Over the last four weeks we’ve been sharing some of the public nominations that were submitted for our cityCURRENT and WKNO televised awards show, The SPARK Awards. There were so many nominations submitted that it would take over a year to highlight each nominee; but I’m going to take this week and next to finish out the series. Once again, these are all current nominees for the show and we’re sharing their stories to inspire each of us with the GOOD taking place in our city.
“Glenda Hastings and the entire crew at Napa Café serve more than just great food. They serve the needs of some of Memphis' most vulnerable. Throughout their long history in Memphis, Napa Café has been known to open its doors to help their neighbors. In 2012, Glenda hosted the first of what has become an annual fundraiser to benefit the children of the Stax Music Academy…Glenda and her team have been able to raise nearly $120,000 to help the kids attending the Stax Music Academy. That money is used to provide after-school and summer music instruction, as well as youth-development activities and helps these kids move toward a successful path…In 2016, Napa Café hosted its first annual Thanksgiving event called Donna's Table. Named after Glenda's mother, this Thanksgiving feast was created to feed homeless and people "in need" free of charge. Guests were seated at tables of eight with table cloths, candles, fresh flowers; each table had its own turkey, food was served family-style, everyone received a to-go bag of food and a backpack full of essentials (gloves, socks, hand warmers, etc)…Establishments like Napa Café are what make Memphis special, sets us apart from other big cities where many vulnerable neighbors get lost. Napa Café makes sure every Memphian has a spot at the table.”
“…Frankie Dakin exudes positive energy, extensive involvement, passion for his city, and a desire to make it better. From building new partnerships with the New Memphis Institute to volunteering with BRIDGES to chairing the Let's Innovate through Education board to serving as an alderman for Millington City Council, Frankie epitomizes the direction that Memphis is heading. Frankie shows that age shouldn't be a deterrent in being a philanthropic leader through his advocacy for students in Let's Innovate through Education. Prior to being board chair, Frankie served as a mentor for young entrepreneurs for over 50 hours in 1 semester with the Let's Innovate through Education program. He has presided over the organization's growth from a small program to being named one of the top 20 ideas that can change the world by Forbes Magazine. In regards to his job at New Memphis, Frankie's energy for improving outcomes for students has led to a more robust Summer Experience for college interns, a new platform for college students across the city to find internships, and stronger talent retention strategies for the city…He's been named a Truman Fellow for his civic impact and BRIDGES Facilitator of the year, as well as Rhodes Sophomore of the Year for his impact.”