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2013-14 Be Greater Honorees
July 22, 2014
On April 12, Hawks honored the Houston County Sharks, the Georgia High School Association Interscholastic Wheelchair Basketball State Champions with the Be Greater award. The Hawks partnered with the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs to host a basketball clinic for these athletes last month at Philips Arena.
On April 9th, the Hawks honored Miles Jackson with the Be Greater award. Jackson is the founder of The Books For Miles Foundation, a Georgia non-profit organization that provides literacy events & workshops all over Atlanta. Miles has distributed over 5,000 books & has raised almost $1,000 towards literacy advocacy programs.
On March 27, the Hawks honored five dedicated volunteers of the Atlanta Red Cross' Disaster Action Team with the Be Greater award. Shakelia Finley, Robert Prichard, Stephanie Ranker, Kevin Sanders, and Odell Lewis work tirelessly to help in time of disaster, when someone needs life-saving blood, or the comfort of a helping hand.
On March 21, the Hawks honored GMA anchor Robin Roberts with the Be Greater award. In 2012, Roberts battled with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. She is now an official Ambassador of Hope for Be The Match, to raise awareness for MDS.
On March 15th, the Hawks honored Joe & Peggy O’Toole, volunteers at the Robert D. Fowler YMCA in Norcross, Georgia. Joe & Peggy have been a part of the YMCA’s Empowering Healthy Living Program. The O’Toole's are shinning examples of community spirit and what it means to work together to help people stay healthy and active.
Students from BCMS were honored on Feb. 22nd for tackling violence and bullying head-on at their school. The impact was so powerful that it led to a school-wide pledge to stop bullying and violence from happening at their school. To thank the students, Beat Starters Music, Domani Harris, and Hawks's Mike Scott visited BCMS.
Michelle Sollicito, creator of the "Snowed Out Atlanta" Facebook page, was honored by the Hawks on February 19th. Sollicito's Facebook page immediately connected people in need with those that could help after the treacherous snowstorm this past month. SunTrust has donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross in her name.
On February 8th, Hawks honored James Shepherd, co-founder of the Shepherd Center.The center is a nationally ranked rehabilitation facility in Atlanta that has served as an official sponsor for the wheelchair division of the Peachtree Road Race since 1984. Congratulations James!
Nell Benn, the Executive Director of the Agape Youth & Family Center, was honored at the Hawks vs. Pacers game on Feb. 4 . The Agape Center serves more than 2,000 children from under-served families in Atlanta throughout the year and provides mentoring, youth summer programs and a weekly fresh produce program. Congrats Nell!
Congrats to Arturo Cantu who was honored at the Hawks vs. Spurs game on Jan. 24. Cantu runs the Y’s Welcoming Hispanic Families program at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church where they help to maintain their Hispanic heritage while assimilating into American culture and promote a strong work ethic to excel in school.
Scott Jergler was honored as our Be Greater honoree at the Hawks vs. Heat game on January 20, 2014 for his work residing over the Atlanta Police Athletic League, a juvenile crime prevention force that is dedicated to providing educational and athletic activities for children ages 8 to 18 years old in high-risk neighborhoods.
Congrats to Muhammed Khan who was honored at the Hawks vs. Jazz game on Dec. 20th! Khan is a mentor, role model and coach for kids in his community and has played an integral role in the YMCA’s Wal-Mart sponsored Summer Feeding Program that brings meals to under privileged children in Cobb County.
Koren Lewis, an Atlanta teen who mentors the youth leaders of tomorrow, is the VP on the Teen Advisory Board for Girl Talk, Inc. which is a mentoring program that aims to help young teenagers build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the value of community service.
Our Honoree at the Hawks vs. Wizards game on Dec. 13th was Robert Owens, Founder and CEO of Party With A Purpose Inc. which is a non-profit organization that provides resolve for issues like domestic violence, education and HIV/AIDS by fusing entertainment, education and philanthropy to initiate change in our community.
Dana Spinola, Founder and CEO of Free Fab’rik Charities, was honored at the Hawks vs. Thunder game on Dec. 10th. Free Fab'rik Charities offers struggling young women job mentoring relationships in retail business, along with the opportunity to shop in a boutique setting, all while being surrounded by positive influences.
Kailey Landress was our Be Greater Honoree at the Hawks vs. Clippers game on Dec. 4. The 13 year-old started her own charity, "Socks for Soldiers", collecting nearly 10,000 pairs of socks to send overseas. Kailey is also partners with Relay for Life and has raised $7,000 to further cancer research over the past three years.
Ryan Hidinger was honored at the Hawks vs. Pistons game on Nov. 20 as our Be Greater Honoree. Hidinger is a local chef and founder of The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit foundation that offers assistance to members in the restaurant industry experiencing unexpected hardships. Congrats Ryan!
Cyerra Crumrine, a Volunteer Coordinator with Operation P.E.A.C.E., an Old Fourth Ward non-profit that empowers families to be self sufficient, was honored during the Hawks vs. Celtics game on Nov. 23. Through her work, she has touched the lives of many families not only as a great neighbor but an outstanding community leader.
Jorge Orlandini was honored during the Hawks vs. Magic game on Nov. 9th. After serving his country for 8 years, Orlandini joined Team Red, White, and Blue, assuming the role of Atlanta Chapter Captain where the main goal is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
Marian Joiner, founder of Skills for Life, a program that provides social experiences for adults that have been identified as Autistic, was honored on April 2 when the Hawks took on the Chicago Bulls. Marian has worked for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over 25 years helping to provide mentors for all Autistic individuals. Since it’s inception in Gwinnett County 15 years ago, Marian has spread her program through out six other counties in the Atlanta area. Congrats, Marian!
Atlanta's own hip-hop artist, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, the grammy-award winning member of Outkast, was the first 2013-14 Be Greater Honoree. He is the founder of The Big Kidz Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing socially conscious youth through the use of humanities in local schools.