Press Release for 2015 Honorees

Posted on Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Contact:      Hon Kachina Council, 602.361.7724, Julie Friedly, President


PHOENIX (February 12, 2015) – The Hon Kachina Council announced the seven recipients to be honored at the Hon Kachina Volunteer Awards on May 9, 2015. These seven volunteers were chosen from the nearly 90 nominations for volunteers (high school age or older) that were received for consideration. This 38th annual event promoting and celebrating volunteerism will be held at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona. Each recipient to be honored at the May 9th event will receive a one-of-a-kind hand carved Hon Kachina doll and a cash award for their nonprofit organization.
In order to be chosen as an honoree, each nominated individual was carefully screened by a selection committee, which then chose 11-13 finalists who were personally interviewed along with their nominators through a series of five meetings totaling more than 500 volunteer hours. The Hon Kachina Volunteer Awards honorees were selected by a prestigious Board of Governors and members of the Hon Kachina Council Selection Committee, comprised of prominent business and civic leaders.
“It’s a rigorous, but extremely worthwhile process,” said Hon Kachina Council President, Julie Friedly. “We’re very excited about this year’s honorees and look forward to sharing their inspiring, heartwarming stories of hard work and dedication in the months leading up to our big event.”
Since 1977, more than 400 volunteers have been honored for their dedication to causes that include health care, neighborhood revitalization, youth and senior activities, the arts, education, justice, housing, nutrition or social services. Many have given what they can at great personal sacrifice.

This year’s honorees are:
Dr. Leon Cattolico:

Dr. Leon Cattolico joined MATFORCE in 2010 as a volunteer focused on reducing the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Yavapai County. As a physician and former pharmacist, Dr. Cattolico brings a unique perspective to the problem. During his career he witnessed the devastation from misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications and knows the challenges prescribers face. His desire to make a difference, led Dr. Cattolico to retire from his medical practice in order to devote himself full-time to this effort, spending hundreds of hours creating and implementing real solutions.

Ernest “Ernie” Lane, Jr.:

Ernie has become an advocate for hundreds, if not thousands, of Arizona servicemen and servicewomen and their families, providing much needed assistance in obtaining financial, medical, housing and academic benefits. As the Service Officer for Post 39, Ernie helps veterans and their families navigate a very complex and confusing benefit bureaucracy. Ernie has created a step-by-step manual for himself and other Service Officers to use to navigate the federal benefits system. This manual is now being used to train Service Officers throughout Arizona, which includes 10,000 Legion members.

Marcia Meyer:

Marcia is the founder of a nonprofit organization called The Be Kind People Project. The Be Kind People Project’s mission is to improve the overall education environment in our communities by purposefully thanking teachers and positively impacting students. Under Marcia’s direction, she and other volunteers have developed a comprehensive national program of classroom events, assemblies, contests and Classroom Kindness Kits that teach students it really is cool to be kind.


Martin Collinsworth:

Martin Collinsworth serves on the board of the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter, and works with the logistics team when there is a large disaster, such as a wildfire. Martin has been on the board of The American Red Cross American Grand Canyon Chapter since 2012. He’s been a volunteer with the Salvation Army for ten years, working in their warehouse organizing clothes and food drives, and other giveaways for thousands of needy families.


Maya Thompson:

Maya Thompson is founder of the Ronan Thompson Foundation, created in honor of her 3-year-old son Ronan who passed away from nueroblastoma on May 9th, 2011. The mission of the foundation is to find a cure for nueroblastoma, the most common form of infant cancer and often the most difficult to treat. Through Maya’s incredible love for her child, she has grown a new organization into one making a tremendous impact in Arizona and beyond, affecting the lives of cancer patients and their families through difficult times.


Michelle Moore-Fanger:

Michelle Moore-Fanger is the President and founder of Mother’s Grace, an organization dedicated to the support of mothers and children who have endured life tragedies. By providing financial support and guidance, Mother’s Grace empowers these women to reach their goals of making a difference in their communities by helping others with similar circumstances.


Patsy Pearce:

Patsy Pearce is an extraordinary volunteer among thousands at Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ. Her dedication to providing end-of-life care and ensuring death with dignity to those she serves is second to none. Patsy provides “respite care” to family members & caregivers, offering periods of much needed respite from their tough jobs. In the process, Patsy is able to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care for her patients, some of whom have dementia and other serious medical conditions and need constant love & support.


About Hon Kachina Council:
The Hon Kachina Council, affiliated with St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, is a group of servant leaders from the Valley professional community that promotes volunteerism by recognizing ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things, applauding them and presenting them as an example to motivate others to volunteer.

The Hon Kachina Council can be found online at, on Facebook at on Twitter at!/HonKachina and via LinkedIn.