Cincinnati Museum Center announces 2017 Difference Makers

Ninth annual Duke Energy Children’s Museum Difference Makers celebrates outstanding work with children in our community

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) celebrated the 2017 Duke Energy Children’s Museum Difference Makers. Adults, youth, organizations and businesses in six categories were honored for their exemplary work on behalf of local children.

CMC impacts the lives of children every day through education and childhood enrichment programs, but tonight CMC celebrated those in our community impacting the lives of children in the communities in which they grow, live and play. We asked the community to nominate youth, adults, nonprofits, businesses and school and youth groups they knew that were making a difference and inspiring others. The response was overwhelming with over 50 nominations submitted from across the Greater Cincinnati region, each nominee an unsung hero.

The 2017 Difference Maker honorees are:
Katie Deitsch – Youth
Devi Namboodiri – Youth
Logan Pickett – Youth
Reverend Dawne Sarchet – Adult Professional
Leeann Fitzpatrick – Adult Volunteer
La Soupe – Nonprofit
U.S. Bank – Business
Students Together Assisting Refugees (STAR) – Youth Group

“It’s such an honor to be in the presence of such incredible individuals tonight,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We are so inspired by their commitment to the community around them and look forward to following their journeys and seeing the impact of their efforts for years to come.”

At the event, the Junior League of Cincinnati was recognized as the 2017 Community Honoree for their efforts to improve oral healthcare in children through their GrinUp! initiative. Tooth decay is the leading chronic infectious disease in children, with more than 40% nationwide experiencing dental tooth decay by kindergarten. Locally, one out of every ten children in Cincinnati Public Schools has visible tooth decay. But through education and awareness, the Junior League’s GrinUp! initiative, highlighted by the opening of the permanent exhibit Inside the Grin in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, is creating a city of happy, healthy smiles.

The Junior League is also working to foster community acceptance and inclusion to improve the lives of refugees in Greater Cincinnati through RefugeeConnect, a united, collaborative program that relies on educating, connecting and advocating.

For more information on the nominees, visit