Colorado Red Cross volunteers are amazing. 90% of the American Red Cross in Colorado is made up of volunteers, with over 40,000 hours annually put in by Pikes Peak Chapter volunteers alone. Saturday, May 9, the Red Cross said thank you.
Not just thank you for showing up, but thank you for the hours of training, and thank you for the compassion, creativity and care that goes into delivering services to those in need.
The event also marked the announcement of the Deborah MacSwain Passion for Service Award.
Some volunteers really go out of their way, finding more ways to lead and to create opportunities to make an even bigger difference in people’s lives. Service can be expressed both through leading a large operation, or by being there in small ways over many years. As Marjorie Moore said, “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
Clearly, the volunteers of Pikes Peak Chapter want a community full of people dedicated to creating a better world through the giving of their time and talents. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, and especially those honored below. Without you, we literally would not be here!
Special Achievement Awards
Lifetime Achievement of Service – Jeanie Ahrens
Jeanie has been involved with the Red Cross for 57 years, from 1958, when she set up a program for swimming lessons, including organizing the transportation, to her current involvement with Mass Care, Sheltering and Client Casework. She is a second generation Red Crosser, and taught first aid classes with her mother in Tennessee. More recently, she has coordinated the Tri-Lakes Sheltering Teams.
Thank you Jeanie, for sprinkling pixie dust over our clients when they were having the worst day of their lives, sharing Mickey Mouse with our volunteers when they needed help to be strong, and for having a heart to serve your entire life.
Deborah MacSwain Passion for Service Award – Kathleen Sharkey
Don’t talk about things that need to be done around Kathleen Sharkey, because with her generous heart and efficient manner, she will get it done. Over the last five years, she has been Client Caseworker Lead and Disaster Action Team Co-Coordinator, which in and of itself has involved organizing eight DAT responders in sixteen counties, both for emergencies and for trainings.
Kathleen’s humor, dedication and compassion are shared not only with clients but with other volunteers. She is much beloved in both the field and the office. Thank you, Kathleen, for your dedication and dogged ability to find solutions to knotty problems.
Volunteer of the Year – Lee Roman
It is not always easy to find ways to meet client needs at the same time as adhering to Red Cross policies in the midst of a disaster, but Lee Roman is a master of thinking outside the box. In her 25 years of service, she has responded to events ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing to the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster to the shootings at Virginia Tech to the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. Her dedication and practical, common sense responses have earned her a Health Services Manager status from National Headquarters. Thank you, Lee, for serving not only in the field and on the Board of Directors, but also for inspiring a new generation of Health Care responders as a mentor.
Departmental Awards and Other Recognitions:
Exceptional Volunteer Award – Rich Garcia
Exceptional Volunteer of the Year – Elizabeth Ritchie
Unsung Heroes – Kitty Taylor (not pictured), Donna Constance and Daniel Chavez
Army Rookie of the Year – Melissa Dashner
Rookie of the Year – Delynda Campbell (not pictured)
Star Award – Kathleen Rowland (not pictured), Carolyn Sharp
Family Service Award – Jeannie and Dennis Hoyt
Team Award – Don Espinoza, Dan Chavez, Bob McCown, Peg McCown, John Goorley, Dave Duran (Bob, Peg, John and Dave not pictured)
Air Force Volunteer of the Year – Larry Grenier
Army Volunteer of the Year – Anne Rost
Army Youth Volunteer of the Year – Alicia Rendon
Board Member of the Year – Vicki Cederholm
Outstanding Leader of the Year – Charlie Mussi
Disaster Cycle Services Volunteer of the Year – Robert Rose
To view more photos of the event, visit our Flickr album: