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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Ten winners of the Governor's Volunteer Service Award were honored Tuesday at the offices of the United Way of the Central Carolinas.
"It's a big deal," said Jane McIntyre, CEO of the United Way of the Central Carolinas. "Volunteers give back so much and they make a huge difference."
Volunteerism and community service was first recognized by the Office of the Governor in 1979. Any person, group or business from the public, non-profit and private sector can be nominated for the award. The recognition of this year's winners was part of the larger National Volunteer Week which was established in 1974.
This year's winners support various causes ranging from feeding the hungry to working on affordable housing to keeping kids in school to helping those with disabilities to protecting the environment.
"Boy, when you find (a cause) you love, you want to stick with it," said McIntyre. "It's like any job. It's where you are best."
"You've (award winners) all used your gifts for varied causes and the beauty is none of you waited for someone else to do it," said WBTV's Jamie Boll who spoke at the event. "You stepped up, you volunteered for the job, you volunteered to serve. Our community is all the better for it."
Here are the winners of this year's Governor's Volunteer Service Award.
Greg Moran, Allegro Foundation
Greg has volunteered with the Allegro Foundation (A Champion for Children with Disabilities) for over 10 years. Greg works one on one with a child and assists with movement instruction as well as being a friend. He shares his experience, support, and advice with new volunteers. He simply wants to see the children succeed. Without volunteers like Greg, these children would have fewer opportunities to reach their goals.
Bill Gerhart, NC MedAssist
Bill volunteers for NC MedAsssit (nonprofit pharmacy program providing access to lifesaving prescription medications, client support, advocacy and other services to poor, vulnerable, and uninsured North Carolina residents.) He has been a dedicated volunteer for the past 6 years and sometimes volunteers as much as 120 a month! Bill is helps with clerical work, medicine delivery, and working on the OTC medicine program. This program would not be possible without Bill, he helps organize medications and packages them for pick up. The OTC program sends out of 3,000 pounds of medicine to NC residents each month, which includes 15 clinics and 150 individuals. The NC MedAssist staff truly considers Bill as part of the family!
Charlie Diman, Pinewood Elementary
Charlie oversees the maintenance of the Pinewood School Gardens, which include 29 raised beds and 15 potted plants. He advises what the students should plant each season, secures the seeds and equipment needed, and takes each of the 34 classes to the gardens to demonstrate how to plant. He tends to the gardens and aids the teachers and students in the care and harvest of the plants. Charlie's service goes beyond teaching students how to garden, he share experiences in an urban environment, and children learn about where food comes from and nutritional value. Charlie's work in the gardens has helped springboard an overall wellness program at the school. The students also learn about giving back by donating the produce toe Friends Gardens, and helping to prepare and pack meals for the Friendship Trays program. Charlie has extensive knowledge of plants and gardening, but his best quality is the patient and congenial manner in which he conveys it to every student, staff member, and community partner. The Pinewood School Gardens would not be possible without Charlie!
Scott Fletcher, Girl Scouts Hornets' Nest Council
Gene Vaughn, Girl Scouts Hornets' Nest Council
Scott and Gene are being recognized for their tireless work and support to the Girls Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council, particularly the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs. They played a key role in the development of the property from assessing it in its raw state, to identifying environmental needs and potential problem areas, to implementing processes and procedures to ensure the property functioned at its environmental best from the waterfront, to the camping and living quarters, to the hiking trails and paths. Thanks to their efforts, girls and adults are able to experience the outdoors in an environmentally sound and safe space that provides opportunities to enjoy natural learning spaces and waterfront activities.
Keith Anderson, Big Brothers Big Sisters
Keith has been a Big Brother since October 2008. Keith goes above and beyond the ordinary role as a Big (mentor). Keith spends time doing a variety of things with his little including attending sporting events, helping with homework, and simply spending time together. Keith has helped his little improve his grades in school and improve his confidence. Keith and little have formed a special bond and when Keith's first child was born, he called his little immediately and invited him to visit his "neice". Keith was honored as this year's Big of Year and even with his own busy schedule and career as a doctor, he finds the time for his little and is the true meaning of a positive role model.
Rodgers Builders, Florence Crittenton
Rodgers Builders has been committed to serving the community through FCS for over 30 years. Rodgers has demonstrated determined and strong convictions toward FCS mission "to promote health and hope for tomorrow's children by providing comprehensive health, educational, pregnancy prevention and social services for single, pregnant, and no pregnant adolescents, women and their families." In the past years Rodgers has helped with facility projects, the annual golf tournament, and honored at multiple annual luncheons. B.D. and Pat Rodgers and other Rodgers employees have served repeatedly on the Board of Directors, Board of Advisors and various Crittenton committees. They have proven their ability to govern and care about the clients served at FCS. Rodgers employees have been steadfast in seeking financial support for Crittenton by personal and corporate donations, fundraising activities and in kind services.
World Mission Society Church of God
The World Mission Society Church of God is being nominated because of their constant commitment to the surrounding community. They have been actively involved in the Charlotte community carrying out various volunteer activities such as blood drives, environmental protection efforts, and park recreation. Through the organization's leadership skills, there has been a significant impact on our community. The church has influenced our society to do more to help neighbors in any way necessary. The primary type of leadership this organization uses having the mind and a heart of a mother.
Vanguard's commitment to the Charlotte community is deeply ingrained in its culture. Vanguard's largest volunteer efforts are channeled through United Way of Central Carolinas. This commitment and emphasis on United Way of Central Carolinas allows Vanguard to focus deeply on the health and human service needs which makes a greater impact on the Charlotte community rather than "stretching thin" over numerous causes and drives. When Vanguard commits to a volunteer project, they are "all in" and do everything with 100% dedication and enthusiasm. Vanguard does not limit their engagement to the annual United Way campaign. They are engaged year-round and their dedicated crew works tirelessly to donate their time, talent and treasure through a wide variety of activities, most associated with United Way partner agencies. Not only did they participate in 40 done-in-a-day Day of Caring projects with 270 volunteers donating 810 hours of service for a value of $17,933, they also lead volunteer efforts for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, My Classroom Economy financial education classes, All Cans on Deck summer food drive for children, and the Salvation Army sponsor a family.
David English, Union County Community Shelter – MEDALLION AWARD WINNER
David is an indispensable and passionate board member and community volunteer. David serves on the Board of Directors of the Union Co Community Shelter (UCCS), homeless shelter and soup kitchen. David serves on the facilities committee and fundraising committee. He assists in major shelter facility projects, serves as the Chair of the annual golf tournament and other special event committees. He is a champion for the homeless and hungry in Union county. In 2013 David helped lead and overhaul of agency benefits and personnel policies, renovate bathroom facilities for UCCS, nurtured relationship with donors, championed the new Boots and BowTies fundraiser, and chair the most successful golf tournament in UCCS history. He also is an avid fundraiser for United Way and American Red Cross. He is also very involved in his church – Central United Methodist Church, the City of Monroe Parks and Rec, and Union Academy Charter School. He has helped raise a quarter of a million dollars for his community.