Willene Hayward accepted the award on behalf of Feeding America Tampa Bay, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest. Hayward is volunteer coordinator of the food bank that serves 35,000 Tampa Bay residents.
Also honored were Project Medishare of the University of Miami Hospital, which organized, built and staffed the largest field hospital in history on the airport grounds of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to care for the casualties of the January 12 earthquake; Hands On Tampa Bay, the volunteer network of United Way of Tampa Bay, which coordinates the work of 3,500 volunteers in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties; and the United Relief Force Foundation, formed by Orlando college students in 2007 and providing humanitarian aid, emergency response and disaster relief to countries experiencing natural and man-made disasters. Several of the Orlando group’s members joined forces with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers to help provide disaster relief in Haiti this year.
“This award event was inspired by the founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard, who said, ‘A being is only as valuable as he can serve others,’” said Harney. The Church of Scientology makes facilities of the Fort Harrison Hotel available to non-profit charity organizations for their meetings and events.