Five Award of Excellence nominees Mrs. A.B. Ewing, Shawn Nasseri, Bernie Norwood, Edna Winter and Roger Williams are profiled in today's Variety Section, selected from the 25 semi-finalists to show the diversity of volunteer work going on locally.
These award nominees were interviewed before the Roger Hill Center's award panel made its selections.
Local volunteers take the spotlight this week as the Roger Hill Volunteer Center prepares to present its first Award of Excellence to an outstanding local volunteer during National Volunteer Week.
The award recipient and four finalists, as well as all volunteers nominated for the honor and their nominators, are to be recognized at a "Celebration of Volunteerism" reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at Liberty Hall, 642 Mass, said Lanaea Heine, coordinator of the Roger Hill Center, 211 E. Eighth.
Also to be announced at the gathering is this year's recipient of the Wallace Galluzzi Volunteer Award, Heine noted. The Galluzzi Award was created seven years ago in memory of Wallace Galluzzi to honor annually a volunteer to the United Way of Douglas County or one of its member agencies.
Galluzzi was 1983 United Fund Drive chairman and also was active in leadership and volunteer roles with a number of United Fund member agencies.
HEINE ADDED that this month also marks the first anniversary of the Roger Hill Center's opening. The center matches volunteers with local agencies that need people to work.
She noted that the center, which had a first-year goal of 100 referrals, surpassed that mark in its eighth month of operation, when referrals totaled 211, involving 416 volunteers.
Now, at the agency's first anniversary, the center has tallied 494 referrals involving 735 volunteers.
Nationally, she noted, volunteerism is at its highest level ever. A 1990 Gallup survey showed 98 million people were volunteering a 23 percent increase over 1987 participation rates.
Heine said a call for nominations for the new Award of Excellence brought in more than 200 nominees from non-profit agencies in Douglas County that depend on volunteer help to accomplish their goals.
"WE'RE REALLY excited about that to get that overwhelming a response the first time we offered a program," she said.
Heine said last week that a special Award of Excellence panel was in the process of selecting five finalists from among 25 semi-finalists selected from 209 nominees.
Members of the selection panel are Bob Martin, president of Haskell Indian Junior College; the Rev. Leo Barbee, pastor of the Victory Bible Church; Jo Byers, director of the Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross; Tensie Oldfather, a local homemaker and a volunteer; and Jim Budde, director of Kansas University's Research and Training Center on Independent Living.
Heine said the recipient will receive a personal plaque and have his or her name engraved on an Award of Excellence plaque to be permanently displayed at the Douglas County Courthouse.
ALL FIVE finalists also will receive prizes donated by local merchants.
According to nomination information, the award winner should best "exemplify the spirit of volunteerism" as defined by the Winston Churchill quote: "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Among other eligibility requirements, nominees must have done their volunteer work in Douglas County, although they need not be residents.
Their work also must have been "active" in nature, rather than as a figurehead, and no monetary reimbursement, except for out-of-pocket expenses, could have been received for the work.
Heine said nominations were solicited from a wide variety of not-for-profit agencies in the county, not just those using volunteers through the Roger Hill Center.