The Baltimore Ravens and T. Rowe Price have selected their 2023 Community Quarterback Award recipients. Funded by the NFL Foundation, the Ravens Foundation, Inc. and T. Rowe Price, the award honors individuals who exhibit leadership, dedication and commitment to bettering their local communities.
The honorees will be recognized at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 31, when the Ravens host the Miami Dolphins. Each Community Quarterback winner will receive complimentary tickets to the game, a personalized Ravens jersey and a $2,500 grant to help aid their respective nonprofit organizations.
2023 Community Quarterback Winners:
Vayun Amula – The Rise N Shine Foundation
The Rise N Shine Foundation is a student-led nonprofit organization that is making food waste instrumental in the fight toward environmental action, education and equity. The organization diverts food waste away from incinerators or landfills, rescuing unsold food that otherwise may go to waste, and amplifies the importance of environmental impact through advocacy efforts at the county and state levels. At 15 years old, Vayun Amula serves as the volunteer Chief Operating Officer of the Rise N Shine Foundation. In his role, Amula has expanded composting programs to four new schools, while also planning, preparing and packing more than 200,000 meals for local homeless and those facing food insecurity. These select programs have diverted 112,741 pounds of food waste from landfills, reducing the greenhouse gases to the equivalent of planting 840 seedlings for a decade, or avoiding the emission of carbon dioxide from driving 126,387 miles.
Makenzie Greenwood – Hampstead's Little Free Pantry
In 2017, at nine years old, Makenzie Greenwood started Hampstead's Little Free Pantry, a 24/7 organization that supports local communities by providing a free food pantry that does not require an intake process. Since the start of the pantry, Greenwood has been able to provide 94,304 pounds of perishable food, $6,000 in vouchers for fresh produce at the Hampstead Farmers Market, 2,676 holiday meals, $2,550 in milk vouchers in partnership with Carroll Country Food Sunday, 15 birthday cakes for men in drug recovery at the Westminster Rescue Mission and eight grants for youth to start their own Little Free Pantries in eight states across the country. Greenwood has logged over 1,000 hours of community service while maintaining a 3.9 GPA and serving as the Committee Chair of the National Honor Society Local Homeless
Jane and Pat Hipsley – Warrior Canine Connection Inc.
Army Sgt. Christian Hipsley always had the passion for helping others, which was most evident during his time as a medic in Engineering Troop, Fire Squadron 2 SCR in the most dangerous areas of the Middle East. Upon his arrival back home, Christian suffered from PTSD and took his own life. To honor their son and ensure other veterans have the tools they need to heal, Jane and Pat Hipsley began volunteering with Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) in 2015. Since its founding in 2011, the Warrior Canine Connection has supported the recovery and rehabilitation of 8,600 wounded veterans around the country through its Animal-Assisted Therapy program, and by placing 135 assistance dogs with veterans and military families. Since the Hipsleys first began volunteering for WCC, they have welcomed 15 future service dogs into their home. Raising a service dog is an 18-month process which involves nurturing, caring, training and transporting the dog to weekly classes so that the puppy grows into a well-trained service dog. Jane and Pat have provided 14,736 hours of volunteer service and have also built and mentored a team of 19 volunteer puppy raisers in the Baltimore area.
Officer Raymond Peele III – Beyond the Badge Foundation
The Beyond the Badge Foundation was created in 2017 by five Maryland police officers, including 12-year veteran Howard County police officer, Raymond Peele III. The organization was started to promote and build strong relationships between the local community and law enforcement. The foundation accomplishes this by aiding community members who are facing financial hardships or have suffered a traumatic event as well as police officers and their families who are in need. Since its inception, Beyond the Badge Foundation has hosted golf and basketball tournaments, bowling bashes, powerlifting competitions and donated to individuals and families, schools, churches and other nonprofits such as the Autism Society and Grassroots. Lastly, spearheaded by Officer Peele, the foundation donated nearly 7,000 backpacks and 500 coats to those in need.
Erin Saul – Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS)
Since it was created in 2005, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) has cared for more than 200,000 animals. Today, BARCS is the largest companion animal shelter in Maryland as the shelter annually takes in more than 11,000 homeless animals, including dogs, cats, small companion animals, wildlife farm animals and exotic animals. Erin Saul has fostered 92 animals and personally placed 579 working cats for adoption since she began volunteering and fostering for BARCS in 2012. Saul also helps the shelter by maintaining the internal BARCS database for all animals and serves as a lead fundraiser and committee member for the organization's BARCStoberfest annual fundraiser, 50/50 raffle and scavenger hunt fundraising event through Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens Community Relations
T. Rowe Price Public Relations