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Stories tagged: Difference Makers 2016


Fallen Heroes honors service members killed in action since 9/11

The Fallen Heroes Project, which has about a dozen leading members, helped spearhead the installation of a 24-foot monument at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena last year. And since the …


Elson Floyd’s drive helped bring a medical school to Spokane

Spokane civic leaders had been working for years to expand medical education in the region by the time Elson Floyd was named president of Washington State University. The strategy at …


Spokane officer builds rapport with West Central residents, landlords

As she cruises through Spokane’s West Central neighborhood in her patrol car, Traci Ponto doesn’t wave at children. Instead, Ponto, the neighborhood’s police resource officer, smiles and flashes a peace …


Phil Tyler has helped build up Spokane NAACP after low point

Phil Tyler, the Spokane NAACP president, is finding ways to collaborate and find solutions to help people of color as racial tensions flare across the country.


Matt Layton brings a new focus for successful treatment of drug addicts

Dr. Matt Laytons is an early adopter of new and successful ideas to treat drug addicts.


High school student’s poignant speech on tolerance continues to resonate nearly one year later

When high school senior Ava Sharifi gave a speech about tolerance and acceptance, she struck a nerve. Thousands watched her impassioned talk to fellow Lewis and Clark students on YouTube …


John Padula summoned courage in the wake of a church shooting to foster hope and fellowship

John Padula was doing his best to hold it together and display courage in the face of an unthinkable act of violence. The man he considered a mentor, father figure …


On the field and off, Cooper Kupp brought out the best at EWU

Moments after a crushing last-second defeat that ended his storied Eastern Washington University college football career, Cooper Kupp kept his poise and perspective.


Rob McCann’s ambitious pledge to end homelessness is ringing true

Every time a bell rings – at least in the hallways at Catholic Charities – a homeless person gets a place to live. This year, that’s been 73 vigorous peals. …


Jessica Kovac changes lives through the gift of a meal

It may have been cold last Saturday, but that didn’t matter to 500 people who formed a line curling beneath the Interstate 90 bridge waiting for a prime rib dinner …


Rob Curley: Celebrating our everyday heroes is one of this newspaper’s most important duties

One of my favorite things in the world is to watch someone read a newspaper. When you do that, you begin to learn that our readers look at what we …