It’s time to announce the winners of the Christine Mason Miller Inspired By! Desire to Inspire Force-of-Good Awards contest!Who inspires you? That is what we have been asking for the last four weeks, and you have replied with some truly remarkable responses! Selecting was extremely challenging because everyone who was nominated truly deserves our respect and admiration.In fact, we were so touched by your stories, that we hope to feature some follow-up spotlight posts on many of the people you mentioned in your comments, and for that, we may be contacting you for additional information about the individuals you nominated. Stay tuned for that! But today is the day to highlight the four our team selected, so here are the winners:
DREAM BIG: Ayngel & Jarrrod Elmore
This daring couple is the powerful force behind Autumn Sun Productions. As their nominator, blackhawkh109 explained, “Jarrod and Ayngel Elmore took a leap of faith and opened up a studio that would serve as a yoga studio and a dance studio. They had nothing when they started and basically put every part of them into making this dream come true. Now, not only are their yoga class flourishing, they have two other programs.” Bite Sized Broadway instills self-confidence in young children by introducing them to musical theater, and Mojo Theater is a program that uses music and other arts to people with developmental disabilities through range-of-motion therapy, singing, dancing and an empowering sense of community. In fact, the dream just keeps growing because Mojo Theater has branched out to larger surrounding cities. Jarrod and Ayngel began with a big dream and a desire to make it come alive. And they did.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER: Katherine Wolf
In April of 2008, Katherine Wolf—then in her mid-twenties—suffered a massive brain stem stroke. Her award nominator, mixedmediagal, says, “She was not expected to live but she miraculously did. She has a number of physical limitations but continues to press on so she can make additional gains in her recovery. Her story has been so inspiring to me." You can read Katherine’s story here. On her blog, Hope Heals, she shares posts that are put into four categories: Hope While You Cope, Too Blessed to be Bitter, Heal in Your Home and Don’t Wait to Celebrate. Katherine loves to encourage others who have been through trauma or great trials,.
MAKE-A-DIFFERENCE: Pat Grazer
Pat does not have a blog or a website that we can point you to, but for over 30 years, she has been making a difference. As her nominator rainofstars puts it, “Pat Grazer is a bundle of committed energy wrapped in an 80-something body. From 1981 to the present she has spent 8,857 hours as a volunteer with the Mogollon Health Alliance in Payson, Arizona. An average of 6 hours per week for the past 30 years devoted to an organization is nothing short of inspiring. As a “pink lady,” Pat has worked in the hospital answering patient questions, run the arts and crafts program for the auxiliary, and she currently helps out in the Almost New Thrift Shop. Her volunteer hours contribute to young people receiving health scholarships and free community health education for the public. When this diminutive woman wearing her pink coat and name badge approaches you, her eyes light up, and when she gets to you, her question, ‘How are you?’ is absolutely genuine.”
FORCE-OF-GOOD: Melody Ross & Kathy Wilkins
Brave Girl Camp is the brainchild of sisters Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkins. Melody received not one, but four nominations for an Inspired By! award. As the Brave Girl website states, “Brave Girl Camp is specifically designed to help women find their own individual path in a fun and lasting and deeply personal way,” but according to Jen Osborn, Melody is a life changer. “I cannot even begin to go into the ways it changed my life, brought friendships to me I never would have made otherwise, and opened me up to really living life instead of just trying to survive it.” September says, “My life will never be the same, nor will I ever be in the kind of dark pain I was in before the light that is Melody Ross came into my life.” Fab orange5 agrees: “What I love the most is that she pushes and encourages EVERYONE to live out their dreams and she really cares about those dreams.” And tmranch sums it up nicely: “She came into my life at the perfect time and because of her work I am now on MY true path and able to pay it forward with the tools that I have learned from her and her sister Kathy Wilkins. They are changing lives one girl at a time and that makes the world a better place. I would encourage you to meet Melody Ross, she will make a positive difference in YOUR life too.” These ladies are indeed spreading their light daily and truly shining a force of good into the world.Sign up for the Create Mixed Media email newsletter & hear all the latest & greatest from your favorite mixed media artists. Subscribe now & you'll get a free copy of the Wired Up ebook. Again, thank you so much to all of you who nominated the people who touch you, inspire you and encourage you to be the beautiful beings you are and I hope to share more stories from these individuals with you in the near future. Until then, you can read some great examples in the book that started all of this excitement, Desire to Inspire by Christine Mason Miller. Congratulations to all of the nominators and the award winners! We’ll be in touch soon!
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