Ben's Bells Project

Ben's Bells promote kindness and community.

Every Friday morning just after 8:00 the Bobby Rich Morning Mix teams up with the Ben's Bells Project to salute a person who betters Tucson! Each weekly recipient is "belled" (and joyfully celebrated!) as a unique individual who shares their kindness with our community. Visit bensbells.org or call 628-2829 to nominate a special person you feel should be recognized for their kindness and caring.

  • Meet Dr. Scott Wilson, this week's Ben's Bellee. Scott started a hepatitis C treatment clinic in May, 2003 at El Rio Health Center because he wanted to improve care for those disproportionately affected by this disease. Dr. Wilson travels to satellites of El Rio to treat homeless patients or others who have trouble accessing care with a specialist. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Scott Wilson (center with Ben's Bell), Sandra Leal (to Scott's right) and El Rio Community Health Care Providers for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Mary Komadina, a registered nurse for 19 years, and this week's Ben's Bellee! Mary volunteers as champion and mentor for Girls on the Run, as well as volunteering her services at health screenings, geriatric events and annual baby fairs. Those who work with Mary refer to her as “Mary Sunshine” as her smile and positive energy are contagious, and can make others feel better on their worst day. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Mary Komadina (center holding Ben's Bell), Jennifer Petrick (far left in black skirt, lace top) and members of the TMC Clinical Education Team for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Linda Lazzeroni, this week's Ben's Bellee! On March 21st, Linda organized a 12 hour long, piano-thon to raise funds for Nikki Landreville, a young woman who was hit by a car on Oracle Road while walking home from work, even though Linda had never met her. Linda also shares her musical talents with senior citizens, and collects prom dresses for youth who are unable to purchase their own. Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) Meredith Savin, Emily Hopkins, John Lazzeroni, Linda Lazzeroni Becky Cordier, Marnie Smith and Laurie Haskett for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Austin Bourn, seven-years-old and this week's Ben's Bellee. Austin was nominated by Desiree and Nick Poire, parents of his classmate, Trinity. Trinity needs a heart transplant and they were raising funds to travel to Columbia University. Austin coordinated a fundraiser in Trinity's honor raising close to $700 on his own for her trip. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Austin Bourn (front row in blue shirt), Trinity Poire (center, holding Ben's Bell) and their family and friends.

  • Meet Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Advanced Program Manager at Pima Community College, and this week's Ben's Bellee. Daisy was nominated by co-worker, Kyra Wallace, for transforming the student life office at Pima West campus. She motivates students and staff to get involved in campus and community activities, caring about each person she comes into contact with and celebrating diversity on campus. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Daisy Rodriguez Pitel (center behind banner), Kyra Wallace (holding the 'be kind' edge of the banner) and members of the Pima Community College Student Life team.

  • Meet Jan Hitchinson, an active member of the pet therapy community and this week's Ben's Bellee. Recently retired from her position as program manager from Gabriel's Angels (pet therapy for at risk children), Jan has worked and volunteered with her dogs, "Annie" and "Augie," for many years to bring the love of pets to children and people in need. Including mentoring 180+ pet therapy teams active in southern Arizona. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Jan Hitchinson (center with Ben's Bell) and friends for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Mimi Lawton, Marie Frontain and Danielle Anderson, special education teachers at Flowing Wells High School and this week's Ben's Bellees, nominated by student teachers Samantha Wince and Dani Tronz. These three teachers go out of their way to assist students and families in any way possible. They are dedicated to helping students live healthy lifestyles, providing opportunities for them to succeed after high school, and focus lessons on the importance of kindness. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Mimi Lawton (center in orange shirt ), Marie Frontain (to Mimi's left in black/white striped shirt), Danielle Anderson (to Mimi's right in green jacket), Samantha Wince (sea

  • Meet Laurie Gaetano, founder of Pima Paws for Life and this week's Ben's Bellee. As a long-time volunteer for shelters, Laurie discovered an unmet need for a safe destination for sick and injured animals to be sheltered and treated until ready for adoption. Laurie worked with a local boarding kennel owner; motivated a dedicated group of volunteers who, alongside her and her constant canine companion Oliver, have worked tirelessly for the past three months to open Pima Paws for Life. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Laurie Gaetano (far left, holding Ben's Bell), Susan Wilson (far right) and volunteers

  • Meet Alfred Urbina, Chief Prosecutor with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and this week's Ben's Bellee! In his work, Fred looks for the root cause of what brings people to his office. He is helping pave a path for prevention and intervention programming for youth, and incorporating kindness into diversion programming. Fred treats everyone that he encounters with kindness, dignity, and respect, and is an exceptional leader, friend, and mentor. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Fred Urbina (center holding Ben's Bell), Mercedes Garcia (in pink shirt next to Fred) and members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Sheryl Mahnken, a special education teacher at Ironwood Ridge High School, and this week's Ben's Bellee. Nominated by her coworker, Danita Dawn Heller, who writes that Sheryl always goes the extra mile without want of reward or recognition. Sheryl leads students in kindness through the People Club on campus that supports the local community as well as recognizing and passing on kindness at Ironwood Ridge Photo by Matt Stamp of Sheryl Mahnken (holding Ben's Bells), Danita Dawn Heller (in red next to Sheryl) staff and students at Ironwood Ridge High School for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Jan Myren, director of the all volunteer staff of the Senior Kitchen and this week's Ben's Bellee. Jan often buys food and needed items from her own pocket, frequently comes into the building long before daylight to begin cooking, handles most of the shopping on her own time, and has made it her personal responsibility to get acquainted with the seniors who receive hot meals through the Meals on Wheels program, as well as those who come to dine in the Senior Kitchen. (Nominator: Scarlett O'Casey) Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) Walle Welzien, Brigitte Spuhler, Jan Myren, and Scarlett O'Casey for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Larry Trent, this week's Ben's Bellee. For years, Larry has shared his kindness with those in need - providing items, love and concern across the border in Nogales, raising funds to provide toiletries to people living with HIV, and volunteering with local organizations in Tucson. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Larry Trent (in red, holding Ben's Bell), Delle McCormick(in red scarf) and Scott Blades (in light blue on the far left) for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet the staff of Apollo Middle School, this week's Ben's Bellee! Nominated by their principal, RoseMary Rosas, who says times our tough for families in their area. Recently, they came across a student wearing the only pair of shoes he had, which were in poor condition, and could not afford a new pair. RoseMary emailed staff about the situation and within 24 hours they had 4 pairs of new shoes, 2 bags of socks and enough money to purchase another pair of shoes. RoseMary remarks that her staff is rich in kindness and heart, always coming through to help children in need. Photo by Maria Cota of Apollo Middle School Staff for Ben's Bellings

  • Meet Salon Nouveau, owned by Kathy Alexander, and this week's Ben's Bellee! 6 years ago, Kathryn Deffke was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and was referred by the American Cancer Society to Salon Nouveau where she could have her head shaved, free of charge. Six years later, the cancer returned, and Kathryn returned to have her head shaved once more. Kathryn nominated Kathy Alexander and the staff of Salon Nouveau for this week's Ben's Bell for quietly and humbly taking care of cancer patients for many years. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Kathryn Deffke (center holding Ben's Bells), nominator, surrounded by Salon Nouveau staff for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Ruth Houkam, a Duplicate Bridge player and this week's Ben's Bellee. In 2007, Ruth started Tucson Charity Bridge Club with her Bridge group to raise funds for local charities. They have given over $27,000 to local charities. Ruth directs all the games, is a friend to all the members, and makes sure there are partners for those who need a partner.

  • Meet Della Thompson, a teacher at Agua Caliente Elementary School and this week's Ben's Bellee! Della is a gifted teacher and advocate, much loved by all her students. She helps them achieve their potential by skillfully tailoring instruction to children of all abilities through creative means in the classroom. Della is a founding board member of Echoing Hope Ranch, helping guide the development and opening of a community where teens and adults with autism can be productive in a peaceful, supportive environment.

  • Meet Sharri Cagle, assistant principal secretary at Anza Trail School and this week's Ben's Bellee! Sharri believes a pleasing environment is more conducive to learning and coordinated volunteers and donations from Lowe's to repaint the school's interior as well as building a structure to provide shade and seating for the school community. In addition to her work at Anza Trail, Sharri coordinates fundraisers, starts Cub Scout troops, and mentors youth. Photo by Scott Boone of (left to right) Scott Downs, Clarisa Nido, Sharri Cagle, Sharon Koby and John Fanning for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Julie Longstaff, the program coordinator at the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the UA and this week's Ben's Bellee. Nominated by the Council of Alumni and Friends of the Norton School for her vision, knowledge, kindness and willingness to go out of her way to support students, staff & faculty, alumni and the community. Photo by Alexandra Chavarria of Julie Longstaff (center with Ben's Bell) and members of the Council of Alumni and Friends of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences for Ben's

  • Meet Mike Motzkin, this week's Ben's Bellee and owner of Pioneer Plumbing. Mike was nominated by John McComb whose daughter, Caroline, is battling cancer, and whose home had a number of plumbing issues. After hearing their story, Mike and the Pioneer Plumbing team gave up their Saturday and re-plumbed the entire house free of charge. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Mike Motzkin (center holding Ben's Bell), John McComb (to the right of Mike) and members of the Pioneer Plumbing team.

  • Meet Carla Garrett, this week's Ben's Bellee and a coach at Salpointe High School. She has chosen to lead the boys she coaches as a role model, leader, and most of all by giving of her time, knowledge, and heart. Her former students come back to see her often and all speak of the tremendous influence she has or had on their lives. Numerous students have considered, enrolled, and completed college and even earned college scholarships because they were pushed, pulled, led, and willed by Coach Garret . Photo by Linda Kirkpatrick of Carla Garrett (center holding Ben's Bell) with members of the Salpointe High School Football Team for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Mark Irvin, this week's Ben's Bellee. For more than 20 years, Mark has served on the Board of Directors for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. He devotes endless hours of his time to The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson and does it with kindness, humility and humor, never asking for anything in return. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Mark Irvin (kneeling with Ben's Bell) members of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson and friends for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Ellen Duperret, a dietician and photographer, and this week's Ben's Bellee. As a dietitian, Ellen has volunteered, providing monthly nutrition support for over 15 years at Clinica de St. Andrews, a volunteer border clinic in Nogales that serves chronically ill and disabled children from Nogales and Northern Mexico. As a photographer, she volunteers with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep program which provides the gift of remembrance photography for parents who suffer loss of a baby. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Ellen Duperret (center holding Ben's Bell) and friends.

  • Meet Renee Banuelos, the property manager at Nottinghill Apartments where she has dedicated part of her parking lot into a community garden for her tenants and given up one her apartments to be used as an office for Veteran's Services. Renee also takes time to check in with senior citizen residents, and works closely with community agencies in placing new residents at her property. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Renee Banuelos and residents

  • Meet Joe Dimercurio, this week's Ben's Bellee. Every Tuesday & Friday, Joe volunteers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, bringing dozens of cookies and fruit to patients undergoing chemo treatments. He takes time to visit with patients, and even takes lunch orders. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Joe Dimercurio (center holding Ben's Bell), Emmitt Warner (in yellow shirt next to Joe) and staff and volunteers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

  • Meet Doris Walenta, this week's Ben's Bellee. Doris is a pottery teacher at Tucson Parks and Recreation Randolph Center. She builds community by encouraging students to get to know each other, share ideas and help each other. Doris takes students under her wing, no matter what their ability, encouraging openness in their work. Her classroom is a joyful place! Photo by Jeannette Maré of Doris Walenta (center holding Ben's Bell) and Grace Young (right of Doris in flowered shirt) and students for Ben's Bellings

  • Meet Lisette LeCorgne, Lisette has been donating free physicals for the past two years to students in the Exceptional Education program at Lynn/Urquides Elementary School who participate in the Special Olympics. Lisette relates to the students, creating a kind and compassionate space where they can feel comfortable. (left to right) Michelle Wilhelm, Anne Knoop, Ronda Segerman, Lisette LeCorgne (holding Ben's Bell), Emily Gaylord, and Kate Jordan

  • Meet Shelby King, this week's Ben's Bellee. Shelby offers Tucson Summer Music, free summer music lessons to low-income children of Tucson. Offerings include multiple instrument lessons, plus theory, composition, and singing. The teachers are also volunteers. Nominated by Caroline McArthur, whose daughter Maria is a recipient of violin lessons, says they are truly grateful for this opportunity and for Shelby's vision and organization! Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) Mike King, Becky King, Shelby King (with Ben's Bell), Maria, Caroline McArthur and Kathy Koenig (in back) for Ben's Bellings.

  • Caren Prather, center in blue, a volunteer with the Pima County Office of Emergency Management, holds a Ben's Bell after recieving it from Ben's Bells Project Executive Director Jeannette Mare, far left, on July 22, 2013. Prather volunteers approximately 30 hours every week and travels in her personal car to the classes she teaches, never seeking reimbursement for gas or other expenses. A retired Navy Captain, where she worked as a registered nurse, Prather also holds two Masters Degrees. As a volunteer member of the Arizona Disaster Medical Assistance Team, she has deployed to several national disasters, including Katrina. Pima County Communications

  • Meet BJ Godard. BJ is the Administrative Specialist for the Director's Office at UAMC, nominated for going above and beyond her typical work duties to care for patients and families. BJ has set up weddings for parents of sick/dying children, birthday parties, and high school/college graduations for patients who were not able to attend their special events because they were in the hospital. BJ has helped find wigs, set up spa days, called restaurants to donate food for families and patients, and even secured donated tires for a family's car. Most of all, BJ does everything with a smile, always wanting to keep patients and families as comfortable as possible while they are the guests of UAMC. Photo by Cassie Williams of BJ Godard (center, holding Ben's Bell), Mercedes Saenz (center, kneeling in blue shirt) and coworkers at UAMC for Ben's Bellings.

  • Karen Perez, nominated by Phyllis McIntire, an 84-year old, health challenged widow. When Phyllis' health needs called for extra help, Karen invited Phyllis into her home and for almost 6 years has accepted the responsibilities of monitoring all of Phyllis' needs. In addition to caring for Phyllis, Karen finds time to help other with errands, shopping, and pet sitting. This includes her work with the Poverello House, a site where men in need can shower, wash clothes, have a meal and receive supplies and clothing. Karen continues to contribute to the community in many meaningful, selfless ways with her gracious, generous nature and an unfailing sense of humor. Photo by Cassie Williams

  • Meet Betty Vinall, nominated by her long time friend Dana Redavid. After Dana's husband passed away from cancer, Betty has been by her side helping her get through day by day. This past fall, when Dana experienced health issues, Betty took time off of work to accompany Dana to multiple appointments, organized friends to help her out with food, driving, and helping around the house. Betty has been there through all the tears and fears, never letting her friend give up and has always kept things up beat. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Betty Vinal, Dana Redavid, and many friends.

  • Meet Larry Ronstadt, this week's Ben's Bellee. Larry, age 9, has been battling leukemia for two years. On his birthday this past May, Larry chose to donate all of his gifts to Kids of Steele (the family auxiliary group of the Steele Children's Research Center). The toys and games Larry donated will be given to patients cared for by Steele Center physicians (at UAMC pediatric outpatient clinics). Larry regularly participates in Kids of Steele activities to help other children who are struggling with health problems and fighting disease. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Larry Ronstadt (center with Ben's Bell), Darci Slaten (center behind Larry) and UAMC and Diamond Children's staff for Ben's Bellings.

  • For the past 43 years, Carla Donau has operated the Siberian Husky Rescue of Tucson out of her home. Currently, she is home to 20 husky dogs, all of which she knows by name. Carla spends her days answering calls about husky dogs who show up in Tucson or visiting the Humane Society and Pima Animal Control Center many times a week. Her utmost priority is saving these dogs from death, abuse or homelessness. Carla uses her own money to neuter and spay dogs, feed dogs, pay kennel and other fees, to take care of as many dogs as she can. Nominated by Sheree Garcia

  • Meet Rick Karl, this week's Ben's Bellee, nominated by Shannon Twilling. Rick began volunteering for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Team in Training" program in honor of a good friend diagnosed with cancer. Not only does Rick train and fundraise for these events, but he also serves as a coach to other team members. Rick has participated in over 20 events (above and beyond the coaching), all of which require fundraising. His tireless efforts have raised over $150,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Rick (holding Ben's Bell), Shannon (in black and white stripes) and co-workers and friends.

  • Meet the staff at Circle K on First & Roger, this week's Ben Bellee. Kathy Clark nominated the staff of Circle K after the kindness they shared with her mother. New to town and with the onset of dementia, her mother became lost and sought help at Circle K on First and Roger. The staff provided her with water for herself and her dog, and looked up her phone number to leave messages for her family as to her whereabouts. Thanks to the care Circle K provided and the messages they left, Kathy was able to reunite with her mother. Photo by Jeannette Maré of Cae Stigers, Kathy Clark, Jessica Sprague (with Ben's Bell), Shai-Alyn Wilson, Isaiah Frangoulis, Tremagne Garcia and Melissa Ayers

  • Meet Travis Fischer, this week's Ben's Bellee. Travis has been with the Tucson Jewish Community Center for the past 6 years and joined the Special Needs Services family 5 years ago. He spends each day with the program caring for other people and then commonly spends time outside of work volunteering with the JCC or helping their families. Travis is recognized for his spirit, his commitment, his energy, his outgoingness, and his hair. He exudes a positive energy which is contagious to all those around him. Nominators: Kristin Taft & Barney Holtzman Photo by Trish Winter-Hunt of Travis Fischer and Jeannette Maré for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Larry Wilcock, this week's Ben's Bellee. Larry has volunteered over 8,000 hours in the past 12 years at Centennial Elementary School, among other places. Larry volunteers Mondays through Thursdays in many different grades for many different teachers. He grades every math test, and then calls each child up one by one to go over any errors they may have made. Any new students he tutors until they've caught up. Larry also die-cuts, assembles science experiment materials, prepares art projects, and is a wonderful, gentle role model for the male students. He loves being busy. Photo by Cassie Williams of Larry Wilcock (with Ben's Bells) and faculty and staff from Centennial Elementary School (from left to right) Dr. Lynette Patton, Carol Edwards, Teri Scott, Shelley Valenc

  • Meet Yvonne Foucher, this week's Ben's Bellee. Yvonne is the owner of CataVinos and supporter of many local charities, hosting fundraising events at her shop at no charge to the organizations. Besides supporting local organizations, Yvonne went to great lengths to help a homeless man named Michael. Yvonne befriended him and gave him a job. After Michael was diagnosed with cancer, Yvonne arranged for housing, encouraged customers to donate to a fund for his medical needs, and made sure his last months were comfortable. Nominator: Susan Miller Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) Susan Miller, Yvonne Foucher (center with Ben's Bell), Kenny Stewart and Kristin Little for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Fred and Daisy Jenkins, this week's Ben's Bellees. Tucson Unlimited Freestyle (TUF) Wrestling Academy is a non-profit organization that serves at-risk and underprivileged youth. Recently, TUF was facing closure and after learning about the needs, Fred and Daisy stepped up to keep the doors open at the gym. Fred and Daisy did not just provide the necessary funds, but encouraged the dreams of many deserving youth in Tucson. They continue to attend wrestling tournaments, support the team, and never pass up the opportunity to brag about how deserving each and every child on the team is! Nominator: Cristina Jenkins Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) David Ellingson, Carmen Towns, Michael Stewart (with Ben's Bell), Judy Ellison and John Jacoby for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Michael Stewart, this week's Ben's Bellee. Michael was nominated by his neighbors to honor the difference his sewing skills have made in our community. Mike makes his own clothes, and extends his talents by donating clothes for the children at Casa de los Ninos. His creations include adorable dresses, pants and shirts for the boys. Last Christmas he donated 80 pairs of flannel pajamas. Michael does with out expectation of accolades or compensation. Nominator: Carmen Towns Photo by Jeannette Maré of (from left to right) David Ellingson, Carmen Towns, Michael Stewart (with Ben's Bell), Judy Ellison and John Jacoby for Ben's Bellings.

  • Marilyn Reno is in her eighties and has had a lifelong love affair with education. When she retired from Southwestern Bell and moved to AZ she became a mentor at Walter Douglas Elementary School for many years. She has guided the activities of the Readers For Life (RFL) program for the Telephone Pioneers here in Tucson. This program brings books to local schools to be given to young students. . Marilyn has volunteered in the Hug a Bear program, making small huggable bears for various groups to give to children in severe situations. Marilyn has given of her time and so much kindness to help her fellow man, children, family, friends, indeed all of her community and says she will do this as long as she can because it makes her feel young. Nominator: Patti Pace Photo by Jeannette Maré of Marilyn Reno (center with orange Ben's Bell) and members of Telephone Pioneers for Ben's Bellings.

  • Michelle Ruffo is a Physical Trainer by profession and a superior athlete having completed several marathons. Two years ago a nineteen year old bright and athletic young woman, Jessyka Murray, was involved in a catastrophic auto accident. As a result, Jessyka sustained brain damage and is confined to a wheel chair. Michelle was contacted and has worked endlessly to help Jessyka recover. While Michelle receives compensation for some of her training, she donates numerous hours for fund raising events on Jessyka's behaif. Her personal rapport with Jessyka is a beautiful thing to watch, and due to Michelle's unending dedication to Jessyka's rehabilitation, Jessyka has made tremendous progress. Nominator: Philip Miller Photo by Jeannette Maré of Michelle Ruffo (holding Ben's Bell) friends and family for Ben's Bellings

  • Four years ago, Peter started the "One Can a Week" project in the Miles Neighborhood, benefitting the Community Food Bank. Households in the neighborhood would put out one can of food out on Sundays, which would then be collected by Peter and other volunteers and taken to the food bank. Through his efforts over the past years the idea has spread to other Tucson neighborhood and businesses, including a pick up site at the mayor's office. In 2012 Peter helped collect 13,617 pounds of food an $3,220.00 in donations from the "One Can a Week" project. Nominator: Lee Wilson Photo by Laura Sanchez of (left to right) Jeannette Maré, Lee Wilson, Peter Norback (holding Ben's Belll), Bill Carnegie, Lenny Cota-Robles, Jack Parris, Barbara Farragut and Kym Fuhrig for Ben's Bell

  • Meet Ron Schenkenberger, this week's Ben's Bellee. Ron's wife lives at Emeritus Memory Care where he visits and is also a volunteer. Ron is there almost every day helping get the meals to the residents, making sure they get the things they like (he remembers that about all 18 residents), handing out compliments that bring smiles, and making each resident feel special. The Director relies on him for those special projects and the residents know him by sight and know that he is there for them. He is kind, thoughtful and attentive. He is a shining star at Emeritus Memory Care. Nominated by: Vida Dietz Photo by Jeannette Maré of Teresa Merritt, Linda Zimmerman, Ron Schenkenberger and Vida Dietz for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Dr. Barb Smith, this week's Ben's Bellee. Dr. Smith is a pediatrician at Tanque Verde Pediatrics. Dr. Smith goes above and beyond in caring for her patients, even providing advice after hours. She exhibits a compassionate spirit and her desire to help others is her top priority in spite of the self-sacrifices she sometimes has to make. Nominated by: Kristi Enger Photo by Jeannette Maré of Dr. Barb Smith (with Ben's Bell), Kristi Enger (to Barb's right in sweatshirt) and patients and staff from Tanque Verde Pediatrics for Ben's Bellings.

  • Meet Paul Des Rosier, this week's Ben's Bellee. Paul is a volunteer soccer coach, teaching 24 10-year old girls the important lessons of competitive team sports instilling integrity and kindness into his coaching approach. Each year for the last several years, Paul and his family save money through out the months and provide hundreds of adults and children deep in the Tohono O'odham Nation a happy and healthy holiday. This is not the work of a charity. It is the generosity, foresight and kindness of Paul and his family. Nominated by: Dev Sethi Photo by Dev Sethi of Paul Des Rosier (holding Ben's Bell) surrounded by his U10 Tucson Soccer Academy team for Ben's Bellings

  • Sister Mary Anne has spent more than 20 years working with Project YES serving at-risk children. Children attend Project YES after school to get help with homework, play and have something to eat. Because of Sister Mary Anne's dedication to each child (and she has about one hundred every year) many of them realize the love and support for education and stay in school when they otherwise might have dropped out. This is truly a life long dedication for Sister Mary Anne with small remuneration in dollars but a huge act of kindness that shows in the eyes and smiles of these precious children. Nominated by: Dot Santy Photo by Jeannette Maré of Sister Mary Anne McElmurry (wearing red with Ben's Bells), Dot Santy (in green jacket) and staff and kids from Project YES for Ben's Bellings.

  • Cheryl Glass is the director of U of A RISE Heath & Wellness Center. The U of A RISE Health and Wellness center serves individuals with health issues, serious mental illnesses who are at or below the poverty level. Cheryl leads by example. She is ready to jump in and teach, and always having a smile and a kind word to say to everyone she comes in contact with. Cheryl helps others recognize their abilities in order to set and accomplish life changing goals. Nominated by: Paige Maier Bunas Photo by Jeannette Maré of Cheryl Glass (with Santa hat and Ben's Bell), Paige Maier (blonde with white and black printed shirt) and UA Rise staff and participants for Ben's Bellings.

  • Several years ago, Pam Spencer, a nurse at University Medical Center Diamond Children's, saw a need in their community to honor and memorialize the special children who have been lost at UAMC. Through months of planning and collaboration with an amazing team of chaplains, social workers, nurses and child life specialists, Pam and her team created a beautiful ceremony called "Remember with Love." This allows families and staff to come together and really recognize how these children have touched lives. Pam has also created bereavement committees in the PICU as well as hospital-wide to ensure that the best care is offered to families at UAMC. Nominated by: Heather Roberts Photo by Susan Guerrero of Pam Spencer (center holding bell), Jeannette Maré (left of Pam), Heather Roberts (right of Pam) and co-workers at University Medical Center for Ben's Bellings.

  • Michael Campbell was a PE teacher at Peter Howell Elementary School and during an after school program with the kids, he broke his back and is now a quadriplegic. Mr. Mike still spends every day at the school, as a volunteer, working with the kids. He comes to volunteer when many in his condition would feel sorry for themselves, but not Mike he sets the example that you set your mind to do something and it can be achieved. No one shows more kindness and acceptance of all children and finds the light in all people he comes in contact with. He is true to his word, kind in his actions, and has a never ending love for everyone at Peter Howell School. Nominated by: Nancy Huff on behalf of Peter Howell Elementary School Photo by Jeannette Maré