By Christine Loewe
The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and sponsors will honor the individuals, groups, and businesses that make a difference through volunteerism in Santa Cruz County at the Cocoanut Grove from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Friday Oct 16.
An audience of over 330 individuals, community leaders, and business representatives will join in honoring 54 local service champions.
“Every day volunteers touch our lives. Each of us can think of someone who has given their time to a cause we care about, the Be the Difference Awards. This provides the opportunity for the community to say thank-you and to share the engaging stories of our local change-makers,” said Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney.
“It is truly an inspiring event and incredibly powerful to stand before a room of dedicated individuals who are at the center of positive change in Santa Cruz County,” said Angela Farley Executive Director of the Teen Kitchen Project and 2014 non-profit award winner.
The 50+ honorees for 2015 come from every corner of the community supporting a myriad of causes. “These individuals and entities demonstrate that volunteerism is widespread and a key part of the culture of Santa Cruz County. Volunteers are at the heart of making our community a healthy and vibrant place to live,” said Delaney.
Be the Difference Award nominees will be publicly acknowledged for their service. Additionally, five nominees have been selected to receive special honors for their outstanding community work.
The Volunteer Center is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Be the Difference Awards: Business winner Granite Construction, Non-profit program winner CASA of Santa Cruz County, Individual winners Ceil Cirillo, Marshall Bautz, and Cori Troiani. Video highlights of their community service will be provided by Lucid Sound and Picture at the event.
2015 Be the Difference Award Winners
Since the 1990s, Ceil Cirillo has devoted many hours of service to dozens of community organizations. She tackles difficult political and financial issues; brings people together to address needs; raises and generously gives funds; and personally identifies recruits and mentors new volunteers for a variety of boards and causes. A few of her current activities include involvement on the Goodwill board, the Tannery Art Center, Cabrillo College and PAMF. Few individuals have consistently contributed to the quality of life as a volunteer leader in the arts, education, health, economic opportunity, and overall community quality of life, as Ceil Cirillo.
Marshall W. Bautz
Almost 90 years old, Dr. Bautz has been serving the community since 1979. He has been an active volunteer at The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, supporting his late wife with the Literacy Program, as well as spearheading and raising money for a new building. As a member of the Communities Organized for Relation Power in Action (COPA), he has helped structure major events and secured guest speakers to bring awareness of issues facing our community, capturing the attention of lawmakers at all levels of government. Marshall Bautz founded 3 local organizations: The Philosophical Society, the Anthropology Club and the Science, Engineering and Technology Association. These organizations provide a forum where individuals can meet and engage in discussions on various pertinent topics. Throughout his life, he has also been a member of a religious community, serving in leadership roles. For over 36 years, Dr. Marshall Bautz has given his time, energy and talent to serve his community, modeling positive group dynamics, combining scientific knowledge with social awareness and showing his respect and compassion for others.
Since the 1970s, Cori Troiani has been a nurturing and caring volunteer for a variety of organizations. Due to her love of the arts, she has volunteered at both Kuumbwa and the Arts League. Cori has additionally shared her gifts of compassion and empathy as a hospice volunteer, supporting families in the final hours of a loved one’s life. For the last 7 years, she has been a volunteer for Women Care, providing women with a cancer diagnosis with support during their treatment. Cori is a compassionate, knowledgeable volunteer, giving her service to women in their most sensitive times.
CASA of Santa Cruz County
At present, over 550 children are in the dependency (foster) care system in Santa Cruz County. Volunteer Advocates are court-appointed with a child in foster care. Each of these volunteers receive extensive training and have the power to advocate for children in foster care, bringing about lasting change in the lives of these children. Since CASA’s inception in 1992, the organization has trained over 1,200 volunteer Advocates and served almost 2,000 children and youth in foster care. For many children an Advocate is the one consistent adult presence in their life. Children and youth with a volunteer CASA Advocate are provided with the resources they need — health services, educational and vocational assistance, tutoring, and emotional support — to heal and grow into healthy, successful adults.
Business Award Winner
Granite Construction has a long history of engaging their employees in the community. Most recently they have focused their volunteer effort on supporting Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services. Due to the generosity of Granite Construction, Jacob’s Heart now has a wonderful new space where they can continue to improve the quality of life for each child and support their families. Their dedicated employees have volunteered countless hours for Jacob’s Heart. Granite’s generosity started a ripple effect, inspiring others to step up with donations and volunteer time to transform the new office space into a loving environment.