Last week HAVEN held our annual Celebration of Strength where we recognize members of the community who really step up and take a lead in assisting HAVEN with our mission. Each year, we have the hard task of narrowing down our choices to just a few award recipients and this year was just as tough as it has been in the past.
Our honorees for 2011 consist of a diverse group of individuals and corporations, all doing amazing work for others. Receiving our President’s Award was Allison Kaplan and the Michigan Young Farmer Coalition – the driving force of creating and “growing” our organic garden which produced over 2 tons (yes, 2 tons!) of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.
Allison Kaplan and Ben Gluck – Ben is MI Young Farmer Coalition
Our Voice for Victims Award was given to Joni Hubred-Golden who regularly creates a forum to talk about women’s issues on her michiganwomensforum.org site as well as in other publications.
Joni Hubred-Golden with Paula Tutman
Our Phoenix Award was given to Kathy Elston. Kathy is a long-term HAVEN board member and a survivor of domestic violence. Kathy has been an inspiration to literally thousands of others through the sharing of her strength and courage.
Kathy Elston with Paula Tutman
Our Corporate Champions for Change recipients were Humana, Charter One, iscg workplace design and furnishings. These corporations are stellar examples of how business can make a lasting impact on the lives of its community members. These three businesses support HAVEN’s work through volunteerism, donations of goods and services, philanthropy and being an ambassador for change.
Denise Christy – Humana a Corporate Champion for Change award recipient with Paula Tutman
David Lochner – Charter One- a Corporate Champion for Change award recipient with Paula Tutman
Our final award, the Heart of HAVEN, was awarded to a long-term supporter of HAVEN, Diana Lewis. Diana has been involved with HAVEN for over 25 years, serving annually as the MC of our annual fundraiser event, Promenade of Hope, as well as donating her voice and skills as the narrator of a child abuse video and speaking out regularly on the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Diana captivated the audience in her acceptance speech. She so eloquently reminded the audience how we are all one community and how each individual is responsible for doing their part to change the world. Diana, along with the other award recipients our host Paula Tutman, is a true gem for our region. The willingness to step up and take a stand against violence of women and children makes such a big difference. True ambassadors, true friends and difference makers.For those that missed the night, here is a glimpse of the fun and the honors!
Diana Lewis and Paula Tutman
Mary Ann Lievois with Paula Tutman – Lievois is with iscg- a Corporate Champion for Change award recipient