Be the Difference Awards | May 18th, 2022 at the Santa Cruz Warriors Arena

Recognizing the people, groups, and businesses who do the most to transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person & in spirit -- Be the Difference Awards 2022 was a huge success!

Be the Difference Awards 2022 was an inspiring and uplifting event during a time when we need good news and joyous occasions more than ever! Our 2022 Nominees and Award Winners truly embody the spirit of service. Our community is stronger because of all of our volunteers - thank you for Being the Difference! Check out the Winner Movies below produced in partnership by the Volunteer Center and Media Partner KION News Channel 5/46.

Group Winner - Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes

The pandemic increased the number of people seeking help from Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes by a whopping 41%!  As they always do, this group of essential workers engaged 360 volunteers who donated 16,000 hours to serve over 30,000 healthy, fresh meals to our neighbors last year.

Individual Winner - Jackson Goudreau

Jackson volunteered every day at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Covid Vaccine Clinic, even while attending pre-med school classes at UCSC.  Early in the Pandemic, Jackson gave his own vaccine appointment to a new grandfather so he could safely meet his new granddaughter!  He is also a youth leader, and has dedicated over 2,500 hours coaching and mentoring high school marching band students and drum majors, leading them to the California State Championship Title.

Jackson is graduating from UCSC this Spring 2022 and will be attending medical school at UCSF - Congratulations Jackson!

Business Winner - KindPeoples

Since their opening in 2014, KindPeoples made engaging their employees and customers in community good part of their mission. From beach clean-ups to hosting First Fridays to their KindPeople’s Cares Program, dozens of nonprofits and hundreds of community members are grateful for their support.


"Power Couple Winners" - Helen & Mike Waller

This dynamic duo has transformed London Nelson Community Center with their talents, passion and commitment to community.  Helen has logged 2,300 hours teaching line dance classes at the Senior Center to promote fitness and connection, and took her classes online during the pandemic, reaching over 4,000 people. Mike adopted the 1 acre Laurel Park surrounding the Center and has turned it into an oasis of drought resistant, beautiful plants.

Volunteer Center 2022 Legacy Awards -                                          Barbara Bautz | Melody Sharp | Susan Cabrera

In 2022 three incredible matriarchs of the Volunteer Center retired from the Board of Directors after a combined 80 years of service to the Center. The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County recognized Barbara, Melody and Susan for their service with a Legacy Award, presented at Be the Difference Awards 2022.



MaryAnne Carson

MaryAnne Carson

Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer - Santa Cruz County Bank

jim brown headshot

Jim Brown

Executive Director - Arts Council Santa Cruz County

Audries Blake headshot

Audries Blake

Assistant Director of Community Relations- UCSC

Angela Cline

Angela Cline

Business and Financial Analysis Director- UCSC

Katie Fairbairn

Katie Fairbairn

Vice President, Communications & Organizational Development – Santa Cruz Community Credit Union


Kolby Higgins

Integrated Marketing Solutions Consultant–        Fox 35

Joe Foster

Joe Foster

 Public Affairs Manager– Kaiser Permanente

BTD Judge- Amy Ivey

Amy Ivey

Vice President, Marketing & Development– Bay Federal Credit Union


Shannon Stabler

Public & Community Relations Supervisor - Santa Cruz Warriors

David Eakin 300x300

David Eakin

Senior Media Advisor– KION 5/46

Presenting Sponsor & Media Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

BFCU logo editable
County Bank Logo2

Impact Sponsors

2021 UC Santa Cruz Logo - Blue RGB
Team Wilbur

Supporting Sponsors

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Each year five winners are selected from our collective of nominees. We invite you to view the annual highlight videos of our past winners.

2020 Be the Difference Awards Watch Party Celebration  |  Thanks For Joining Us!

Recognizing the Top 50 People, Groups, and Businesses who do the most to transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism.

Each year we ask you to share your extraordinary stories of those who make our community a happier, healthier place to live through volunteerism. Once again... you delivered! As always it was an honor to celebrate your chosen nominees.

A huge thank you to the more than 200 people who joined us online for the Watch Party Premiere of the 2020 Be the Difference Awards. If you missed this fabulous hour of entertainment and inspiration in celebration of our top 50 nominees you can still watch right here, on YouTube, or on Facebook.


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