Be The Difference Awards

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

Thanks for sharing your extraordinary stories of those who have chosen to make their moments matter and transform our community through volunteerism.

What an inspiring event on October 16th, 2015.

 Celebrating our Volunteer Champions

Thanks for  attending the
2015 Be the Difference Awards

We look forward to your nominations in 2016.

use your skills to be a hero for your community


In 2014 we honored 65 nominees and highlighted 5 outstanding examples of volunteer leadership. Check out the playlist of videos shared at the Gala.


Roy & Beverly MYMM


Everyday community members step up to make their moments matter. We invite you to hear their stories and share your moments with us at #momentsmattersc.Learn more button



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2015 Be the Difference Award Highlighted Nominees

Videos produced by Lucid Sound and Pictures

Ceil Ceil Cirrillo- Since the 1990s, Ceil  has devoted many hours of service to dozens of community organizations. She tackles difficult political and financial issues; brings people together to address needs; raises and generously gives funds; and personally identifies recruits and mentors new volunteers for a variety of boards and causes.  A few of her current activities include involvement on the Goodwill board, the Tannery Arts Center, Cabrillo College and Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Few individuals have consistently contributed to the overall community quality of life as Ceil Cirillo. She is a true champion for furthering arts, education, health, and  economic opportunity in Santa Cruz County. View Her Story


MarshallMarshall Bautz-Almost 90 years old, Dr. Bautz has served the community since 1979. As an active volunteer at The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, he supported his late wife with the Literacy Program, as well as spearheaded and raised money for their new building.  As a member of the Communities Organized for Relation Power in Action (COPA), he helped structure major events and secure guest speakers to bring awareness of issues facing our community, capturing the attention of law makers at all levels of government.  Marshall Bautz founded 3 local organizations: The Philosophical Society, the Anthropology Club and the Science, Engineering and Technology Association.  The organizations provide a forum where individuals can meet and engage in discussions on various pertinent topics. Throughout his life, he has also been a member of a religious community, serving in leadership roles.  For over 36 years, Dr. Marshall Bautz has given his time, energy and talent to serve his community, modeling positive group dynamics, combining scientific knowledge with social awareness and showing his respect and compassion for others. View His Story

CoriCori Troiani- Since the 1970s, Cori Troiani has been a nurturing and caring volunteer for a variety of organizations.  Due to her love of the arts, she has volunteered at both Kuumbwa and the Arts League. Cori has additionally shared her gifts of compassion and empathy as a hospice volunteer, supporting families in the final hours of a loved one’s life. For the last 7 years, she has been a volunteer for Women Care, providing women with a cancer diagnosis with support during their treatment. Cori is a compassionate, knowledgeable volunteer, giving her service to women in their most sensitive times. View Her Story


CASA1CASA of Santa Cruz County- At present, over 550 children are in the dependency (foster) care system in Santa Cruz County. Volunteer Advocates are court-appointed with a child in foster care. Each of these volunteers receive extensive training and have the power to advocate for children in foster care, bringing about lasting change in the lives of these children. Since CASA’s inception in 1992, the organization has trained over 1,200 Volunteer Advocates and served almost 2,000 children and youth in foster care. For many children an Advocate is the one consistent adult presence in their life. Children and youth with a volunteer CASA Advocate are provided with the resources they need – health services, educational and vocational assistance, tutoring, and emotional support – to heal and grow into healthy, successful adults. View their Story

Granite2Granite Construction has a long history of engaging their employees in the community.  Most recently they have focused their volunteer effort on supporting Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services. Due to the generosity of Granite Construction, Jacob’s Heart now has a wonderful new space where they can continue to improve the quality of life for each child and support their families. Their dedicated employees have volunteered countless hours for Jacob’s Heart. Granite’s generosity started a ripple effect, inspiring others to step up with donations and volunteer time to transform the new office space into a loving environment. View Their Story



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