The Cobb Chamber’s First Monday Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on July 9, 2012 at the Cobb Galleria Centre congratulated the recipients of the Leadership Cobb Class of 2012 with several awards. The awards presented included: the Chair’s Award, the Wyman Pilcher Award, the Serving with Passion Award, the Ernest Barrett Award, and the Spirit Award.

David Roskind received the Chair’s Award which is selected at the conclusion of the class year by the program co-chairs. The award honors an alumni member who exudes personal extra efforts and commitment to excellence as a volunteer in the program. Roskind served on both retreat committees in this past year and far exceeded the high bar set by Leadership Cobb for its members.

Chris Bethel received the Wyman Pilcher, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Award which is selected by the Alumni Association early in the program year.

Tom Heyer received the Serving with Passion Award which follows the tradition of outstanding Leadership Cobb predecessors, Glynda Thor and Mitch Rhoden and honors a program participant who most embodies the class theme, Serving with Passion.

Rob Swartwood received the Ernest Barrett Award which is selected at the conclusion of each class year by the co-chairs. The award is given to a class member who makes a personal extra effort and commitment to excellence as a participant in the program.

Tracy Rathbone received the Spirit Award which is voted on by the Leadership Cobb Class and honors the class member who reflects the true spirit of the class and program as a whole.

The selection process for the class project began in fall 2011, with a review of applications and a final candidate interview process. The result was the selection of Blue Skies Ministries, a small, grassroots nonprofit that seeks to, “lift families above the clouds of childhood cancer.” Melinda Mayton, a pediatric oncology nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and a member of the Leadership Cobb Class of 2012 saw how pediatric cancer affects not only the child with cancer, but the entire family. She observed that while many patients improved in the hospital, the health of their families steadily declined and proceeded to devise a simple solution: provide these families with a place to rest, recuperate, and reconnect by doing such things as sending families on week-long beach retreats to provide an opportunity to heal and forget the hardships associated with childhood cancer.

The Leadership Cobb Class of 2012 met with Mayton and members of the Blue Skies board and staff to assess their urgent needs. The class focused on addressing problem areas in funding and community awareness by planning a new event the organization could expound upon for years to come. They constructed a concert for local talent titled the Summer of Blue Skies Music Festival.

The Leadership Cobb Class of 2012 raised more than $85,000 for Blue Skies Ministries, providing the largest single gift to date for Blue Skies with the help of generous sponsors including Platinum Sponsors – The Home Depot, Kaiser Permanente, Velociteach, Wells Fargo, and WellStar Health System. With the additional in-kind support from across the country and nearly 1,700 volunteer hours contributed by Leadership Cobb, the total impact of the project is valued at over $140,000. Through the Summer of Blue Skies Event, the Class of 2012 raised more money than any other class project in Leadership Cobb history.

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