2014 Making a World of Difference Honorees Announced

Making a World of DifferenceOur annual event honors individuals who have made a substantial difference in people’s lives around the globe through their humanitarian efforts.  Three outstanding humanitarians will be honored at the “Making a World of Difference” gala planned at Tempe Center for the Arts on October 9, 2014. This is Tempe Sister Cities’ way of thanking and honoring humanitarians who bring hope and comfort to deserving people worldwide. Everyone is invited!

Plan now to attend the “Making a World of Difference” Awards Ceremony and Banquet on Thursday, October 9, 2014 to hear their amazing stories. Click Here.

The 2014 honorees this year include:

C. Mead Welles

C. Mead Welles… was traveling in Indonesia when he looked out a window and saw three underfed and exhausted boys. Two were pulling the third boy on a garbage can lid. This boy’s leg was deformed, raw and bleeding, and he could not stand . His knuckles, also bleeding, showed that he had also been pulling himself around. This sad incident propelled Mead to found “A Leg to Stand On” (ALTSO), an organization that provides free prosthetic limbs, orthopedic devices, mobility aids, surgery and care to children in the developing world who have lost limbs or suffer from congenital disabilities. Since 2002 ALTSO has transformed the lives of some 12,000 children in parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

Maria Keller

Maria Keller… was a little girl who loved to read. When she was eight years old she learned that some children in the world did not have books to read. She vowed she would collect one million books in the next 10 years and distribute them to children in need. She has already collected more than one million books and distributed them to hospitals, shelters and orphanages in America and several countries…and she just turned 14! She is traveling from Minnesota to attend the event and has been invited by Changing Hands bookstore to address children in several schools and to be a keynote speaker at a teacher appreciation event. As we go to press a book drive for children’s books…to be distributed locally…is in the planning stages.

Mark Henderson

Dr. Mark Henderson…is Associate Dean of the Barrett Honors College and Professor of Engineering at Arizona State University.  He is co-founder of several global design initiatives including GlobalResolve, a program that provides design and entrepreneurship opportunities to students by involving them in worldwide technological projects that directly improve the lives of underprivileged people in developing countries, especially in the areas of energy, clean water, and agriculture.  In the past year, GlobalResolve has involved over 200 students doing 40 projects in 9 countries including Ghana, Peru, Mexico and Arizona.

 Several of Dr. Henderson’s students will showcase their projects making an impact globally. Henderson works closely with the Clinton Global Initiative, and student change agents in Changemaker Central — ASU’s initiative to empower student innovation and activism to solve national and global challenges.

 For example: a GlobalResolve student team originated a project to support and educate subsistence farmers in Pumamarca, a small village near Cusco, Peru, (our sister city)  about the use of biochar to radically increase crop yields.  From this, GAIA, International  was born, and its founder, Kathleen Stefanik, participated in this spring’s  Clinton Global Initiative University conference and is continuing a partnership with Chelsea Clinton’s organization. Stephen Annor-Wiafe, a MasterCard Scholar from Ghana, has started a venture in his home region to improve palm oil production and increase the market share for small farmers. And Michelle Marco, a change agent from Changemaker Central and president of the GlobalResolve Club, began a continuing project that included a group trip over spring break to build a greenhouse and improve living conditions in an orphanage in Peru.

The “Making A World Of Difference”  event to honor these outstanding people is held at the Tempe Center for the Arts beginning at 6:00 p.m with a “Meet and Greet”. The Dinner and Awards Ceremony to follow at 7 pm.

Anyone wishing to register and attend this special event may call Jane Neuheisel (480) 838-0437 for details. Please RSVP by Thursday, October 2, 2014 or

Click here to Register for “Making A World of Difference” online.

 Click here to view previous “Making A World of Difference” honorees:

Tempe Sister Cities