Five individuals and groups won special honors at the eighth annual Be the Difference Awards in Santa Cruz. The event is organized by the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center in an effort to highlight individuals and organizations making positive impacts in the county.
Though there were five winners, there were 65 nominees considered for awards and more than 330 people at the event — a mix of elected officials and nonprofit leaders. The awards event started eight years ago when organizers were thinking of ways to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Volunteer Center. While the Volunteer Center had done so much, organizers wanted to shift the focus onto organizations and people the nonprofit regularly worked with.