Be the Difference Awards 2024

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"The most inspiring event of the year!"

The Annual Be the Difference Awards honors the remarkable impact of volunteers across Santa Cruz County. Join nearly 400 community leaders and fellow do-gooders for an inspiring afternoon filled with connection, community, and a delicious lunch!

When: May 8, 2024, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Where: The Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove Ballroom, Santa Cruz, CA

A very limited number of tickets MAY be available at the door.

  • Tickets: $60 per person, includes lunch.
  • Table of 8: $480
  • Sponsor a Table: Sit with the honorees!
    Sponsored tables include 4 tickets for you and 4 tickets for honorees and their guests.

This Year's Honorees

Presented by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

Legacy of Service Awards

  •  Pat & Rowland “Reb” Rebele
  • Santa Cruz County Bank


  • Crew Pointe Logistics
  • David Lyng Real Estate


  • 100+ Women Who Care
  • Cradle to Career Santa Cruz County
  • Ecology Action Bike Repair Program
  • Gardenia Amor Y Bienestar Para La Mujer
  • Habitat for Humanity "Golden Hammer Crew"
  • Santa Cruz Elks Lodge
  • The Santa Cruz Welcoming Network
  • Teen Kitchen Project Delivery Angels


  • Daryl Wise, Shared Adventures
  • Dean Spieller, Homeless Garden Project
  • Debbie Falconer, Santa Cruz SPCA
  • Dennis Cavaille, Volunteer Center Literacy Program
  • Dora Gonzalez, CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Erica Chapin, Volunteer Center's Disaster Response team
  • Gary Bencomo, Dientes, Monarch Community Services, SCC Animal Shelter Foundation
  • Geoff Alexander, Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
  • Gerri Ashton, Hospice of Santa Cruz County
  • Gerry Jensen, Capitola Business and Community Volunteer


  • Jennifer Fenton, The Equine Healing Collaborative
  • Judy Stabile, Pajaro Valley Arts
  • MaryJo Van Verth, Team Just Us
  • Nancy Murray, Santa Cruz Sheriffs Posse
  • Natalie Martinez Watsonville Community Volunteer
  • Nicola Wagner, Homeless Garden Project
  • Pat McVeigh, Habitat for Humanity
  • Sister Rosa Dolores Rodriguez, Casa de la Cultura
  • Sue Dormanen, Santa Cruz Shakespeare
  • Suzanne MacLean, Homeless Garden Project
  • Terri Fisher, Santa Cruz Hostel
  • Tom and Libby Purdy, Wilder Ranch State Park

Awards are given in six categories:

  • Social & Economic Justice
  • Families & Youth
  • Environmental Stewardship and Sustainablity
  • Health & Wellness
  • Arts & Culture
  • Building Community 

Our Judges

spencer arburn

Spencer Arburn

Account Executive,
Group Sales
Santa Cruz Warriors

Audries Blake

Audries Blake

Associate Director of Community Relations,
Scotts Valley Center,


Angela Cline

President, Volunteer Center Board of Directors, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget and Financial Management, University of California, Santa Cruz

katie denbo

Katie Denbo

Senior Director of Marketing & Employee Engagement,
1440 Multiversity

Katie Fairbairn

Katie Fairbairn

Chief Experience Officer
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

Joe Foster

Joe Foster

 Public Affairs Manager, Kaiser Permanente

Michael Fusske

Integrated Marketing Media Consultant

KION 46 Television

Michael Fusske

Integrated Marketing
Media Consultant
KION 46 Television

BTD Judge- Amy Ivey

Amy Ivey

Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Bay Federal Credit Union


Kristine Ronzano

Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager
Santa Cruz County Bank

Karen Delaney, Executive Director, smiles brightly while holding the heart of the Volunteer Center logo.

Karen Delaney

Executive Director
Volunteer Center of
Santa Cruz County

Thank you to our 2024 Sponsors!

Good Times
Presenting Sponsor

Daniel & Dorothee Moncino Charitable Fund

Bay Federal Credit Union
Kaiser Permanente

Acrisure Insurance Services

Karen Delaney

Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Fred Keeley, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz

Miller Maxfield, Inc.

Habitat for Humanity

Santa Cruz County – Housing for Health Partnership

University of California, Santa Cruz


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