On May 19th, United Way of Greater Chattanooga and its nonprofit support and innovation program Venture Forward hosted the second annual Celebrate awards, presented by Southern Champion Tray. Over 200 Greater Chattanooga leaders, volunteers, and community advocates came together at Waterhouse Pavilion to celebrate this year’s Celebrate nominees.
There were 5 categories for this year’s awards. The categories were: Collaboration of the Year, Innovation in Action, Volunteer of the Year, Nonprofit Leader of the Year, and Nonprofit of the Year. A group of community volunteer judges from in and around the Greater Chattanooga area selected the finalists and the winners.
The winner of the Shaw Innovation in Action award is Gaining Ground Grocery. Gaining Ground Grocery helps fight a problem that many of our neighbors face: access to affordable, healthy food. Innovative partnerships with local farms help supply the store, and customers are encouraged to bring their own bags or containers. Now, in Highland Park, which was previously a food desert, this store helps people of all ages, from infants to seniors, have access to meats, produce, eggs, and more at the lowest prices possible. To hear more from the winner, click here.
The winner of the Collaboration of the Year award goes to The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and Habitat for Humanity and their Eviction Prevention Initiative. This initiative focuses on housing stability, with the goals to increase housing stability through legal representation, case management, and access to flexible and coordinated funding; 2) to collect and share data to inform the scope of the current eviction crisis and inform policy solutions; and 3) to increase community education and awareness around housing issues and affordability in our community. To hear more from the winner, click here.
The winner of the Elder’s Ace Hardware Volunteer of the Year award is Iain Hoefle, who volunteers his time at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. In the last year alone, Ian has helped lead the team in repurposing pallets into shelves, raising funds to replace tools that were damaged in a flash flood, finding and fixing a leak, and teaching other volunteers how to use tools so they can contribute to other projects. To hear more from the winner, click here.
The winner of the Roper Corporation Nonprofit Leader of the Year award is Amy Jo Osborn, President and CEO of the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. Amy suffered a personal tragedy of her own, and was able to turn her grief into action, and with the support of her husband, started the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Amy projects an essence of vulnerability and passion that inspires others to join in her fight in whatever way possible, whether this be monetarily or by the giving of their time and resources. To hear more from the winner, click here.
The winner of the Double Cola Nonprofit of the Year award is the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County (CAC). This nonprofit works with child protective services, law enforcement, prosecutors, and medical and mental health professionals to provide coordinated responses to child abuse victims and non-offending caregivers. They also provide Intervention Services, clinical services, evidence-based child abuse prevention education programs for both adults and children, and so much more. To hear more from the winner, click here.
Malcolm Harris, Director of Culture & Brand Experience at Steam Logistics, was the emcee for the event. Beth Kanter, a well-known thought leader in digital transformation and wellbeing in the nonprofit workplace, was the keynote speaker for the event.
For all media inquiries, please reach out to Terran Anderson, Vice President of Community and Corporate Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.