WEDU Be More Awards

Philanthropy Friday Winner of the Week


Friday, April 29, 2016

Leigh Dittman

WEDU Be More Inspiring, Florida Hospital Rising Star Award

As an infant, Leigh Dittman was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. Leigh has been a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa since she was a baby. She had 14 surgeries and 36 breaks that the hospital has casted, and has received medication that helps strengthen her bones. But this has never held Leigh back.

For 12 years, Leigh has been on a quest to raise $1 MILLION DOLLARS for Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa. In September, at an event attended by hundreds of supporters, she achieved her goal. Leigh plans to continue helping the hospital, where she hopes to work as a nurse after college. For many children, birthdays are about themselves. For this extraordinary teenager, her birthday is an opportunity to change the world. Learn more about Leigh’s story and her mission at


About Philanthropy Fridays

The WEDU Be More Awards were created to pay tribute to the many unsung heroes in our community. Learn more about area nonprofits and volunteers during Philanthropy Fridays. We’ll highlight one winner each week through August, so check back for the latest, or follow WEDU on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to use hashtag #PhilanthropyFriday!


Past Featured Winners


Friday, April 15, 2016

Lisl Schick

Lisl Schick was born in Vienna, Austria in 1927. In 1939, at age eleven, she and her seven year old brother escaped Nazi-occupied Austria on a Kinder transport train for England, where they lived for six years before being reunited with their parents in New York. This life-defining experience has led Mrs. Schick to volunteer hundreds of hours speaking at schools and with tour groups at The Florida Holocaust Museum.



Friday, April 8, 2016

Sunrise of Pasco

Sunrise of Pasco is a catalyst for change through a commitment to ending domestic and sexual violence by providing prevention and intervention services.



Friday, April 1, 2016

Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc.

For more than a century, AAA has been a leader in the efforts to make our roadways safer and help reduce the numbers of people who are killed or injured in traffic crashes. The Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to producing a continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in our communities.


View the full list of past winners in the archive.