From: The Reef Ball Foundation
Published October 11, 2012 04:12 PM

Reef Ball Foundation Wins National Environmental Award

The Reef Ball Foundation whose mission is to preserve and restore our ocean ecosystems was named 2012 National Environmental Protection Prize Winner by the Classy Awards. "We are thrilled to announce that The Reef Ball Foundation has been recognized with a CLASSY Award,” says Scot Chisholm, CEO of StayClassy.


“The work they’ve done in the world of marine conservation is truly inspiring, and we are honored and humbled to celebrate their dynamic achievements with this award.” The Classy Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest charitable achievements by non-profit organizations, socially conscious businesses, and individuals worldwide. In 2011, nearly 2,000 organizations and volunteers were nominated for a Classy Award, and their collective efforts impacted the lives of more than 200,000,00 people in 71 countries worldwide.


The Classy Awards is considered the Academy Awards of the philanthropic world and sponsored by names such as eBay, PayPal, Southwest Airlines, Verizon, GuideStar and Network for Good. Other partners included organizations such as the United Nations Foundations, Oxfam America, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post Impact and Social Media for Nonprofits. The winners of this year’s CLASSY Awards were selected, after several rounds of voting, by the CLASSY Awards Leadership Council, which is comprised of industry experts, such as: Alvaro Rojas, Dir Marketing Chronicle of Philanthropy; Amy Smith, President HandsOn Network; Barrington Irving, Founder & CEO Experience ,Bob Ottenhoff, CEO Guidestar; Brian Sirgutz, SVP Impact Huffington Post; Charles Best, Founder & CEO DonorsChoose.org; Clam Lorenz, PayPal for Nonprofits; Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Co-Producer, Social Media for Nonprofits; David Risher, VP Global Partnerships United Nations Foundation; Emily; Davis, Jason Rzepka, VP Public Affairs MTV; Jeff Shuck, President/CEO Events360; Jim Gibbons, CEO Goodwill International; Jim Moriarty, CEO Surfrider; Katya Andresen, CSO Network For Good; Meg Garlinghouse, Head of LinkedIn for Good; Meghan Murphy, Sr. Dir Global Alliances X Prize Foundation; Pat Walsh, CoFounder & CIO StayClassy; Premal Shah, Scot Chisholm, CoFounder & CEO StayClassy; Stephanie Kurzina, VP Development OXFAM;


In just over a decade, the Reef Ball Foundation has conducted over 4,000 projects and deployed over 1/2 million Reef Balls and have placed Reef Balls in 59 countries and our projects have a global reach in 70+ countries. The Reef Ball Foundation's work includes designed reefs, ground breaking coral propagation and planting systems, estuary restoration, red mangrove plantings, oyster reef restoration, erosion control (often beach erosion), and expert collaboration on a variety of oceanic issues and educational projects in schools. Projects range from a near shore reef restoration project in Montserrat to an oyster restoration project in Mobile Bay, Alabama as part of oil spill restoration projects to youth educational projects in Florida and Maryland. Partners include governments, NGO’s like The Nature Conservancy, The Girl Scouts, schools, and research institutes. The Reef Ball Foundation was also a Laureate of Intel’s global environmental award, The Tech Award, for technology that benefits humanity in 2005, CNN Hero-Defender of the Planet in 2008, as well as several reef ball projects winning the Sea World Busch Garden's national environmental education award and My Hero Project selected the Reef Ball Foundation as a science hero in 2005.


“This is a great honor for us, but the beauty of the Reef Ball Foundation is the amazing team of volunteers and partners we have around the world and this award is a tribute to them. Volunteers including teachers and kids, lots of kids-the real ambassadors who go on to do a much better job than we do of informing and exciting others about doing good and the future." said Katherine Kirbo, Executive Director, Reef Ball Foundation. The award was presented among philanthropic leaders around the country on September 22, 2012 in San Diego, California at a black tie Awards Gala at the San Diego civic center. The Reef Ball Foundation accepted the award in memory of Dr. Lee Harris and Tom Maher who had contributed to the work and spirit of the organization. (The Reef Ball Foundation is based in Athens, Georgia and Sarasota, Florida.)
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