WEDU Be More Awards

Philanthropy Friday Winner of the Week


Friday, July 29, 2016

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties

WEDU Be More Humble, Warren Averett People’s Choice Award

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc. influences successful outcomes in early education. The nonprofit organization accomplishes this by ensuring quality programs that positively impact every child and how early learning is viewed in our community, supporting parenting outreach and education, and by building strong connections with our community.

The coalition empowers parents to establish and maintain control over the education of their children and to become advocates on their own behalf. It engages the community by providing opportunities for involvement, growth and empowerment, acknowledges leadership responsibility by networking and forming collaborative relationships with other organizations and groups, and advocates for innovative, responsive and effective community-based services. Learn more about this organization 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, July 15, 2016

Quantum Leap Farm, Inc.

Quantum Leap Farm helps people of all ages and abilities grow strong, achieve therapeutic goals and overcome challenges through equine-assisted therapies. Quantum Leap’s Stirrup Hope event, with a goal of raising $100,000, with the help of 400 guests actually raised $300,000 - the organization’s largest event! Quantum Leap has been able to add 4 part-time and 1 full time staff members to help enhance the quality of care and services they offer.



Friday, July 8, 2016

Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay

Hands Across the Bay prides themselves that the donations from their supporters are going directly to assist families and other small organizations in the community. With donated office space and supplies, Julie also personally guarantees that her time and efforts at Hands Across the Bay are 100% volunteered. Despite being a very small organization, Hands Across the Bay assists and mentors hardworking families in need, advocates for change and supports other organizations. Through their work, they hope to inspire the community to become more compassionate, empathetic, and charitable.



Friday, June 24, 2016

John Auer, American Strategic Insurance (ASI)

American Strategic Insurance (ASI) under the leadership of CEO John Auer has invested in the community by partnering with R’Club Child Care, Inc., a non-profit child care provider, to provide both their employees AND the community with high level professional child care.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Wheels of Success

Wheels of Success discovered a need of credit score relief for the working poor. With that in mind, Wheels of Success partnered with GTE Financial to create the ABC-GTE Financial 0% Financing Program to help provide clients a means to improve their transportation options when credit history eliminated financially reasonable options. The impact of this new program has enabled Wheels of Success to be more impactful by assisting more clients get on the road.



Friday, June 10, 2016

Metropolitan Ministries

Metropolitan Ministries wants to show us that anyone can Be Hope through their Hello My Name Is Hope campaign. The concept was developed in collaboration with community partners and works to shine a light of Hope on the dark issue of poverty and homelessness.



Friday, June 3, 2016

The Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc.

The Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation’s winning video shared personal stories from staff and others impacted by distracted and drunk driving. These powerful personal accounts shown in the video encouraged donations to the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation in support of community outreach that raises awareness about distracted driving and the impact it has on lives.



Friday, May 27, 2016

Andrew Lumish

As a self-employed carpet cleaner, Andrew Lumish of Land 'O Lakes gets only one day off a week. And on most of those Sundays he uses his cleaning skills to honor veterans and their families- anonymously. Until now. Lumish has done research to find products that will clean limestone, slate, marble and granite without damaging the stone. He's a history buff who researches the lost veterans who served in conflicts dating back to the Civil War.



Friday, May 13, 2016

Melissa Dohme

In January of 2012, Melissa Dohme’s high school ex-boyfriend brutally attacked her by stabbing her 32 times in the neck, face, arms, and hands in an attempt to take her life. It is a true miracle that she is alive today after flat-lining four times and suffering a stroke from a massive amount of blood loss. Following that horrific night, Melissa felt the conviction to become an advocate and speak out against domestic violence. She has shared her story with thousands by speaking at various domestic violence events. Her deepest passion is speaking to high school and college students because she met her abuser in high school.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Florida Holocaust Museum

The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered of died in the Holocaust. The museum, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is providing the Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust program (LEAS) for the first time in Florida.



Friday, April 29, 2016

Leigh Dittman

As an infant, Leigh was diagnosed with brittle bone disease and has been a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa since. 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.



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.