Awesome Awards

Posted by SKEF on September 23 2014

SKEF announced the first Awesome Awards at their annual Back to School Lunch on September 9th. Master of Ceremonies, Tom Hewitt, retired educator and Crystal Apple honoree told the stories of people, families, and organizations who will do whatever it takes so that every child, every day, can be awesome. 

The Awesome Awards are our opportunity to celebrate human spirit, community, generosity and all things made possible by you. 

In addition to celebrating all things Awesome, the 700 guests were inspired by Lou Radja and his powerful story about the African philosophy of teamwork and collaboration, Ubuntu. We are thankful to both Tom and Lou for an epic recognition or our community. 

Awesome Awards Winners

First Tech Federal Credit Union has been a champion for literacy and partner with Salem-Keizer Education Foundation for nearly a decade. They have created Literacy Incentives with bumper sticker drives and Sneak Peeks, provided leadership and resources to ensure the Awesome 3000, its healthy messages, and ties to innovation in the classroom continues. 

LifeSource Natural Foods has generously supported healthy lifestyles and teaching children about agriculture and sustainability for many years. In 2012, LifeSource became more engaged with giving children opportunities to taste new foods - by donating over 3,000 pounds of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. 

The Tijerino Family walks their talk. This family of five has individually and collectively amassed over 2,600 volunteer hours in four different schools! Their hard work has supported summer school migrant students in the installation of greenhouses and gardens, and led to a heightened awareness of sustainability, independence, work skills, and teamwork. 

Norm Frink is a passionate volunteer who has dedicated his life to literacy and service. As chair of the Salem Kiwanis literacy committee, Norm sought out SKEF when he learned of the Bazillion Books for Kids program. Norm sorts books for hours a day, almost every day of the week. To date, he has sorted and distributed over 42,865 books to children in Head Start and Healthy Start and there is no sign of him slowing down!

Sodexo is led in Salem-Keizer by Dave Harvey, and makes a difference as a true neighbor and friend. Unparalled innovation, thousands of volunteer hours, and a commitment to feeding the brains and bellies of our community's children is what earned Sodexo an Awesome Award!

Shannon Priem is a communications coordinator at Salem Health, and the first and only School Supply Drive chairperson. Since it's inception, Shannon has led the effort to stock a permanent year-round school supply depot, ensuring every child, every day, has the tools for school.

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