Meet the Stars of Volunteer Service

Introducing the 2024 Be the Difference Honorees!

Tickets Now Open for the Heartwarming Community Event at The Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove

In an inspiring celebration of service and community spirit, the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County is set to host the 2024 Be the Difference Awards on Wednesday, May 8, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Ballroom.

The annual luncheon, a cherished tradition presented by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, recognizes the selfless contributions of individuals, groups, and businesses that make significant contributions to Santa Cruz County through their commitment to volunteerism. Nearly 400 civic and community leaders will come together to celebrate this year’s honorees.

And you’re invited to join the fun!

Please meet the 2024 Be the Difference Honorees:

Arts & Culture
David Lyng Real Estate
Sue Dormanen, Santa Cruz Shakespeare
Pat McVeigh, Habitat for Humanity
Judy Stabile, Pajaro Valley Arts

Building Community 
100+ Women Who Care
Crew Point Logistics LLC
Erica Chapin, Volunteer Center’s Disaster Response team
Terri Fisher, Santa Cruz Hostel
Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay – “Golden Hammer Crew”
Gerry Jensen, Capitola Advocate and Activist
Nancy Murray, Santa Cruz County Mounted Posse
Santa Cruz Elks Lodge

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
Ecology Action Bike Repair Program
Geoff Alexander, Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks
Nicola Wagner, Homeless Garden Project
Suzanne MacLean, Homeless Garden Project
Dean Spieller, Homeless Garden Project
Tom and Libby Purdy, Wilder Ranch State Park Docents

Families & Youth
Cradle to Career Santa Cruz County
Daryl Wise, Shared Adventures Volunteer
Debbie Falconer, Santa Cruz SPCA
Dora Gonzalez, CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates
Natalie Martinez, Watsonville Community Volunteer

Health & Wellness
Gardenia Amor Y Bienestar Para La Mujer
Teen Kitchen Project Delivery Angels
Gary Bencomo,  Dientes Dental and Nonprofit Champion 
Gerri Ashton, Hospice of Santa Cruz County
Jennifer Fenton, The Equine Healing Collaborative

Social & Economic Justice
The Santa Cruz Welcoming Network
Dennis Cavaille, Tutor with the Volunteer Center Literacy Program
MaryJo Van Verth, Team Just Us
Sister Rosa Dolores Rodriguez, Casa de la Cultura, Pajaro

The service of each of these volunteers has made a lasting impact.
Be part of their celebration on May 8th! 

Get your tickets today –> 

Sponsor a Table & Celebrate With Honorees

As a table sponsor, you’ll give 4 tickets to honorees, and receive 4 tickets for you and your guests. Table sponsors are also recognized on and in the event program, plus receive special mentions in the Volunteer Center E-News and on social media,
All for a contribution of just $600.00

Sponsorships are limited – Sign up now!