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2009 Be More Award Recipients

Congratulations to all of the 2009 Be More Award recipients! Read more about the many of the nominees here.


Be More Collaborative Award

Be More Hand in Hand Hand in Hand, a Stone Belt Project

The Hand in Hand Project was awarded the Be More Collaborative Award (the group/family award), for the impact their volunteers, who are Stone Belt clients with developmental disabilities, have on the Community Kitchen of Monroe County. In 2008 alone, these special volunteers collected almost 10,000 food items from throughout the community accounting for 16% of Community Kitchen's in-kind food donations.

Be More Involved Award

Be More Kelley CLD IU Kelley School of Business Civic Leadership Development Program

The IU Kelley Civic Leadership Development program received the Be More Involved Award honoring college students for their dedicated service to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). In addition to volunteering, administrative interning and recruitment, the group raised over $14,000 in the first quarter of 2009 to support BBBS programs.

Be More Creative Award

Be More Michelle Davenport Michelle Davenport

Michelle Davenport, an IU student studying theater and therapeutic recreation, was presented the Be More Creative Award for her work creating the "I AM YOU" Monologue Performance featuring clients from Stone Belt, an agency providing innovative support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Nine of her Stone Belt students worked diligently for months, finely tuning their scripts and practicing their oratory skills, to produce a truly extraordinary evening of theater.

Be More Phenomenal Award

Be More Eric Bannec Dr. Eric Bannec

Dr. Eric Bannec was awarded the Be More Phenomenal Award in the board member category for his work with the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of Monroe County. Dr. Bannec was recognized as a motivating force in the clinic's creation and for his vision, compassion and endless enthusiasm in all that he does. He works conscientiously to encourage other medical providers in the community to volunteer and provides the support they need to become established in the clinic.

Be More Knowledgable Award

Be More Arletha Dabney Arletha Dabney

Arletha Dabney received the Be More Knowledgable Award for her passion and dedication to the American Cancer Society's Body and Soul program that promotes cancer education and prevention in the African American churches through healthy living and eating. She is a tireless advocate for the American Cancer Society, working with the Relay for Life fundraiser for many years as well as the Reach to Recovery program, which provide support to newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Be More Energized Award

Be More Bella Caruso Bella (Peach) Caruso

Bella Caruso, age seven, received the Be More Energized Award for youth age 17 or under, for organizing a program at her school called Templeton Kids Fighting Cancer, which raises money for Camp Kesem, a free week-long camp for children of cancer patients operated by IU undergraduate students. Bella attended Camp Kesem at the age of six and made a transformation back to the loving and energetic child she was before the traumatic diagnosis of her mother.

Be More Sustainable Award

Be More_Cathi Eagan Cathi Eagan

Cathi Eagan, founder and chief volunteer at CanINE Express, a transport for adoptable animals from Indiana to shelters in Cleveland and New England, was honored with the Be More Sustainable Award for animal welfare or environmental volunteers. Cathy learned that there was a shortage of adoptable animals in some areas of the country and set about the labor-intensive task of moving the animals from high-intake shelters to high-adoption shelters.

Be More Bloomington Award

Be More Pat Wilson Pat Wilson

Pat Wilson was presented the Be More Bloomington Award for her many years of dedication and hard work with the Bloomington High School North chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Since 1998, Pat has been the faculty sponsor for the chapter which has become the most active Habitat youth chapter in the nation with eight houses sponsored and built in the past eight years. She is passionate about Habitat's mission, "To eliminate poverty housing and to make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action".

Be More Dedicated Award

Be More Riggins Pat & Dotti Riggins

Pat and Dotti Riggins were awarded the Be More Dedicated Award for their lifetime of service to several organizations in the community, including Teachers Warehouse, the First Presbyterian Church's service club "Koininia Circle", Meals on Wheels, Area 10 Agency on Aging, the American Red Cross, Golden Age Radio, and the Psi Iota Xi Bloomington Thrift Shop. They are also compassionate on a personal level, helping anyone in need, be they family, neighbors, friends or strangers.

Honorable Mention Awards

Carolyn VandeWiele

Carolyn VandeWiele has volunteered for WFHB Community Radio since 1994, almost from the first days the station went on the air. She began as a programmer (a disc jockey), has served as a news reader, gathers the recycling biweekly, has a show called "Womenspace" and now serves as President of the Board of Directors.

Natalie Cabanaw

Natalie Cabanaw is a waitress at Nick's. Over five years ago, she was considering ways to give back on a waitress' income. She spoke with her bosses about creating an evening to raise money for local nonprofits organizations. Thus "Third Thursdays at Nick's" was born. Natalie serves customers in the back room for a different local nonprofit organization each month, donating all her tips. Nick's adds 20% on top of what she earns.

Harold "Hal" Taylor

Hal Taylor was honored for his leadership volunteer work with New Leaf New Life. The goal of New Leaf New Life is to increase therapeutic justice, rather than punitive incarceration, reduce recidivism and help newly released inmates make a successful re-entry into society. He has been its President since 2005 and was one of its founders. He was also a major influence in starting the Trinity Episcopal Church's emergency homeless shelter, and is a constant presence at the Shalom Community Center, counseling poor and homeless people.