UGA Miracle was named Organization of the Year during the 15th annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards ceremony April 7 at the Tate Student Center. The SOAR Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student organizations at UGA.
UGA Miracle is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus. This year, UGA Miracle raised $1,068,358 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta through its annual signature event, Dance Marathon. In March, Children’s Healthcare dedicated its Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit Gym as the “UGA Miracle Gym.”
Since 1995, UGA Miracle has raised nearly $6 million for the hospital network.
Alex Reinecke, a fourth-year entertainment/media studies and international affairs major who served as UGA Miracle’s campus relations director for 2015-2016, said the organization is inspired and proud to be a part of the campus community UGA fosters.
“There are so many exceptional organizations and events on our campus; we really think that it’s a testament to the impact this school has made on its students and on our community,” he said. “(UGA) Miracle worked tirelessly this year to support our hospital, champion our families and engage our campus creatively and collectively—we’re so unbelievably honored to have our university recognize that and applaud those efforts.”
Other award categories, their recipients and student organizations are:
• Adviser of the Year: Peter Smagorinsky, Journal of Language and Literacy Education;
• Bulldog Vision: Johnelle Simpson, Houston Gaines and Darby Miller, Student Government Association;
• Candice Sherman Emerging Leader: Claire Gordon, Rotaract;
• Commitment to Social Justice: University Union Student Programming Board;
• Large Event: UGA Relay for Life;
• Small Event: Women in Science;
• Innovative Initiative: Student Government Association;
• New Organization: End It Movement;
• Organizational Collaboration: Black Male Leadership Society and the UGA chapter of NAACP;
• Organizational Improvement: Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society;
• Pillar of the Community: Claire Gordon, Rotaract;
• Service to the Community, Large Organization: Camp Kesem;
• Service to the Community, Small Organization: Service Ambassadors; and
• Cross-Cultural Awareness: World Ambassadors.
This year, 117 nominations were submitted. A panel of 42 faculty and staff members judged the nominations.