Nonprofits recognized at this year’s Beacon Awards

The Nonprofit Management Center held its 13th annual Beacon Awards Thursday at the Odessa Marriott.

The awards honor nonprofit organizations, their staff, programs and community partners.

“I think one of the things is that it’s special to be honored any year but this year, in particular, they had to make so many adjustments,” Nonprofit Management Center Executive Director Laurie Johnson said. “Last year, we had to make individual presentations. We did the awards but now they get to come back together and be honored and hear the applause and get the appreciation that they deserve.”

The Beacon Awards honors nonprofit organizations in several different categories.

Those categories include Judge Pat Baskin Family Volunteer of the Year, W.D. Noel Volunteer of the Year, Excellence in Collaboration, Excellence in Communication, Program Excellence, Excellence in Organizational Leadership, Excellence in Governing Board Leadership and Outstanding Generations Graduate.

“We have different judging panels for each of the individual award,” Johnson said. “Those panelists are people who are specialists in those fields. They’re blind judging panels. Every category is judged by a different group of people.”

This year’s award recipients included: Audrey Curry was awarded for the Judge Pat Baskin Family Adult Volunteer of the Year while Trinity School of Big Ideas in Midland was awarded the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award in that same category.

The W.D. Noel Adult Volunteer of the Year went to Kay Crow of Ector County Independent School District.

The W.D. Noel Youth Volunteer of the Year Award went to Vanessa Bustamante of the Girl Scouts of the Southwest.

The Excellence in Collaboration went to the Midland Unified Command Team which consisted of the City of Midland, Midland County, Midland Health Department and Midland independent School District.

Excellence in Communication went to Early College High School at Midland College.

The Program Excellence Award went to Rays of Hope Children’s Grief Centre, Hospice of Midland.

The Excellence in Organizational Leadership went to Kristi Edwards who is the leader of the Centers for Children and Families.

Nicole Lancto of the Midland Festival Ballet was awarded the Excellence in Governing Board Leadership and Brittney Mann was awarded the Outstanding Generations Graduate.

“The recipients are all outstanding,” Johnson said. “It is so hard to pick just one in each category. But they’re wonderful. They’ve done such great work over the last year-and-a-half, especially in a pandemic year where they had to really make adjustments.”

This year’s Beacon Awards Committee was made up of Karmen Bryant, Krysta Hadlock, Randy Ham, Amy Hendrick, Emily Holeva, Dianne Williams and Lisa Wyman who was also the Beacon Awards Chair for this year.

The nonprofit management center staff is made up of Johnson, Stewart Harvey, Sarah Lauritzen and Sarah Marler.

“There are a lot of great nominations,” Wyman said. “We were a little concerned this year, coming out of a pandemic and everyone running as fast as they could, we wouldn’t be able to have as many recipients but the opposite was true. The community really showed up. The nonprofits showed up. They wanted to showcase those who are doing exceptional work. I think today was a perfect example of things that are happening in the Permian Basin, pandemic or not.”

Next year’s awards ceremony will take place in Midland.