Cox Enterprises is giving away up to $60,000 to an environmental nonprofit through its nationwide Cox Conserves Heroes contest, and the Valley’s own Diane Vaszily is one of the four finalists. Vaszily is representing Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC).
Cox Conserves describes Vaszily as “a proactive community member who enthusiastically volunteers with two area nonprofits dedicated to conservation and environmental education.”
Her philosophy is: “If the next generation has first-hand contact with the environment and wildlife in a meaningful and positive way, those experiences will help them become better stewards of those lands and animals in the future.”
Vaszily has worked in many ways to support education efforts at the Desert Awareness Committee, a community resource advocate for the Sonoran Desert, and at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. She wrote curriculum for and initiated a hands-on classroom program using a team of volunteers she trained. As a conservation center volunteer, she serves as a docent, education curriculum writer and mentor for new volunteers. She created a field program at the local park and secured a grant to transport local students to a hands-on education program, formed a team to author a children’s book about desert animals, and leads a team that provides public seminars and classes for other nonprofits.
“I was honored to be chosen as the Western winner,” Vaszily shared.
Residents can watch Vaszily’s nomination video (and those of the other three finalists) to learn more about this local dynamo, then follow the link to vote and help support Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. Voting closes Oct. 15.
The Cox Conserves Heroes awards program is how Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) honor the unsung heroes in communities, as well as support the local organizations doing the important work of improving the environment. Through the program, the organizations hope to inspire more people to take an active role in community conservation.
To date, the national Cox Conserves Heroes program has donated over $1.1 million to environmental nonprofits and honored more than 200 volunteers. Part of the Cox Enterprises’ national Cox Conserves sustainability program, Cox Conserves Heroes awards volunteers for their actions nationwide.