Cultural Council of Indian River County


The Cultural Council is pleased to announce the 22nd Annual Laurel Award Celebration, was held May 16, 2018 at Riverside Theatre.  

2018 Laurel Award Honorees


Awarded to individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership in promoting the cultural arts, and in providing encouragement, involvement and motivation to others in support of the cultural arts.

William & Marlynn Scully
Nominated by Riverside Theatre

William and Marlynn Scully both have demonstrated exceptional leadership in promoting the cultural arts, and have encouraged, involved and motivated others to do the same.  Mr. Scully joined the Board of Trustees of Riverside Theatre in 2004 and currently serves as Vice President.  Additionally, he has served on the Executive Committee, Endowment Committee, Trusteeship Committee (Chair from 2008 – 2014), Patron Producer and Bylaw Committee.  In 2013 he was awarded the Theatre’s highest honor: The Distinguished Service Award.

Mrs. Scully has been a long-time member of the Theatre’s Friends Committee, which raises significant funds through the planning and execution of all special events.  She devised the current format for the Premier Benefit Gala, the Theatre’s most lucrative yearly fundraising event.

The Scully’s have been supporting Riverside Theatre since 1999 with their time, treasure and talent, and are founding members of the Patron Producers program, which raises significant donations. Their philanthropy extends to many other community organizations such as the Vero Beach Museum of Art, United Against Poverty, Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County, Indian River Land Trust and United Way Foundation, in addition to the major gift given to open the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center at Indian River Medical Center.

“The Scully’s nomination was supported by the Indian River Land Trust, The Boys and Girls Club, and The United Way of Indian River County, all of whom have benefited from the leadership and philanthropy of the Scullys. 



Awarded to an outstanding individual who, as a volunteer demonstrates selfless dedication to the cultural arts, and devoted energy, passion, time and support of a nonprofit cultural organization.

Bonnie Pendleton
Nominated by the Emerson Center

Bonnie Pendleton came to Florida as a snowbird and moved permanently to Sebastian – year round-in 2004.  Her work with the Florida Humanities Council for the Emerson Center Humanities Speakers Series began in 2012 and has continued for six years – doing research to write grants, involving the committee in choosing speakers, making the final speaker selection list, working with the co-sponsor (Marine Bank) for the series, interacting with marketing to promote the series, driving several times across the state to the Florida Humanities Council headquarters in Saint Petersburg, and because she is house manager for the series, securing and training ushers for the events.  She works on other projects with the Emerson Center Committee and serves as house manager for most of the other events, whether sponsored by Emerson or a rental.  Her work helped bring success to the Humanities Series in particular here in Vero Beach as ours was one of the best attended of the series across the state, equaled only by large university crowds.  Bonnie deserves the recognition and exemplifies any description of a splendid volunteer.

Ms. Pendleton’s nomination was supported by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach and by Marine Bank & Trust Company.



Awarded to an arts educator to honor, recognize, celebrate, and advocate arts education for all whose talent and leadership keeps the arts alive for people of all ages.

Shanti Sanchez
Nominated by the Vero Beach Museum of Art Docents

Shanti Sanchez is the School, Youth, and Community Impact Programs Manager for the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  As such, she is responsible for outreach to all the schools, public, private, and charter, in Indian River County.  Through her outreach she has fostered strong partnerships between the district schools and the museum and between herself and the classroom teachers.

As the Museum’s liaison for the school District of Indian River County, Shanti promotes the alignment of literacy and art working with dedication toward the goal of integrating art into all subject areas in the classroom.  She interfaces with school and museum personnel as well as volunteers to ensure lesson plans, vocabulary lists, application to course content, academic objectives and developmental milestones are shared by all and integrated into the student experience.

Shanti has also impacted “older” students through her work with the Learning Alliance, Moonshot Community Action Network (M-CAN) and the school district as a facilitator of professional development for our teachers.  The training that has been provided to the front-line educators is invaluable.  Shanti herself demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and her contributions in the area are remarkable.

Ms. Sanchez’s nomination was supported by the Vero Beach Museum of Art and the School District of Indian River County.


Awarded to an individual or business that demonstrates outstanding commitment to nonprofit cultural organizations in support of their operations, enabling growth and sustainability.

ABC Printing Company, owner Chris Beals
Nominated by Paris Productions

For over forty years, ABC Printing has been a reliable printing source in Indian River County.  In addition to their expertise in the trade, keeping up with modern techniques and equipment to assure quality product delivery, ABC Printing is led by Chris Beals, an owner who believes in his community; its growth, prosperity and beautification.  He passes on that same belief to his staff, all of whom work as a team in helping everyone who walks in their front door.

Be certain that Chris Beals and the ABC Printing team run an efficient business, while always heeding the call from the non-profit community when it comes to helping…and indeed they do, in the most sincere, welcoming and creative manner.  Whenever approached for assistance, you are welcomed with instantaneous positivity and guidance both artistically and monetarily.  There are countless non-profits that have worked with ABC Printing.  Their support for the arts in this community speaks loudly when driving down streetlight-lined streets donning a myriad of brightly colored banners, designed, created and printed with the help and guidance offered by ABC Printing.

ABC’s mission is about taking the extra steps to make sure that their work is done right while offering the most effective printed communications possible for each of their clients.  They proudly support the community through the arts and non-profit organizations.

ABC Printing’s nomination was supported by Gallery 14 and the Indian River County Historical Society.

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New Laurel Award categories were created in 2013.  In 2017, all previous Laurel Award Recipients were honored:

Richard A. Stark Award for Cultural Leadership

William & Marlynn Scully (2018)
Maestro Aaron Collins (2016)
Maestro Stewart Robinson (2015) Mark P. Wygonik (2014)
Jon Moses (2013)

Alma Lee Loy Award for Volunteer Leadership

Bonnie Pendleton (2018)
Dr. Carole Strauss (2016)
Anita Astrachan (2015)
Susan and Ed Smith (2014)
Donald Croteau and Susan Grandpierre (2013)

Willie C. Reagan Award for Educational Leadership (created in 2015)

Shanti Sanchez (2018)
Lis Bech (2016)
Bridget Lyons (2015)

John Schumann Award for Business Leadership

ABC Printing Company, owner Chris Beals (2018)
Jim Davis, Treasure & Space Coast Radio (2016)
White Glove Moving, Storage & Delivery, Pak Mail Beachside, President Phil DeLange (2015)
Beth Moulton, Publisher, Vero Beach Magazine (2014)
Springhill Suites by Marriott, Keith Kite (2013)

Recipients 1996 - 2011

Philanthropic/Business Leadership An individual or business group providing consistent generous financial support of Indian River County’s cultural community or Outstanding monetary contributions to one or more cultural organizations, facilitating operations, enabling growth or providing for its future.
Past recipients include:

Dr. Ben Emerson, Jafar Falasiri/Falasiri Oriental Rugs; Bev & Marty Paris/Paris Productions; Kevin Grady/ PNC Wealth Management; Karl Steene/Indian River National Bank, Tom & Rhonda Lowe/Rock City Gardens, Nancy and Peter Benedict, John Schumann, Robert Bauchman/Northern Trust; Betty Abbott, Richard and Helen Post, Jack & Anne Morton, Carolyn K. Eggert, Eleonora McCabe, John Moore, Danforth Richardson.

Volunteer/Activist Leadership: An individual who has devoted energy, passion, time and support to a CAC member organization with no compensation, and whose selfless dedication should be recognized
Past recipients include: Al Smith, Cathie Callery; Crystal Bujol; Suzan Phillips, Toni Hamner, Harriet Yemm, Joyce Levi, Charlotte Terry, Raz Allen and Trish Bridwell, Keith Pelan, Janetta MacPhail and Penny Odiorne; Millie Bunnell, Henry “Pop” Seeley, Barbara Ferrell, Laurie Kaneb, Leonor L. Gonzalez

Cultural/Professional Leadership: An individual employee of a CAC member organization, in either artistic or administrative position, whose outstanding performance and commitment to their organization and the cultural community deserves special recognition.
Past recipients include: Matthew V. Stott, Warren Obluck; Joe Ellis; Mary Schenkel, Pamela Cooper, Willi Miller, Gary Miller, Chuck Still, Kelley Coppage, Janet Alford, Andrew McMullen, Ron Brockway, Allen D. Cornell, Holly Dill, Ray Adams, Ken Macht

Carolyn K. Eggert Award: An individual or individuals who have made long-term, noteworthy contributions of both money and time to the wider cultural community. Not awarded every year, only at the discretion of the selection committee.
Past recipients include: Joan and Roman Ortega-Cowan; Robert Gibb; Bob & Sandy Brackett; Lori Burns, Bill and Nancy Bryant, Richard and Barbara Stark, Harry W. Walker, Edgar W. Holtz, W. Kent Barclay, Nancy Elizabeth Reed, Alma Lee Loy, George & Jean Armstrong, Linda Downey.

Artist Award: Inaugurated in 2008, this award recognizes a creative artist who is a legal resident of Indian River County. This award is intended to recognize artists who have earned the respect of the community and their peers, for their dedication to their art and to their commitment to making art in Indian River County. Fields of creativity include, but are not limited to: writer, poet, illustrator, graphic artist, fine artist, architect, video artist, performance artist, actor, playwright, musician, composer, choreographer, dancer.
Past Recipients Include: Sharon Morgan, Del & Jean Petersen; Marlene Putnam; Jean Nagy was the first recipient of this award in 2008


2017 Awards will be held at Riverside Theatre on May 18, 2017

Over the past 20 years, the Cultural Council has promoted the cultural arts through education, collaboration, marketing, programming and advocacy. During this time the Cultural Council created the Laurel Awards to recognize leadership in the cultural arts.

Cultural Council Celebrates 20 Years of The Laurel Awards

Master of Ceremonies to be WPTV News Channel 5 Anchor

Since 1996, The Cultural Council of Indian River County has been recognizing individuals in the community who have strived to demonstrate support of the arts in a variety of means. To that end, an annual event has been held inviting those who have been nominated and later selected to receive this honor, in a wide array of categories that have included cultural leadership roles in business, education, philanthropy and volunteerism, as well as an award that recognized a local artist of their field who earned the respect of the community and their peers for their dedication to their art.

Barbara Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Cultural Council, along with a small appointed committee (at left), unanimously decided to celebrate the 20 years of this esteemed award by holding a special reunion of the first 94 Laurel Award winners.  This celebration will be held at Riverside Theatre on Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m.  The evening opens with a lovely reception in the theatre’s lobby turned into an art gallery by members of the Cultural Council with over 50 multi-media displays; performances on the Stark Stage by members of the Cultural Council, and the announcement and introduction of previous award winners and community supporters of the arts. A buffet of heavy hors d’eouvres by Chelsea’s, dessert and a champagne toast, along with a full (cash) bar, will be offered. Master of Ceremonies will be Jon Shainman, Anchor/Multi-Media Journalist-WPTV News Channel 5. An array of performing arts that include acts from Vero Beach High School and Indian River Charter High Schools, Riverside Children’s Theatre and The Vero Beach Theatre Guild as well as the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society, Laura Riding Jackson Foundation and Jacob Craig will highlight the Stark Stage performances.

In addition to Ms. Hoffman, the organizational committee includes Alicia Quinn, Joan and Roman Ortega-Cowan, Bev and Marty Paris, Oscar Sales, Matt Stott and Mark Wygonik. Sponsors for the event include Riverside Theatre, Bill and Nancy Bryant, Leonar Lobo De Gonzales, Robert and Sandy Brackett and Keith Kite.

Cost for the evening is $75 per person; reservations are being taken by May 10.  To make your reservation or to request an invitation, please contact the Cultural Council office at 772-770-4857.

Image: Some members of the committee gather at Riverside Theatre for a planning meeting.  Left to right- Beverly Paris, Mark Wygonik and Alicia Quinn (all seated).  Standing are Barbara Hoffman and Oscar Sales.



Richard A. Stark Award for Cultural Leadership awarded to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership in promoting the cultural arts, and in providing encouragement, involvement, and motivation to others in support of the cultural arts.

Alma Lee Loy Award for Volunteer Leadership awarded to an outstanding individual who, as a volunteer, demonstrates selfless dedication to the cultural arts, and devoted energy, passion, time and support of a nonprofit cultural organization.

Willie C. Reagan Award for Educational Leadership awarded to an arts educator to honor, recognize, celebrate, and advocate arts education for all whose talent and leadership keeps the arts alive for people of all ages.

John J. Schumann, Jr. Award for Business Leadership awarded to an individual or business who demonstrates outstanding commitment to a nonprofit cultural organization(s) in support of their operations, enabling growth and sustainability.