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Inspiration from SPARK Awards 2019 Nominees

One of my favorite events to work on each year is The SPARK Awards, our annual televised awards show that honors individuals and organizations making a difference in our community. The show is an extension of our monthly television series, The SPARK, and is produced in partnership between WKNO and cityCURRENT. Individuals, nonprofits, corporations and schools are recognized across 13 categories and celebrated for making a positive impact. Nominations come from the public and committee members from The Midtown Memphis Rotary Club select our honorees.

The SPARK Awards 2019 is now available for viewing online below, but since we could only share 13 stories during the broadcast, let’s lead into the new year by sharing some of the heartwarming nominations that came in. These were not honorees this year, but they easily could have been, and their efforts deserve to be spotlighted. The quotes below were taken directly from the public nominations, and I hope they will inspire you, as they’ve inspired me.

“Anthony Walls, Jr. possesses many qualities of a servant leader. Currently working as the Receiving Warehouse Manager at Mid-South Food Bank, Anthony consistently improves warehouse practices and constantly moves the needle for great work within the community. In a time of transition, he helped keep operations running smoothly so the Mid-South’s food insecure population could continue to receive food. He works countless weekends to ensure hungry people are able to receive the best food possible and he’s never one to say ‘I can’t help’ or ‘no.’ Anthony proves to every person in a support role at the Food Bank that there is power in the background. He may not be the person leading the charge, but he’s always the lending hand and he’s always there to help fellow employees.”

Angela Hill is an inspiration. She has a strong passion to see youth – seniors live their best lives through recreation. Angela seeks opportunities within the Parks and Recreation field to promote programming that supports the intergeneration of outreach, engagement, health, education, cultural awareness, and fun. I am nominating Angela because she works tirelessly to support the Mid-South community through her public service. She has led multiple literacy initiatives and partnerships along with Volunteer Memphis’ MLK Days of Service and 9/11 Day of Service initiatives. She makes it a point to engage her centers in service, which brings even more people together for a common goal ‘serving each other.’ Angela is a trailblazer for not just for people of color who are parks and recreation professionals, but for women in this non-traditional career field. She has inspired many of her colleagues through mentorship as well as young adults looking to enter the field of parks and recreation. Her dedication to advancing her field and the community is commendable.”

“Chavis Daniels is an outstanding leader in North Memphis through his organization, The North Memphis Steelers Youth Athletic Sports & Mentoring Program. On a daily basis you can find Chavis with many of our youth keeping them active, protected and engaged in something positive; where you can be sure they’ll learn something every day on or off of the football field. Chavis started this organization to teach football while respecting ‘school first.’ Every young man who he has come in contact with looks up to him as a hero. As a Memphian, Chavis is born with grit, grind and ambition; he is indeed a voice, a positive mentor and I believe his testimony will continue to grow stronger.”

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