Be The Difference Awards

Recognizing the People, Groups and Businesses who make a difference in Santa Cruz County through volunteerism.

Each year we reach out to you to help us determine who should receive honors.

We asked and you answered with extraordinary stories of those who have chosen to make their moments matter and transform our community through volunteerism.

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    Thanks to our 2014 Event Sponsors
  • lucidlogo-slider
    Thanks to our 2014 Event Sponsors
  • btd_sponsor_slider-SCBank
    Thanks to our 2014 Event Sponsors

Be the Difference Awards Gala

Tuesday October 28th, 2014
@ the Hotel Paradox

Thanks for your interest in attending. The event is sold out.
If you have RSVP’ed and need to purchase your ticket
please call Jan at 831-427-5070 or bring a credit card or check to the event.

Can’t make it, but want to donate to support this wonderful  event?Donate Here

Who Do We Recognize?

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, in partnership with the Good Times, Santa Cruz County Bank and Lucid Sound and Picture, honors all nominees in these categories:

  • An Individual for their unpaid, volunteer efforts that make Santa Cruz County a better place.
  • A Group or Nonprofit Agency for effectively engaging volunteers in meaningful service and promoting the power of volunteerism.
  • A Business that uses its resources to make a positive difference in our community through promoting employee volunteering.


2013 Be the Difference Award Highlighted Nominees

Videos produced by Lucid Sound and Pictures

BTD_ winner_Justine_DiceJustine Dice is not only a stellar academic student at Soquel High School, but she also goes the extra mile for her school, community and environment. She translates her passion into action as she participates in a wealth of school and extracurricular activities. She is the president of the school Environment Club, has facilitated Bike to School day and is an active volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She helped institute hydration stations to eliminate plastic water bottles on school campuses and several local elementary schools have now implemented this at their sites. For the past two years, she has initiated Locker Clean Out Day, mobilizing a team of students to sort through materials left behind in lockers at the end of the school year for recycling, reuse and redistribution. From organizing weekly after school campus and neighborhood clean ups to cleaning up non native plants around Soquel Creek to being the student representative for the local commission of Prevention of  Violence Against Women, the limited number of hours in a day is her only barrier. View Her Story

BTD_winner_RoyRoy Vigliecca is truly the quintessential volunteer, quietly donating his time and energy to whatever program he feels passionate about and then going the extra mile to serve seniors in our community beyond his participation in volunteer programs. He serves our community through the Senior Center & Senior Outreach, several religious congregations, Grey Bears, I-U Ventures and his personal acts of volunteerism. Not only is Roy a valued and knowledgeable peer-counselor, Roy is the “go-to” person for whatever the program needs–whether that is additional volunteer work, setting up chairs for a meeting, taking an extra client when the need is the greatest, or mentoring another peer-counselor. Roy’s tenacity for personally locating needy seniors, ascertaining their needs, and then tailoring his assistance to meet these needs, makes him shine. View His Story

btd_winner_tattoo_removalTattoo Removal Program Physicians- consists of nine committed volunteer physicians who, for the past fifteen years, have given their time and expertise to over 300 individuals who have made a decision to turn their lives around. To be eligible for the program, the person committed to having their tattoos removed is required to complete 20 hours of community service. As a result of this work, hundreds of people have been given a chance at better employment, increased self-esteem, and have achieved an “I Can” attitude to carry them through other challenges in their lives. None of these changes would be possible without the help of these nine selfless physicians, some of whom have a full medical practice and some are retired. All nine doctors see their involvement in this program as their contribution to making a difference in our community. View Their Story

Btd_winner_New_LeafNew Leaf Community Markets (NLCM) are actively engaged in the community by giving to those in need and supporting the efforts of those who make our community a better place. NLCM strongly believes in both donating dollars to support its community and encouraging employees to volunteer. They promote employee volunteering by providing paid time to work for a community organization of their choice. Examples of employee volunteer projects include the “Adopt a Beach Program”, supporting local cancer research though “Gourmet Grazing on the Green” and contributing to youth empowerment and nutrition education though an annual golf tournament. NLCM has a long history of community involvement behind their company philosophy. View Their Story


btd_winner_SC_County_bankSanta Cruz County Bank (SCCB) has encouraged its employees to take an active role in giving back to the community since its inception in 2004. Employees are allowed 40 hours per year, paid time off, to volunteer in the community. Bank employees have formed bowling teams for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, donated Saturdays to help build townhomes with Habitat for Humanity, helped raise 25% of all the money collected for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, collected school supplies for United Way’s Stuff the Bus Campaign, walked in the Human Race Walkathon & Fun Run and participate every year in the Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday food drive, just to name a few. Many of their employees and Directors serve on the Boards and Committees of local non-profit groups, service clubs, chambers and charitable organizations and generously give their time, energy and talent. View Their Story 

karen_image_editSpecial Recognition of Karen Delaney - In 2013, we additionally honored Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney for 30 years of service with our organization. Learn More




2012 Winners | 2011 Winners | 2010 Winners | 2009 Winners | 2009 Nominees

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