Positively Milwaukee Awards 2017

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They aren’t household names. They aren’t captains of industry.

But the seven unsung heroes that TODAY’S TMJ4 honored during the inaugural Positively Milwaukee Awards are certainly making a big impact in Southeastern Wisconsin.

From a retired grandmother in Racine who has dedicated her life to feeding the hungry, to a Glendale couple that has fostered 70 children, the award recipients have one thing in common -- a seemingly endless capacity to give back.

Carole Meekins, the host of the awards program, says the show highlights what’s right in the world. 

“We’re inundated with negative information these days. To be able to shine a light on local people who do such good ... well, that’s truly an honor and a privilege,” Meekins said. “This is definitely TV the whole family can watch.”

In addition to the seven honorees, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jabari Parker received the Positively Milwaukee Beacon Award for his work with Milwaukee Public Schools, and former TODAY’S TMJ4 anchor/reporter Bill Taylor received the Founders Award for launching the “Positively Milwaukee” news segments in the early 1990s.

Learn more about the positive people who were honored during the televised ceremony at the Harley Davidson Museum.

Each winner received $1,000 for the charity of their choice. The surprise “Inspiration of the Year” honoree received an additional $1,000 for their charity.

The event was sponsored by Heiser Automotive Group and the Scripps Howard Foundation.

  • Robin and Leroy Harmon received the Unsung Hero award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. The Glendale couple has fostered 70 children and works tirelessly to keep families together.
 
  • Kitonga Alexander received the Inspiring Teacher award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. He's a former classroom teacher who has made it his life’s mission to help give men a second chance at success after incarceration.
 
  • Mark Scholz was honored with the Legacy of Giving award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. The West Bend man who passed away this year but left behind an inspiring legacy of community service.
 
  • Colleen DeLisle was honored with the Inspiring Student award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. The Waukesha teenager is changing the world one book at a time with her focus on kids and literacy.
 
  • Sharon Wilczynski was honored with the Inspiring Senior award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. Wilczynski keeps one of Racine’s busiest food pantries running smoothly.
 
  • Dr. Kenneth Harris, Jr. was honored with the Community Hero award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. The retired Milwaukee Police Lieutenant who now devotes his life to community service and shaping young lives.
 
  • Milwaukee Bucks player Jabari Parker was honored with the Beacon Award at the first-ever Positively Milwaukee Awards. Aside from being a star NBA player, Parker makes an effort to give back to the community, particularly with his work with Milwaukee Public Schools.