WTCI Announces 2012 Be More Awards Winners

Ceremony Featured Keynote
Speaker Rebecca Eaton

At a ceremony held March 6, WTCI-PBS honored local individuals and organizations dedicated to helping the community and all its citizens to reach their best potential with the 2012 WTCI Be More Awards. Winners in nine categories were announced: Ballet Tennessee, Creative Discovery Museum, Greater Chattanooga Area American Red Cross, Medical Foundation of Chattanooga, Orange Grove Center, Ronald McDonald Charities, Volunteers in Medicine and Sue Anne Wells. The awards ceremony featured keynote speaker Rebecca Eaton of PBS’s Masterpiece. The ceremony was held at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

"The Tennessee Valley has such a strong, hardworking nonprofit and volunteer community," said Paul Grove, WTCI president and CEO. "The efforts of these organizations are incredibly inspiring, and WTCI is honored to be in the position to provide recognition to these worthy organizations with our annual Be More Awards. It is wonderful to gather together with the community to celebrate the spirit of goodwill. Congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists, and thank you to our partners and volunteers for their hard work in making this ceremony a success." 

WTCI worked in partnership with a volunteer steering committee as well as a panel of volunteer judges for the 2012 Be More Awards. 

Judges for the 2012 Be More Awards were: Jeannine Alday, Keith Barrett, Julie Brandao, Andy Figlestahler, Lisa Flint, Scott Fosse, Lauren Hunt, Caroline von Kessler, Jill Levine, Maury Nicely, Dana Perry, Carla Prichard, George Skonberg and Lille Wills.

The steering committee members for the 2012 Be More Awards were: co-chairs Andrea Crouch and Donyale Grove, Betsy Brown, Adera Causey, Pamper Crangle, Stephanie Crowe, Missy Elliott, Lizzer Graham, Marilyn Harrison, Mai Bell Hurley, Katy Ingvalson, Christie Johnson, Mary Kilbride, Sheila Moore, Jennifer Nicely, Amy Thomas and Ruth Wilson.

Sponsors for the 2012 Be More Awards include: Blood Assurance, Hamico, Diversified Companies, First Tennessee Foundation, Baker Donelson, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, Chambliss Bahner & Stophel, Suntrust, BASF, Decosimo Certified Public Accountants, Patten and Patten, First Volunteer Bank, Johnson Hickey and Murchison, Regions Bank and Miller Martin.

Local glass artist Christopher Mosey, owner of Ignis Glass Studio and Gallery, created the award for each category.

Organizations throughout WTCI’s viewing area were encouraged to submit applications for this year’s awards in Sept. 2011. Applications were scored by a panel of judges from WTCI’s viewing area, and were based on the quality of the program/project and, where applicable, quantitative results. 

To bring further recognition to the Chattanooga area’s nonprofit community, WTCI will produce a program featuring the award winners, Be More Inspired, which will air on May 31 at 8 p.m.


Winner: Orange Grove Center
Arts & Culture Award: Creativity and innovation set many nonprofits apart and develop successful models for others to adopt. This award recognizes an organization that displays the most imaginative and creative use of original ideas to achieve organizational goals. 

The Music Program at Orange Grove embraces every aspect of music from performing, to creating, to accompanying, to moving and partnering to teach, demonstrate, validate and communicate. It is a core belief of the Orange Grove music program that people, regarless of their innate skills, have both the inclination and potential to participate in the rhythm and beat that is a natural part of the human experience.


Winner: Volunteers in Medicine
Partnership Award: Strong partnerships are critical to nonprofit organizations and help all those involved leverage resources and broaden their community impact in unique ways. This award recognizes an organization that has extended its reach into the community by developing meaningful partnerships. 

Volunteers in Medicine, Chattanooga, Inc. (VIM Chattanooga) is a primary care medical clinic which opened in May 2005. It provides medical services to financially eligible individuals and families of Hamilton County who otherwise have no access to health care and is based on a model established by former Chattanoogan, Dr. Jack McConnell in Hilton Head, South Carolina. In order to meet these enormous needs, they partner with volunteers, local hospitals, clinical, pharmaceutical assistance programs, counseling centers and many religious groups to provide full service health care access.


Winner: Ronald McDonald House Charities
Special Events Award: Special events can achieve a multitude of goals and the organization that demonstrates the most successful special event– based on measurable objectives – will take home this honor. This could be related to a series of events, or one particularly original special event or fundraiser to recognize, salute, assist, celebrate people or businesses, brand your organization and/or build/strengthen relationships with supporters. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities seeks to provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill or injured children and support programs that improve the health, education and well-being of children. A core belief of the organization is that when you change a child’s life, you change a family’s, which can change a community, and ultimately the world. Their annual Autumn Children’s Festival offers activities ranging from a petting zoo to a magic show to face painting to delighted children throughout our region.


Winner: Greater Chattanooga Area American Red Cross
Local Service Award: Nonprofits are often developed to respond to a unique community need. This award recognizes an organization that has responded to a community need and is making a significant difference in the community as measured by specific outcomes and by participation in its programs.

With every disaster comes that horrible moment when a person realizes they have lost everything. Whether it is the devastating aftermath of a hurricane, tornado or flood, or the loss of a home due to a house fire, the Red Cross is there. Every day, right here in the Greater Chattanooga Area, dedicated volunteers are on call 24/7 helping those who face the devastating loss of their home. Whether it is food, shelter, clothing or the emotional support of a hug, our trained volunteers are there making a difference. During this past fiscal year local Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers have helped 966 people who have had to deal with the aftermath of a home fire – many who couldn’t afford insurance and must now start over.


Winner: Ballet Tennessee
Innovation Award: Innovation and creativity set many nonprofits apart. This award recognizes an organization that displays the most imaginative and creative use of original ideas to achieve its mission. Examples include resourcefulness in creating a new project, program, or event, or developing a unique and inventive method to bring a particular initiative to fruition.

Ballet Tennessee has reached thousands of people of all ages, races, abilities and economic levels. In addition to performances and professional training, Ballet Tennessee provides outreach and education for those underserved by the arts community by providing free dance instruction, transportation, uniforms, performance experience, creative movement classes for children with disabilities and year-round scholarships to children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to dance. Their Dance Alive, Youth Intensive and Ballet Tennessee Summer Institute use an integrated approach to learning about dance using a theme based on a story of a wild mustang. After an exhaustive research and choreographing process, they were able to do a free public performance of their dance as well as to present an exhibit of their research.


Winner: Medical Foundation of Chattanooga
Educational Outreach Award: Many nonprofit organizations provide a variety of educational and enrichment services to the community. This award recognizes an organization that strives to educate the community through guidance, knowledge and/or a mentorship program.

The Medical Foundation of Chattanooga exists to support the continual improvement of community health and stimulate philanthropy and leadership that responds to health needs throughout the community. They also work to teach future leaders as well as our community as a whole on healthy living. Programs aimed towards this include a week long Youth Leadership Forum: Careers in Medicine, a week of “cover the uninsured week” events that partner with local media, community health programs that address obesity, infant mortality and other emergency management challenges and educates legislators about the uninsured health care crisis.


Winner: Creative Discovery Museum
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 endeavor and/or providing an independent voice for those less heard. Not necessarily driven by an organization’s measurable results, this award is decided entirely by the WTCI Be More Award™ judges based on majority vote and consensus. 

The Creative Discovery Museum is a nonprofit, hands-on children’s museum providing educational programs and exhibits in the arts and sciences. The museum serves over 25,000 children annually in filling its mission to inspire all children to explore, innovate, create, and play and to make our community the best place for a child to grow up.


Winner: Sue Anne Wells
Individual Leadership Award: Many nonprofit organizations have been profoundly and positively impacted by volunteer leaders who selflessly serve with above and beyond devotion. This award recognizes an individual who is a giving, visionary leader, often taking risks to make a difference in the community.

Sue Anne Wells had a dream of a school for girls who may need a bit of encouragement and guidance to be able to reach their full potential. Her dream was realized through dedication and hard work with the opening of Tennessee’s first all girl charter school, the Chattanooga Girls’ Leadership Academy. Sue Anne went on to set up a foundation to realize funding for the school and works closely with the students in a leadership program in which she shares her passion for horses.


Winner: Medical Foundation of Chattanooga
People’s Choice Award: PBS and WTCI are a service by the public, for the public; that is why this prestigious award recognizes the local organization that is most connected to the community and the people it serves. Through online voting, local citizens decide which organization they feel most exemplifies the spirit of the community. 

Medical Foundation of Chattanooga was selected through online voting on www.BeMoreAwards.com. Visitors to the Be More AwardsTM Web site were encouraged to nominate an organization they felt best connected with the community. Each nomination served as a vote; one vote per person was counted. Medical Foundation of Chattanooga received the most votes from members of the community.


The awards, which are part of a national program for PBS stations, recognize excellence in the local nonprofit community, bringing accolades to those who share WTCI’s commitment to offer everyone opportunities to “be more.” 

Applications for the 2013 Be More Awards will be available in Sept. 2012. Information about the awards categories as well as the applications will be available at www.BeMoreAwards.com.


About Rebecca Eaton

Recently named one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2011, Ms.Eaton took over the helm of the PBS series MASTERPIECE THEATRE and MYSTERY! in 1985, and oversaw the highly successfully relaunch of MASTERPIECE in 2008 with three distinct programs strands (Classic, Mystery!, and Contemporary), new hosts, and a new look. Eaton has brought American audiences such high-profile titles as Prime Suspect, Bleak House, The Lost Prince, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, The Complete Jane Austen, Cranford, Wallander, Little Dorrit, and the recent hits Sherlock, Upstairs Downstairs, and Downton Abbey, which drew an audience of more than 13 million viewers. Under her leadership, MASTERPIECE has won 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 17 Peabody Awards, a Golden Globe, and two Academy Award nominations. Eaton’s distinguished career has earned her the official recognition of Queen Elizabeth II—with an honorary OBE (Officer, Order of the British Empire).



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