual Be More Awards Day proclamation made by the City. These special guests, along with honorary WEDU Be More Awards®, philanthropist and NFL Veteran Ryan Nece, applauded heroic and valiant efforts made every day by the nonprofit community, and the outstanding achievements winners made by individual volunteers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations.

The 2012 WEDU Be More Award winners are:
Application Categories:

Be More…Informed Marketing Campaign Award
WINNER: More Health, Inc.
Finalists: Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, Suncoast Community Health Centers, The Pier Aquarium

Be More…Entertaining Special Events Award
WINNER: The Junior League of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Finalists: Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS), Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, Inc., Wheels of Success

Be More…Brilliant Innovation Award
WINNER: Lazydays Employee Foundation
Finalists: Children First, Inc., Starting Right, Now, Suncoast Community Health Centers, Inc.,Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County, The Pier Aquarium

Be More…Enriched Arts & Culture Award
WINNER: Asolo Repertory Theatre
Finalists: Glazer Children’s Museum, The Pier Aquarium

Be More…Knowledgeable Educational Outreach
WINNER: Glazer Children’s Museum
Finalists: Housing and Education Alliance, Inc., Project Prosper, Inc., Roskamp Institute
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Inc.

Be More…Humble The People’s Choice Award
WINNER: Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc.
Finalists: AMI Kids, Inc., Children First, Inc., Operation PAR,The Junior League of Tampa, Inc.

Be More…Relevant Best Use of Video ~ A short video that will, or has, compelled someone to seek services; volunteer their time or support an organization financially.

WINNER: Lazydays Employee Foundation
Finalists: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Inc., Enable America, Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Starting Right, Now

Be More…Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award
Winner: T Hampton Dorhman (Hampton Arts Management)
Finalists: Alice Darrow (Frou Frou Flip Flops), Zachary Bonner (Little Red Wagon Foundation)

Be More…Encouraged Judge’s Choice Award
WINNER: Lazydays Employee Foundation
Finalists: Moffitt Cancer Center, Project Prosper, Starting Right, Now, The Spring of Tampa Bay, Inc., Wheels of Success

Be More…Involved The Mason Dixon Be More Involved - Award for Volunteerism
WINNER: Donna Hunter
Finalists: Anthony Rizzo, Devante Robinson, Doug Durand, Virginia Papdopoulos

Be More…Giving The Ryan Nece Foundation Power of Giving Award
WINNER: Deronda Hills
Finalists: Scott Fink, Gio Brothers, Team Hope (Organized by Alison Payne), Judge Tracy Sheehan, Dan & Nicole Long

Be More…Unstoppable ~ Nonprofit Organization of the Year Nonprofit Organization of the Year
WINNER: Starting Right, Now
Finalists: Glazer Children’s Museum, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, Inc., Lazydays Employee Foundation, The Spring of Tampa Bay

The complete 2012 ceremony will be available on WEDU’s website at

Created by WEDU, the WEDU Be More Awards™ has become a nationally-recognized, award-winning program and special initiative of PBS stations throughout the country who can best tell local success stories of their unsung heroes, generate awareness for nonprofit organizations and celebrate the spirit of goodwill throughout their own communities. There is no charge for a nonprofit organization to apply for recognition, and the exposure provided by the PBS station throughout the program offers substantial credibility and promotion of an organizations’ mission. Additionally, the Be More Awards program serves as a fundraising and community partnership event for each PBS station, also a deserving nonprofit organization in their individual community.

The 2012 ceremony, celebrating outstanding achievements by individuals and nonprofit organizations in west central Florida, was also a fundraising event for WEDU. The event was is supported in part by The Bank of Tampa, ABC Action News, The Verizon Foundation, Happy Feet Plus, Tampa Bay Times, Foelgner, Roz & Straw, P.A., The Nielsen Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Levy Marketing and Awards, A La Carte Event Pavilion, AVSS – Audio Visual Support Service, Inc., American Marketing and Mailing Services, Inc and Bernard F. and Mary Ann Powell Foundation.
Source:WEDU Public Medi
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