2015 WEDU Be More Awards Finalists

Visit the Winners Archive for videos, links to the winners’ websites, and information about past winners.

Be More Informed

Nielsen Marketing Campaign Award  |  This award recognizes the execution of creative and results-driven original marketing campaigns using multimedia platforms including, but not limited to, broadcast, print, social media and/or grassroots awareness campaigns. The applicant should demonstrate direct impact to established goals. Examples may include: A support element or collection of elements developed to promote, publicize, introduce, or create an identity or brand for a specific organization, service, program, or idea. Sponsored by Nielsen

WINNER: Ad 2 Tampa Bay
Finalists: Buddy Baseball, Inc. • Children First, Inc. • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay •
Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc. • More Health, Inc.

Be More Entertaining

Special Events Award  |  This award recognizes the uniqueness and effectiveness of a special event and the success in achieving outlined objectives. Examples may include: A related series of events, single original event, or fundraiser to recognize, salute, assist, celebrate people or businesses, brand your organization and/or build/strengthen relationships with supporters.

WINNER: High Risk Hope
Finalists: Alpha House of Tampa • Children’s Cancer Center • Friends of the Selby Library •
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Inc. • The Junior League of Tampa

Be More Brilliant

Innovation Award  |  This 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. Examples may include: Resourcefulness when challenged with a limited budget; superior utilization of collaborative community partnerships; or ingenious staffing options by mobilizing members and/or volunteer support.

WINNER: Asolo Repertory Theatre, Inc.
Finalists: Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Inc. •
Lazydays Employee Foundation / Camelot Community Care • Lift Academy •
National Society to Prevent Blindness • USO Central Florida, Inc

Be More Enriched

Greenberg Traurig Arts & Culture Award  |  This award recognizes culturally-based organizations that contribute to the spirit of adventure and exploration through education in the arts and culture by creating an exciting and engaging museum experience to visitors. Examples may include: Programs or experiences related to the arts, performance, historic, or zoological; programs that provide cultural experiences to audiences who might not otherwise have opportunities to witness or be an active participant. Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig

WINNER: Coexistence, Inc., Embracing Our Differences
Finalists: Art Center Sarasota • Florida Studio Theatre •
Glazer Children’s Museum • Ruth Eckerd Hall

Be More Knowledgeable

Bank of Tampa Educational Outreach Award  |  This award will recognize the 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. The project should introduce and/or conducting programs to enrich and empower the community. Examples may include: Outreach or educational programs that effectively raised awareness or brought a new audience to an organization or cause. Sponsored by Bank of Tampa

WINNER: Glazer Children’s Museum
Finalists: Crescent of Hernando, Inc. • Franciscan Center •
Morton Plant Mease Hospital Care Foundation, Inc. • Starting Right, Now •
Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, Inc.

Be More Humble

Warren Averett People’s Choice Award  |  This award is driven by an online poll with votes from the general public in the WEDU PBS viewing area. The poll automatically includes a listing of all organizations that submitted an application in one or more of the five application categories. This prestigious award exhibits the connection and relationship the organization has with the community and the people it serves by allowing area citizens to honor the nonprofit that they feel most exemplifies the spirit of the community. Sponsored by Warren Averett

WINNER: Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay
Finalists: Fostering Hope Florida • Franciscan Center • The Junior League of Tampa •
Metropolitan Ministries • Random Acts of Flowers

Be More Relevant

Best Use of Video Award  |Awarded to the organization that tells a compelling story through video that has the power to compel someone to seek services, volunteer time, or support an organization financially. The winner is chosen by majority vote.

WINNER: The Junior League of Tampa
Finalists: Children First, Inc. • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay •
High Risk Hope • More Health, Inc. • MOSI

Be More Involved

Mason Dixon Award for Volunteerism | One person can make an extraordinary difference. These award nominees are culled from an online poll driven by votes from the general public in the WEDU viewing area. Local radio personality and philanthropist, Mason Dixon, will ultimately choose and present the award to the most-deserving recipient from nominees that received the most online support during the voting period.

WINNER: Margaret Goodson, The David A. Straz Jr. Center
Finalists: Alyssa Katz, Humane Society of Tampa Bay • Jane Hussar, Pinellas County Schools •
Tina Narron, GTE Financial • Wade Sabourin, Heart Strings for Heroes •
Wendy Millaway, Children’s Home Society of Florida

Be More Inspiring

Rising Star Award  |  This award will recognize an individual, under the age of 21, who has distinguished himself or herself in the community directly accredited to their inspiration, dedication, motivation, or acts of kindness. Nominees represent up-and-comers whose accomplishments in, and contributions to, our community make them stand out among their peers and position them as future leaders. The top candidates that achieved the most votes via an online poll will be further researched by an impartial judging panel to decide the ultimate winner.

WINNER: Chrissy Dos Santos, Frameworks of Tampa Bay
Finalists: Allison Davis, BUDS Tennis •
Emily Brown, Kappa Delta USF • Gabrielle Mondello, Best Buddies •
Jared Thayer, Project Sunshine • Jesse Stokes, The Pink Magnolia Charities

Be More Entrepreneurial

Engaged Philanthropist Award  |  This award will recognize an individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the nonprofit community by engaging entrepreneurial skills to build a successful nonprofit endeavor. Examples may include: Utilizing a keen business sense to build a new nonprofit serving our community; providing the driving force for a unique and successful fundraising campaign to support an existing nonprofit organization’s initiative. The top candidates that achieved the most votes via an online poll during the voting period will be further researched by an impartial judging panel to decide the ultimate winner.

WINNER: Jim Freyvogel, MacDonald Training Center
Finalists: Beverly Steele, The Steele Organization (TSO), LLC •
Debra Campbell, Forward Thinking Initiatives • Glen Schubert, Instruments of Change •
Heather Barrow, High Risk Hope • Jesse Stokes, The Pink Magnolia Charities

Be More Empowered

Small Nonprofit Award  |  This award will recognize the small nonprofit that best demonstrates the truth in statement that “big things come in small packages.” This award will recognize an organization with a budget under $500,000 and despite its modest size, has a major positive impact on our community. The top candidates that achieved the most votes via an online poll during the voting period will be further researched by an impartial judging panel to decide the ultimate winner.

WINNER: Dress for Success Tampa Bay
Finalists: ECHO of Brandon • Fostering Hope Florida •
High Risk Hope • OASIS Network • Random Acts of Flowers

Be More Outspoken

Voice of Tampa Bay Award   |  This honor will be bestowed upon the individual, family, or organization that has lent a unique voice to bring awareness, credence, support, or action to an issue or cause faced by our citizens and thus making a tremendous impact in our community.

WINNER: Angela Emery, The Haven of RCS
Finalists: Greg Gebler, R’Club at Paul B. Stephens ESE Center •
Masatoshi Mochizuki, Frameworks of Tampa Bay • Metropolitan Ministries •
Niki Cross, Staar Ministry Corporation • Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative

Be More Encouraged

Judges’ Choice Award  |  The Judges’ Choice Award is given to an organization demonstrating an overall appeal due to its original and extraordinary approach to its respective project. Not necessarily driven by an organization’s measurable results, this award is decided entirely by the WEDU Be More Award judges based on majority vote and consensus.

WINNER: Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas, Inc.
Finalists: Champions for Children Inc. • Computer Mentors Group Inc. •
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful • Sunrise of Pasco County Inc. • Visions of Hope International

Be More Positive

ABC Action News Award  |  This honor will be bestowed upon an individual or group of people whose simple act of kindness made a tremendous impact on someone’s life. The winner will be selected based on the selfless giving of time, treasure or talents. Nominees and finalists will be selected by ABC Action News. The winner will be chosen by ABC Action News and The Ryan Nece Foundation – the inspiration for this award.

WINNER: Raymond Gunder
Finalists: Chelsea Oglevie & Leah Pemberton • Dani Thompson • Keith Keohler

Be More Unstoppable

Nonprofit Organization of the Year  |  This award is the most coveted and is determined through extensive research. It is ultimately decided by an independent judging committee and given to one organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency be more. Selected from all submitted applications, the criteria to win this award consists of overall organizational excellence; fulfillment of the Four Commitments to the Community, including service to the organization’s constituency, level of community impact, financial viability and embodiment of overall community goodwill. In addition to many other benefits, the organization recognized with this award receives a $2,500 WEDU Community Investment Grant.

WINNER: High Risk Hope
Finalists: Ad 2 Tampa Bay • Asolo Theatre, Inc. •
Coexistence, Inc. (Embrace Our Differences) • More Health, Inc. • Ruth Eckerd Hall