2013 Azalea Awards

2013 Azalea Awards @ Celebrate TakomaThis Year's Azalea Awards were presented in conjunction with the inaugural Celebrate Takoma community festival. The connection was made for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that since their inception, the Azalea Awards are much more celebration than competition ... a reminder of the good fortune we all share in a community of "do-ers."

Congratulations to all the recipients, nominees and our whole community. And thanks for your continued support of the Takoma Foundation and the vital work of our grantees.

2013 Azalea Award Recipients:

Sally Brucker. Sally's work with the Listening Room–Refugee Art Project helps local refugees express themselves through art, poetry, and storytelling.

Laura Barclay and Patty Baker. With innovations like Food Truck Fridays, festivals including the recent Earth Day, and new businesses galore, the co-executive directors of the Old Takoma Business Association keep Old Town vibrant.

El Rosal. The five women of El Rosal used their sewing skills to create a sewing cooperative, providing a livelihood for their families and inspiration for numerous other women.

Bob Antonisse. A longtime Takoma Soccer coach, Bob oversees the high-school division and for the last 14 years has organized the popular Memorial Day 4x4 tournament.

Emily Rawson. Emily puts her love for swimming and kids to good use at Daleview Pool, where she coaches the division champion swim team, and at Piney Branch Elementary, where she teaches swimming in addition to fourth grade and was instrumental in getting the pool reopened.

Bryan Goehring. Science team leader and teacher extraordinaire at Takoma Park Middle School, Bryan also serves as advisor for the Difference Makers and Ski Club.

Daniel Hutton. A consummate educator (with an early Azalea in that category to his name), Dan teaches his first graders at Takoma Park Elementary environmental stewardship along with their ABCs.

Sandy Egan. For Takoma Park Elementary students who miss the bus or need a warm wrap for recess, or parents in search of a Scout troop, after-school scholarship, or holiday present for their children, Sandy is the go-to person.

Brandon Johns. Brandon is the creator of M.A.N.U.P. (Making A New United People), a volunteer group that teaches financial literacy, social responsibility, and self-empowerment to Takoma Park teens.

Sheri Verdonk. With innovations such as "Chat and Chews", Blair's PTSA president encourages parental involvement and bridges socioeconomic and cultural divides to help foster a sense of cohesion at this enormous and diverse high school.

Jill Feasley. Whether in her day job directing Meals on Wheels, or leading the effort to create a community commercial kitchen, or organizing the neighborhood entry in the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race, or simply making stop signs bloom, Jill embodies the spirit of Takoma.

Bomani Jones. A beloved member of the City's garbage and recycling crew, Bo is on hugging terms with many of our youngest citizens, who eagerly await his weekly visits.

Cherwanda Oliver. Play Days, Earth Day, work days at city gardens, MLK Day, Celebrate Takoma, Explore Takoma, Halloween, CHEER events, Takoma United events ... you name it, Cherwanda's there.

Elissa McBride. Elissa's group of 5- to 15-year-old activists performs service projects for Takoma Park's neediest families.