Award Ceremony/Gala | NAAEE

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Award Ceremony/Gala

Hello Affiliate friends,
I am trying to convince my board that we should have an award ceremony or gala for the annual awards we give out for excellence in EE. In the past, the awards have been handed out at a conference luncheon for Iowa's county conservation boards, which is not our event and gives us no visibility or opportunity for input. I was wondering if any of you could tell me about successes you've had or benefits you've seen arise because of your award ceremony, such as publicity, news stories, fundraising/sponsorships, beneficial partnerships, etc. I would like to be able to share these stories with my board so they understand what kind of opportunities we're missing out on by not having our own event! Please respond or email me at Thank you!!

We give 2 awards out at our Annual Meeting. One is for the "Teacher of the Year" and one for the "Environmental Educator of the Year" so we basically cover the formal and informal communities. This has grown our network and membership, especially because their colleagues and/or supervisors/principals want to attend the event and/or learn more about RIEEA because of the awards. In addition, we shared a few of the winners with Senator Whitehouse who highlighted them in a speech on the senate floor (!!) and were able to get coverage in a local online news source about this year's Teacher winner:

Last year, we decided to try something different and our planning committee came up with an EE Celebration the evening of the first day of our Statewide Literacy Summit. A local brewery hosted us where we handed out our awards, ate cake, and watched a performance by a local breakdancing group that roots their dances in the cultures and landscapes of New Mexico. It was very fun and much more engaging that our previous model of handing out the awards at our annual meeting.