Be More


Each year, the annual WEDU Be More Awards celebrate the human spirit and showcase the best work by nonprofit organizations in West Central Florida and the individuals that support them.

Join us as the winners are announced at the 12th annual luncheon and ceremony.


until the 2017 WEDU Be More Awards Luncheon & Ceremony

Thursday, February 23, 2017


The 12th Annual WEDU Be More Awards Luncheon and Ceremony will be held Thursday, February 23 at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC (Google Maps).



Innovation Award

Recognizes initiatives, projects, and/or services that are unique, creative, or innovative and will be presented to the organization responsible for the development, coordination, delivery, and results of the project.


  • Current Initiatives
  • Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, Inc.
  • Oldsmar Cares, Inc.
  • Project Prosper, Inc.
  • Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan, Inc.
  • USO Central Florida, Inc.



Small Nonprofit Award

Recognizes an organization with a budget under $500,000 and despite its modest size, has a major positive impact on our community.


  • Angel Snugs, Inc.
  • Community Food Pantry (Village Presbyterian Church)
  • Dress for Success Tampa Bay
  • Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Family Promise of Greater Brandon, Inc.
  • MEOW Now
  • NOMADstudio, Inc.

Details & Nominees


Judges’ Choice Award

Recognizes an organization demonstrating an overall appeal due to its original and extraordinary approach to its respective project.


  • Community Tampa Bay
  • Foundation for Foster Children
  • Old McMicky’s Farm Foundation
  • Oldsmar Cares, Inc.
  • Project Prosper, Inc.



Arts & Culture Award

Recognizes culturally-based organizations that contribute to the spirit of adventure and exploration through education in the arts and culture.


  • Florida Holocaust Museum
  • Foundation for Foster Children
  • Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
  • Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Inc.
  • The American Stage Company
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, Inc.



Special Events Award

Recognizes the uniqueness and effectiveness of a special event and the success in achieving outlined objectives.


  • Artz for Life Academy, Inc.
  • Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc.
  • Beat Nb Cancer Foundation, Inc.
  • CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse, Inc.)
  • Easter Seals Florida, Inc.
  • Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Inc.
  • The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation, Inc.



Engaged Philanthropist Award

Recognizes an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the nonprofit community by engaging entrepreneurial skills and expertise.


  • Dorothy Bedlin, Tampa Bay Parrot Head Club
  • Martin Borell, The Florida Holocaust Museum
  • Steve Giammichele, The Red Apple School, Inc.
  • Kelly Kowall, My Warrior’s Place

Details & Nominees


Warren Averett People’s Choice Award

Exhibits the connection and relationship the organization has with the community and the people it serves.


  • Agency for Community Treatment Services
  • Big Cat Rescue
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Inc.
  • The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation, Inc.
  • The Dysautonomia Project, Inc.

Details & Nominees


Nielsen Marketing Campaign Award

Recognizes the execution of creative and results-driven original marketing campaigns using multimedia platforms.


  • Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc.
  • Big Cat Rescue
  • Children First, Inc.
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Inc.
  • Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc.
  • Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa



Rising Star Award

Recognizes an individual, under the age of 21, who has distinguished himself or herself in the community.


  • Sally Campbell, Sallybrating with a Cause
  • Lexie Diez, Sand Life Volleyball / Hope Children’s
  • Ryan Regan, Suncoast Hospice / Empath Health
  • Jordan Tralins, The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation

Details & Nominees


Outspoken Volunteer Award

Bestowed upon the individual, family or group that has lent a unique voice to bring awareness, credence, support, or action to an issue or cause.


  • Deborah Humphrey, Family Promise of Greater Brandon, Inc.
  • F. Morgan Roberts, RCMA-Redlands Christian Migrant Association
  • Melanie Salava, Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
  • Jennifer Smith, Angel Snugs, Inc.
  • Julie Weintraub, Hands Across the Bay
  • Jamie Zinober, Gasparilla Music Foundation

Details & Nominees


Educational Outreach Award

Recognizes an organization that through a specific project offered guidance, knowledge, emotional or physical support, and/or a mentorship program.


  • CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse, Inc.)
  • Coexistence, Inc.
  • Directions for Living
  • Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.
  • Starting Right, Now
  • The Dysautonomia Project, Inc.
  • The Junior League of Tampa, Inc.



ABC Action News Award

Bestowed upon an individual or group of people whose simple act of kindness made a tremendous impact on someone’s life.


  • Bimal Bhojani
  • Jordan Litowchak
  • Deputy James Walker



Best Use of Video Award

Recognizes an organization with the best short video that has the power to compel someone to seek services, volunteer time, or support the organization financially.


  • Beat Nb Cancer Foundation, Inc.
  • Big Cat Rescue
  • Coco’s Pet Ranch
  • Daystar Life Center
  • Directions for Living
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children, Tampa
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg

Details & Nominees


Nonprofit Organization of the Year

Awarded to one organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency be more.


  • Glazer Children’s Museum of Tampa
  • Coexistence, Inc.
  • Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc.
  • Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan, Inc.
  • Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa



The WEDU Be More Awards are open to all nonprofit organizations located in the WEDU PBS viewing area.

This includes: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Highlands, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Lake, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties.

The submission of an application or nomination is free of charge to all nonprofit organizations.

  • Organizations may apply in more than one category by submitting a separate and distinct application packet.
  • All campaigns, events, projects, and programs must have occurred between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.
  • Application packets must be submitted in an organized and cohesive manner using the official 2017 WEDU Be More Awards application available for download. Submissions not meeting this condition will not be eligible for an award.
  • All submissions become the property of WEDU PBS and will not be returned.

The winning organizations will be announced during the WEDU Be More Awards luncheon on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center. (Tickets are required to attend.)


The WEDU Be More Awards consist of a variety of categories. Please review the categories to determine the format of your submission. Some categories will require a completed, printed and signed application with supporting materials, while other categories require an online nomination.

If the category you are applying for requires a completed, printed and signed application, all requested information must be included or the applying organization will not be eligible for an award.

For application categories:

  • Include 2-4 examples of materials supporting your application that demonstrates why your organization is the most deserving of a WEDU Be More Award.
  • Applications must include a current copy of organization IRS determination letter indicating 501(c)(3) status.
  • Submitting organizations must include six (6) identical submission packets including your 2-4 examples to be distributed for judging. Copies of your WEDU Be More Awards application must be included with each packet. Applications and supporting materials will not be returned.

Award applications must be postmarked by October 28, 2016. WEDU is located at 1300 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607. Applications may be delivered to WEDU Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hand delivered applications must arrive by 5 p.m. on October 28, 2016. Late submissions will not be accepted.


Final judging will take place from November 4, 2016 to December 12, 2016. The WEDU Be More Awards judges are impartial business, philanthropic and civic leaders from the WEDU viewing area. Judges will not review any organization’s application with which they have a personal or professional affiliation. All applications will be screened by WEDU staff members to ensure application criteria are met. Judges will not review incomplete applications. All judging is based on a point system. Top nominees in each category will be notified via telephone and a letter from WEDU no later than January 13, 2017. All decisions are final.


The 2017 WEDU Be More Awards are made possible by:

ABC Action News
Tampa Bay Times
Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors
Greenberg Traurig
Bank of Tampa
TECO An Emera Company
Bryan Glazer Jewish Community Center
American Marketing
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, strategic partner
Bernard F. and Mary Ann Powell Foundation
Interested in sponsoring the 2017 WEDU Be More Awards? Check out our sponsor packages (.PDF)
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