The idea came up like most ideas do in the Change Everything office.
“Hey, we should do an awards show,” said Andrae Bailey, the co-founder of The Collective and founder of Change Everything.
As someone who has heard and dismissed several “crazy” ideas pitched to me by Andrae, I sort of dismissed it at first. Between The Collective, the work we’re doing in Orange County, California, with the homeless population and the upcoming AutoNation Cure Bowl, how would we find time for an awards breakfast?
Fast-forward a few months and the inaugural Change Everything Awards is almost here. We’re hosting the event at 8 a.m. on December 14 at the Citrus Club. All of the nominees have been contacted. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Kenie Richards of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tony Jenkins of Florida Blue will speak at the event. The awards breakfast is nearly sold out. (Tickets)
It’s been a wild few weeks since I posted the first video asking Central Florida to nominate people making a difference in the community. Within 24 hours of that first call-out, I had dozens of emails in my inbox for Change Everything Awards nominees. In the next few days, I’ll be releasing all of the people and organizations who were nominated for a Change Everything Award. All of the winners and finalists will be announced at the awards.
This community really cares, and there are dedicated people trying to make it even better. And we want to encourage those people – and many others – to continue that work.
That’s one reason we wanted to host the Change Everything Awards. We want the people who do this type of work – social change work and nonprofit work – to feel motivated. To paraphrase Andrae, who I’ve heard say this dozens of times around our office, “You replicate what you celebrate.” (He may have stolen that from somebody else.)
But it’s totally true.
If we honor those people who are making change, others will see that and join. For some of our most challenging issues in Central Florida, we need a team of people fighting for change.
On December 14, I’ll be the one at the front of the room hosting the event. I’m looking forward to seeing all the nominees in one room. And, most of all, I’m looking forward to making the Change Everything Awards an annual tradition.
Jon Busdeker is the co-founder of The Collective. He is hosting the Change Everything Awards at 8 a.m. on December 14. The event is at the Citrus Club. For tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/change-everything-awards-tickets-40159329636?ref=eios&aff=eios.