In 1984, Healthy Charlotte Alliance established the James Gray Cannon Award. We present this award to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, on a voluntary basis, toward the advancement of medical care and good health in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. Past recipients include hospital volunteers, organization founders and board members – people who, through their unselfish dedication to an organization or cause, have made a difference in our community.
Recipients of the Cannon Award receive an engraved plaque and are allocated $1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. The winner will also be honored at a special reception.
The nomination window is now closed for the 2015 Cannon Award and will reopen Jan. 1, 2016, for the 2016 Cannon Award. At that time, we will invite you to nominate anyone who meets the criteria outlined above by submitting an online nomination form. Nominees will remain on active file for consideration for three years. Volunteers, as well as health care professionals volunteering outside their paid positions, are eligible. Physicians, their spouses and members of Healthy Charlotte Alliance are not eligible.
We look forward to receiving your nomination for this humanitarian award. If further information is needed, please feel free to contact Cannon Award Chairperson, Gail VanDerVeer.
"For twenty-six years, my father dedicated much of his life to volunteering to help people in need and improve healthcare in the Charlotte community. Volunteering his time, heart and helping hands was his gift to the organizations he supported without asking for any recognition. I know that he left this world content because of his humble contributions along with his deep faith. My Mother and I are grateful that you recognized my father for doing something he loved. Your organization is supporting many organizations trying to make Charlotte better everyday; a job well done by MMAE. “
"Recognizing there are hundreds of active volunteers in the Mecklenburg area, I feel awed and honored to have been singled out to receive MMAE's Cannon Award in 2014. My long involvement with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has been personally valuable and exciting. Receiving the Cannon Award for my work with JDRF has added a third dimension of value to the way I feel about those years. My heartfelt appreciation to the members of MMAE. Until the "end of my days", I promise I will continue live up to your honor."
Previous Cannon Award Winners
2017 Meghan Hampton founder of “In the NIC of Time” which supports the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Levine. Meghan is a fierce advocate for the smallest fighters in our community.
2016 Laura Funderburg for her work with Arts for Life, both in helping to launch the program at Levine Children’s Cancer Center and for her dedication, compassion and dependability as a volunteer.
2010 Mr. Howard C. “Smoky” Bissell for his leadership in the $85 million capital campaign for the Levine Children’s Hospital
2007 Ann Maulden Elliot, co-founder of what would become Friendship Trays, Charlotte- Mecklenburg’s nonprofit meals-on-wheels program
2006 Elizabeth “Lib” Harkey for her work with Florence Crittenton Services
2005 Edward T. Hinson for his work with Bioethics Resource Group
2004 Dr. Bill Cody- quietly worked to insure healthcare for the underserved, including homeless women and children and people living with HIV/AIDS
2003 Daphne Ledford-Founder of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Celia Support Group
2002 Quay Youngblood-Volunteer at Presbyterian Hospital for over 24 years.
2001 Barbara Hautau-Afflicted with MS since the late 70’s, formed a Christian based MS support group in 1993 and, with her husband, organized an annual banquet at Calvary Church for people with disabilities.
2000 Rex Welton-A prime force in the establishment of the Buddy Kemp Caring House which offers unique support for cancer patients, involved with the Mercy Hospital Foundation, Leukemia Society of America, the YMCA, Dalton Village, the Duke University Cancer Center, and the Presbyterian Hospital Foundation.
1999 Bruce Parker-Community philanthropist with a long-standing interest in hunger relief as well as support for housing and other health-related activities.
1998 Barbara Novell-Carolina Medical Center volunteer oncology floor, “Tea Lady”
1996 Charles G. (Chuck) Richards-Board Member Healthy Charlotte Alliance’s Inn, recognized for constant support of Healthy Charlotte Alliance’s Inn, raising funds through Wine and Food Weekend 1997
Previous Cannon Award Winners (continued)
1995 Sharon O. Dixon-Hospice nurse volunteer, Nurse Coordinator, Director, Professional Services, Hospice
1994 Thereasea Elder- founder, Cleo Young Scholarship Award in Nursing (Queens College), Drafting team for 50% by 2000 program to reduce teen pregnancy, organizer of health fairs and educational programs for women and pregnant adolescents.
1993 R. Stuart Dickson-Chairman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority; Director, Dickson Foundation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Health Services and Hospital Authority Foundation, Heinemann Medical Research Center and Foundation for Carolinas
1992 Dr. Linda A Berne-Founder and President, Mecklenburg Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, March of Dimes, NC Coalition on Adolescent Pregnancy.
1991 Jan and Darrell Hargett-Founders and Presidents, “Wish I Could” (an organization for granting wishes of chronically and terminally ill children)
1990 Deborah Crouch McKeithan-Founder and President, “Learning How, Inc.” (an organization dedicated to helping physical handicapped persons achieve fullest potential)
1989 Hilda Hemby-Charlotte Memorial Hospital volunteer, Intensive care waiting room, active in the implementation of the Patient Representative Program
1988 Donald Simpson-Founder and President, Mission Air Industries, Inc. (an organization to provide air ambulance service for the sick and insured that would not be available financially or “in time”)
1987 Mary Elizabeth Crook-Founder, Presbyterian Hospital Auxiliary Sales Room, volunteer at Presbyterian Hospital for 44 years, board member, Barium Springs and Alexander Home
1986 Sarah B. Bryant-President, Florence Crittenden Home Board of Directors; Founder, Planned Parenthood of Charlotte; Chairman, Charlotte Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Advisors
1985 Austin Theis-Chairman, Mercy Hospital Board
1984 James G. Cannon-Commissioner for Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital Authority; Chairman Charlotte Memorial Hospital Board of Managers, Director of Heinemann Foundation (Dec.)