Each year, our readers nominate neighborhood residents and organizations who are selflessly working to improve life in our neighborhoods. The following groups and individuals were nominated for this year’s award.

Suzanne Wallace and Lanell Armstrong

They lead The Winning Network, a volunteer organization that works with students in neighborhood schools to prevent gang involvement by providing alternatives and tutoring.

Nancy Cunningham

This neighborhood resident was nominated for her involvement at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School and the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association. She has addressed the health and safety of neighborhood children through programs at the schools and helped establish a scholarship for Vickery Place residents.

White Rock Center of Hope staff and volunteers

This Garland Road organization collects food to distribute to those in need, helps people find jobs and provides emotional support.

Suzanne McCann

Members say McCann has revitalized Lakewood Homeowners Association. She spearheaded efforts for a monthly neighborhood newsletter and has been active in many beautification projects, such as tree plantings and the Adopt-A-Shoreline program for White Rock Lake.

Ron and Shirley Decker

These neighborhood residents have volunteered in the East Dallas Asian community for eight years. They tutor, counsel and provide a safe house for many neighborhood children. On the weekends, up to 10 children often spend the night in their home.

Carlin Morris

This neighborhood resident was nominated for her efforts in organizing the annual Wilkinson Center Shoe Drive, which provides shoes and socks for low-income neighborhood children. She also is involved with Lakewood Elementary and J.L. Long Middle School.

Rob Parks

As president of the Hollywood/Santa Monica Neighborhood Association, Parks’ efforts were critical in obtaining Conservation District designation for the neighborhood. He also has assisted in neighborhood beautification projects and in planning the neighborhood’s annual home tour.

William Bryan

As minister of Grace United Methodist Church, Bryan helps run the East Dallas Cooperative Parish. He has served at Grace for 12 years, arriving shortly after the creation of the Parish. The Parish has revitalized several neighborhood churches and provides services to many neighborhood residents.

Veletta Forsythe-Lill

This neighborhood resident is involved in many neighborhood organizations, including the East Dallas Cooperative Parish, the Hollywood/Santa Monica Neighborhood Association and the Firehouse Ministries. She helps refugee families get established in our neighborhood. She also was crucial in opening the police storefront at the Town Park Apartments and has recruited neighbors to provide services to Town Park residents.

Elizabeth Blessing

She is the administrative assistant for the East Dallas Cooperative Parish and a lifetime member of Munger Place United Methodist Church. Blessing helped organize the Parish in its early days and has run its housing ministry for the past few years.

Dallas Can! Academy

This neighborhood organization has helped many at-risk teenagers obtain jobs and high-school equivalence degrees. The agency’s most recent program is the Accelerator at Woodrow Wilson High School. Dallas Can! staff members work with poor-performing students to help them catch up with classmates. Through the program, many failing students are now passing and attending school.


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