Volunteers make up more than 90% of the Red Cross workforce in Colorado, so it’s no exaggeration to say that the Red Cross IS its volunteers.
Each year, we take a moment to highlight, recognize and thank some of the extraordinary volunteers who deliver our services with compassion, care, creativity and dedication.
These are the volunteers who give more, do more, accomplish more – the volunteers who lead, inspire and touch lives. They make a difference in big ways and in the vast impact of many small acts over time.
On Sunday, April 26, the Red Cross Mile High Chapter held its annual Volunteer Recognition Event to thank all chapter volunteers and to recognize a very special set of volunteers with awards.
Read a little about each of these extraordinary volunteers below.
Special Achievement Awards
Mile High Chapter Volunteer of the Year – Joan Cernich
|Joan Cernich, Center, with Tisha and Brian Schuller.|
This award is for exceptional volunteer service and commitment to support and improve the quality of service provided by the American Red Cross.
Joan has been committed to the Red Cross for 12 years, including serving in a leadership role in Boulder and Broomfield. She has championed the direction and cohesiveness of the Boulder/ Broomfield Disaster Action Team and demonstrated great leadership during the 2013 floods and subsequent flood recovery efforts. Joan is known for her great communication skills, respectful interactions, openness
BJ Coyle Passion for Service Award – Kitty Sherman
As volunteer partner to the Mile High Chapter Volunteer Services Manager, Kitty is often the first person a new volunteer interacts with when they contact the Red Cross. Kitty is gentle, easy-going, fun-natured and easy to work with.
Kitty is so dedicated and professional – and gives so much time – that new volunteers are often surprised to find that the person diligently emailing them, interviewing them, and helping them through the on-boarding process is a volunteer like themselves. Kitty not only comes in three days a week, but on her days off she continues to email volunteers and staff so no detail goes unattended.
Volunteer Leadership Award – John Miller
John is Chairman of Disaster Cycle Services for the Colorado & Wyoming Region; he is Volunteer Partner to the Regional Disaster Cycle Services Officer, serves on the Volunteer Leadership Council, and is a Boulder Disaster Action Team Captain and Disaster Assessment Manager. These are only a few of the leadership positions he has held over nearly a decade of service with the Red Cross.
John has deployed to 24 National Disaster Relief Operations. Because of his leadership and experience, he is considered a regional subject matter expert in the field of disaster assessment and participates in divisional planning and best practice groups.
Outstanding Team – Restoring Family Links Team
This amazing team logged about 790 hours of volunteer time last year helping to reconnect families and educate our community about Red Cross Restoring Family Links services available to them. The team includes Christina Eyre, Katie Lynn-Vecqueray, Adam Bradbury, Melody Storgaard, Michael Dirks, Michael Kearns, Robbe Sokolove, Amanda Doll, Karolina Kuczyc, Elayna McCall, Karen Stewart, Erika Miyamoto and Cassie Schoon.
Last fiscal year they worked 176 cases and conducted 398 services on those cases. This case volume marks a 76% increase from the previous year and has increased the region from a 28th ranking in the nation to 8th in the nation. Additionally, the team won the National Red Cross Restoring Family Links FY14 Story Campaign and received special recognition from Harold Brooks, Senior Vice President of International Services.
Unsung Hero Award – Lyn Hall
Lyn serves quietly and with great kindness as she completes her tasks as the database maintenance lead for the learning management system the Red Cross uses.
Lyn is exceptionally reliable and committed to serve every Tuesday for the past year. She works on database accounts, updates transcripts, merges accounts, adds courses, troubleshoots, and accomplishes these detailed tasks with a smile on her face and a great attitude of service. Always behind the scenes, always caring… that is Lyn.
Century Recognition – Carol Murphy
Carol volunteered over 600 hours and donated her own funds to realize “Colorado Red Cross: A Century of Service,” a publication commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first Red Cross chapter charter in Colorado. Carol spent hours interviewing paid and volunteer staff, spent countless hours in the archives of the History Colorado Museum and braved many frigid days in the basement of 444 Sherman sifting through papers and boxes searching for the perfect photo for the book and the timeline that was the backdrop for numerous events.
In additions to volunteering, Carol is also a donor. She and her husband made a generous donation after super storm Sandy. At the time, she said, “It is criminal to see a need and not do anything…if you can do something, you should.” And so she did. In addition, Carol and her husband matched the chapter’s expenditures on the book, doubling the original budget.
Departmental Awards and Other Recognitions
Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership - Connie Hoffer
Board Member of the Year - Tisha Schuller
Fundraising Volunteers of the Year - Don & Linda Childears
Disaster Cycle Services (Preparedness) Volunteer of the Year - David Cook
Disaster Cycle Services (Response) Volunteer of the Year - Vicky Baker
Disaster Cycle Services (Recovery) Volunteer of the Year - Jason Webster
Preparedness, Health and Safety Services Volunteer of the Year - Aimon Alkanani
International Services Volunteer of the Year - Robbe Sokolove
Communications Volunteer of the Year - Elisa DiTrolio
Volunteer Services Volunteer of the Year - Karen Pierson
To view more photos of the event, visit our Flickr album: