True Celebrity: Be the Spark

All it takes is a spark. A tiny moment in time that inspires a person to step up and create some good. However, the spark is merely a moment. It takes passion, dedication and hard work turn those moments into movements.

Damien + Shawna breathed life back into their community through a #basketball program. @cabotcheese #TrueCelebrity Click To Tweet

In Charlottesville, Virginia the spark was basketball. The hard work came from Damien Banks and his wife Shawna. They noticed their community was becoming an unfriendly place and the local park that once featured a vibrant basketball culture was all but abandoned.


Damien and Shawna Banks

In 2009, Damien founded the Banks Collage Basketball Association hoping to bring the community together in a positive way. As the years passed, the league grew and today games now serve as a community gathering place for all to enjoy. The mission of the league has expanded to charitable endeavors, with school supplies and winter coat drives to benefit those in need.


Banks Collage basketball action.


Backpack drive during a basketball game.

Basketball has become a community asset in Charlottesville thanks to the efforts of Damien and his wife. Damien’s work in his community is mirrored in his employer’s desire to do business a better way. He works for the organic mattress company Savvy Rest, which like Cabot Creamery, is a certified B Corporation and committed to using their business as a force for good.


Ola Owejumi

In Washington, DC the spark was a young girl’s heart condition. Ola Ojewumi’s condition was left undiagnosed and led to a heart and kidney transplant at age 11. The surgery inspired Ola into a life of action.


Ola speaking at a women’s history event at a middle school in Washington DC.

Now a young professional, she has spent years working to empower young girls through college scholarships and her work with America’s Promise. The organization works with hundreds of non-profits to ensure that the promise of America is accessible to all young people. Following her surgery Ola felt she was still alive for a reason and that reason was to help others.


Ola working with children in Guatemala.

For Ola and Damien, a lot of hard work has gone into bettering their communities. Their sparks turned into movements for good because of their selfless contributions. A spark can inspire action, but as these two Cabot Community Celebrities are proving, a spark is just the first step on the road to real change.

The farm families who own Cabot often volunteer in the communities in which they live and they hope to inspire others to do the same. The Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise was created to honor outstanding individuals in communities across the country committed to changing lives for the better. Over the next few months we will put the spotlight on these celebrities, who can inspire us all into action.

Cabot Creamery Cooperative and their partners are working to evolve the notion of celebrity as recognition of community service and volunteerism. The 1200 farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative are often the first to volunteer in their own communities and that spirit of giving back permeates all we do. The Cabot Community Celebrities, along with our Reward Volunteers program, and the traveling Cabot Gratitude Grille illustrate the many ways our dairy farm families honor, amplify, and reward those who give time to do good.  Even simple acts can lead to big change. We are proud to work with sponsors such as AARP/Create the Good, National Cooperative Bank and the Points of Light’s Hands on Network to celebrate these good people for their good deeds and build networks of help that can last a lifetime.


Leave a Comment

Become a Cabot Insider