18th Annual Environmental Awards Celebration recognizes outstanding environmental leaders

Looking back on it, things really couldn't have gone much better.In fact, our 18th Annual Environmental Awards Celebration on July 20 may have been the best one yet. Almost 200 sponsors and guests turned out. The atmosphere was festive. Silent auction bidding was competitive. And our honorees were inspiring.

Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award winner Mona Hana-Attisha talked about raising the alarm about high lead levels in Flint's drinking water and her efforts to reduce its impact on children. Pam Taylor, recipient of our Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership, gave an impassioned appeal to eliminate factory farms and their waterway-fouling runoff. As part of her award, we presented a $5,000 check to Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan, the MEC member group with whom Pam volunteers.

Before the awards ceremony, many guests enjoyed a silent auction of Michigan goods and services, like a stay at the Grand Hotel and a Pewabic Pottery membership, and works by several artists. Sales raised nearly $4,000. Half of these will be sent to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund to help remedy the city's drinking water crisis. The remaining funds will be used to launch the Helen and William Milliken Scholar Program, which provides MEC fellowships for top college students pursuing environmental law, policy, and/or advocacy careers.

The awards celebration is one of Michigan's top environmental events of the year. In addition to saluting two outstanding citizens, it generates vital revenues to help sustain MEC operations throughout the year. Some 78 organizations and 170 households generously supported the event through sponsorships, donations, admissions, and auction contributions and purchases.All this support helped ensure the event was a hit. Its success has raised expectations for the future, too–at least for one guest who, at the end of the evening, noted, "I'm already looking forward to next year's event."

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Michigan Environmental Council gratefully acknowledges the financial support of our 18th Annual Awards Celebration Sponsors

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