Keep the Rez Beautiful honors its top volunteers each year with the Rezzy Awards. This year’s awards were presented at Project Rezway on April 25 by First Lady Deborah Bryant, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s Donetta McCullum-Weatherspoon and KRB’s Jeannine May. The winners of these awards have dedicated time to serve their community in terms of cleaning up litter, promoting recycling, beautifying and educating youth.
“Keep the Rez Beautiful is so fortunate to have an army of dedicated volunteers who want to make a difference in our community,” May said. “We are honored to have this opportunity to thank these dedicated KRB supporters and members with a token of our appreciation.”
The awards were made by Rhonda Blasingame and Anne Campbell of Bottletree Studios, and they are composed of recycled objects, including some driftwood from the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
The winners are as follows:
Hayden Cox, Volunteer of the Year Award:
This award honors a dedicated KRB member who embodies the values of the organization. This volunteer has strived to help the organization realize its mission and improve the Reservoir community. This year, the Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to Hayden Cox, for his dedication to the Stream Steward program. Hayden has taken monthly readings with the secchi disc and has been the most loyal of our stewards in reporting data.
Ryan Seawright, Student Volunteer of the Year Award:
This award honors a dedicated Keep the Rez Beautiful youth who embodies the values of the organization. This volunteer has strived to help the organization realize its mission and improve the Reservoir community. This year, the Student Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to Ryan Seawright, for helping us launch the monofillament collection bin program. Ryan collaborated with Adopt-a-Stream Mississippi, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and Keep the Rez Beautiful to set up 10 bins around the Reservoir, which helps keep fishing line from harming wildlife in the lake.
Robin Tisdale, Community Greening Award:
This award honors a dedicated Keep the Rez Beautiful member who has worked to enhance and rejuvenate the Reservoir community and ecosystem through beautification and revitalization efforts. This year, the Community Greening Award is presented to Robin Tisdale, for her assistance in National Planting Day and Great American Cleanup. Robin is a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, and she always enlist friends and family to help with cleanups.
Terry Smith, Community Recycling Award:
The Community Recycling Award honors a dedicated KRB member who has worked to promote recycling and encourage wise use of natural resources in the Reservoir community. This year’s award goes to Keep the Rez Beautiful’s recycling gurus, Terry Smith and Waste Management, for their support in America Recycles Day, Great American Cleanup, the Leave Only Your Footprints campaign and adding a new drop-off container at Ratliff’s Ferry.
Brent Bailey, Community Cleaning Award:
This award is given to a dedicated member who has worked to reduce litter, clean up litter and reduce waste in the Reservoir community. This award goes to Brent Bailey, for his assistance and expertise in Keep the Rez Beautiful’s Leave Only Your Footprint campaign. Brent is a leader on the upriver beaches, and he is working with KRB and PRV to keep the area clean.
LaMarcus Norman, Rezonate! Environmental Education Award:
Educating the stewards of our future is important to Keep the Rez Beautiful. That’s why we are giving the Rezonate! Environmental Education Award to an educator in our community. This award honors a dedicated Reservoir-area educator who has worked to educate the young minds of the Reservoir in environmental education. This year, the Rezonate! Environmental Education Award goes to LaMarcus Norman, for his support of the Recycle-Bowl competition at Oakdale Elementary.
Jeff Roberts, Treasure the Rez Award:
Keep the Rez Beautiful’s top award is the Treasure the Rez Award. Treasure the Rez is the slogan of this organization, and this award honors a dedicated member who has worked to improve the water quality of the Reservoir and promote the principles of Keep America Beautiful and Rezonate, a campaign by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and partner agencies and organizations. This year’s Treasure the Rez award goes to Jeff Roberts and Duncan Marine, for their assistance with Great American Cleanup as well as previous cleanups and other events.