Kirk Baxter

Kirk’s activism began with the first years of Phoenix Pride and as a board member of both Equality Arizona and the National Gay Task Force. Kirk now serves as the President of the Board for HEAL International. Kirk Baxter founded Phoenix Body Positive, now the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, to focus on prevention and education, nutrition and wellness, counseling, and research. Thousands of clients have been tested and assisted down the road of treatment. People who had no access to peer-based advocacy, alternative therapies and mutual support now found help through Kirk Baxter. Through fundraising for Aunt Ritaʼs Foundation as co-chair for the Red Brunch and co-chair of AIDS Walk Phoenix, Kirk has raised money for multiple AIDS organizations in Arizona.

Margaret (Peg) Bortner

Dr. Peg Bortner has dedicated 17 years of volunteering to educating women that are currently incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Phoenix, Arizona. Her volunteering includes assisting women with enrolling in distance learning programs through ASU and Rio Salado, teaching weekly classes and seminars, proctoring exams so that the women can obtain and or continue their education while serving their sentences. With Dr. Bortner’s dedication and time, she has grown the educational opportunities for the women in prison, helping hundreds of women achieve their dreams.

Jason Burns

Jason Burns volunteers as a community speaker for MATFORCE, a coalition of community partners whose goal is to reduce substance abuse in Yavapai County. Jason, who is mentally and physically disabled from a drunk-driving accident in 2002, shares his story with children and young adults throughout Northern Arizona, a story that on one hand is tragic and full of regret, but also uplifting and powerful.

Iain Hamp

Iain Hamp founded the Phoenix Community Tool Bank, an organization capable of providing nearly any tool imaginable to volunteers, sometimes hundreds at a time, who are ready to tackle large scale projects. This is empowering volunteer groups to recruit more volunteers and take on larger projects, without letting the lack of tools stand in the way.

Barbara Hatch

Barbara Hatch is the innovative Founder and Program Director of Veterans Heritage Project. Veterans Heritage Project connects students with veterans in their communities. The program immerses the student in one-on-one personal accounts of heroism and service to our country while learning lifelong skills, developing a passion for history, writing, and civics, with an appreciation of the freedoms that came through the sacrifices of those who served our nation.

Lynn Pellistri

After her 4-year old son underwent heart surgery, Lynn decided to dedicate her life to helping other families going through the painful process of having a sick or terminally ill child. Lynn has become the leader of parents, serving as the chair of the Family Advisory Committee at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Lynn helps guide families through their child’s difficult journey. She serves on the board of the Ronald McDonald House and has done so for more than 10 years. In her limited free time, Lynn can be found at the Ronald McDonald House cooking meals for families.

Darlene Shephard

Darlene has dedicated the last 40 years of her life to volunteering for Florence Crittenton, a nonprofit serving girls and young women who have suffered trauma and mental illness and are in need of shelter, support and healing through residential, educational and community-based programs. Darlene has done everything from work in the thrift store to board member and board president to developing and implementing two programs that are instrumental in the organization’s work. In addition, Darlene volunteers at the Elk’s club on the Veterans’ committee, visiting with Veterans in their homes.