(copied from 9-19-08 HI-KI)
Master of Ceremonies Past President Danny Christensen welcomed us to the 16th Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. Kathryn Davis from Fresno City College and Manuel from Roosevelt High School sang the National Anthem. Girl Scout Troop 872 presented the colors, and Bill Febuary said the prayer.
Danny read a letter that each recipient will receive:
‘In recognizing an individual for the EFK Volunteer of the Year, we reviewed a number of recommendations from many organizations in the City of Fresno. Based on this information, we have determined that you have made a significant contribution to this community with your service, and you have shown a willingness to extend yourself to others. We, the members of EFK, proudly acknowledge and honor you for your dedication and service. We hope that your excellent example of dedication will challenge others in your area of service to continue to work to make your organization one of excellence. EFK is extremely pleased to make you our Volunteer of the Year. In addition, we will be donating a cash award of $500.00 to the charity of your choice in your name. We do this to honor you for your outstanding service to our community, our nation, and our world.
AND THE WINNERS WERE:
Sarah introduced Susie, who has made it possible to hold events throughout Fresno in her capacity as a current Board Chair, and previously as a servicing manager, troop leader, and as a Girl Scout herself. She is a shining example of what the Girl Scout Council is and what Girl Scouts means to this community.
Susie told us that her father was a Kiwanis member for over 65 years, and she was wearing his 55-year pin in honor of him. Her mother also became a Kiwanian after retiring. Her life as a child was with Kiwanis activities, and she grew up with the tradition of volunteering in the community. She feels that those people, who have been given so much, have an obligation to give back. She has been a Girl Scout for over 45 years. The local Council is currently going through a merger and will be called Girl Scouts of Central California-South, which will include Kern, Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare Counties. Danny presented Susie with a plaque and a $500 check made payable to Golden Valley Girl Scout Council.
Denise Allshouse has known Kelly for 12 years and is privileged to have the opportunity to honor her publicly for her selfless dedication to volunteerism of all kinds. Kelly is a champion for families who have a loved-one with disabilities. Her dedication to her patients and their families became self-evident after a comment during her talk at a conference—"If your speech therapist won’t stand on their head and fart through their socks to get your child engaged in therapy, then you need to get a new therapist." The visual continues to haunt Denise, and she does not wear socks any more! Kelly goes the extra mile for all of her patients. Her volunteer efforts have served to empower people in our community to reach their full potential. She has taught many sign language classes to parents whose children are facing a speech disability. The parents are then able to teach their children to communicate in the way that would effectively get their needs met while their speech and language issues are addressed in therapy. She also gives volunteer talks to groups of parents with young infants and children about techniques for developing effective speech and language skills. Kelly has a strong faith in God and has spent many hours volunteering in church. She has taught and led her children by example at a very early age. She is always thinking of ways to share with others. Over the past few years, many of her volunteer hours have been spent serving with Rotaplast International, traveling on five surgical missions with health care professionals whose goals are to improve the lives of people with cleft palette and palette deformities. She is there as a speech pathologist to assist the patients in developing new and better speech skills after their corrective surgery. She moves humbly around our community with the heart of a servant and is always looking for ways to help others.
Kelly said she gives of herself to try to make the community better. It all started when she lost her mother when she was five years old, and many people had to step in to help her get to school, dance class, school plays, and other activities. Her volunteerism is borne out of receiving. The real gift belongs to the giver. She is pleased to connect with EFK and our community. Danny presented her with a plaque and a $500 check made payable to Rotaplast International.
Judy Labendeira, The Program Coordinator for Club 55 St. AgnesLifeline Program, introduced Warren, who she can always count on no matter the time of day or what the weather conditions are. He never says he does not have time to do an installation or service. He has volunteered more than 4,000 hours, with hundreds of installations and services as well as training all of the lifeline installers. He is always calm, understanding, patient, kind, never complains, and is known for his jokes and loves to reminiscence about the war. Many subscribers call in and personally ask for Warren.
Warren said he has been installing the Lifelines to needy people who have no other help, and for some of them, it has been lifesaving. He has installed these systems for Ted Wills, Judge Brown, Bernie Sisk, and many others. It is rewarding to him to talk to some of these people. He is so enthusiastic about installing the services that he even arrives one day early. Danny presented Warren with a plaque and a $500 check made payable to St. Agnes Medical Center Club 55.
Cindy Thomas see more pictures in the photo album
Dana Regier, Director of Operations of the American Red Cross, introduced Cindy, one of their most treasured volunteers. The unique thing about their volunteers is that they are on-call and always ready to go. Cindy not only goes out on the fires or floods, she is also one of the few who receive calls from the fire department and help dispatch volunteers. The mission of the American Red Cross is to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Cindy said she was totally overwhelmed to receive this award, and the only reason that she agreed to it was because we were honoring the American Red Cross, a wonderful organization. She thanked her family because they pick up the slack when she gets called to go NOW. Danny presented Cindy a plaque and a $500 check payable to the American Red Cross.
see more pictures in the photo album