The second annual "Celebration of Volunteerism" reception, staged by the Roger Hill Volunteer Center, will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (April 30) Thursday, during National Volunteer Week, at the First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt.
Lanaea Heine, coordinator of the center, 211 E. Eighth, said the center's second Award of Excellence and the eighth United Way of Douglas County's Wallace Galluzzi Volunteer Award will be presented at the reception.
More than 115 volunteers were nominated this year for the Award of Excellence and six were nominated for the Galluzzi Award, Heine said. Nominees for both awards will be honored at the reception, and special recognitions are planned for all Galluzzi Award nominees, four Award of Excellence finalists and the two actual recipients.
Last year, Roger Williams received the first Award of Excellence. He was recognized for his efforts to improve accessibility on the Kansas University campus and in the community for persons who use wheelchairs, as well as for his involvement in Independence Inc., the local agency that nominated him and that aims to empower people with disabilities and to advocate for an integrated, accessible community.
The Galluzzi Award was created eight years ago in memory of Wallace Galluzzi, who was president of Haskell Indian Junior College from 1969 to 1981 and United Fund Drive chairman in 1983. It specifically recognizes volunteers for United Way of Douglas County or member agencies; the Award of Excellence is open to all people who volunteer in Douglas County.
Former Galluzzi Award recipients and their nominators are A.E. Lee, Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, 1985; Emma Morgan, Hospice Care in Douglas County, 1986; Diane Duffy, Douglas County Rape Victim Support Service, 1987; LaMerle McCoy, Ballard Community Center, 1988; Marcella Wolfson, American Red Cross-Douglas County, 1989; Lyman Wiley, Association for Retarded Citizens, 1990; and Judi Kellas, First Step House, 1991.
This year's Award of Excellence selection committee was Dan Wildcat of Haskell Indian Junior College, Hunter Cole of Hallmark Inc., Bryona Wiley, one of last year's finalists nominated by Cottonwood, Inc., Patty Doria of Independence Inc., and LaMerle McCoy, a past recipient of the Galluzzi Award.
The Galluzzi Award selection committee is Mike Kautsch, dean of the KU School of Journalism, Marie Galluzzi, widow of the award's namesake, Phil Bradley, United Way board member, Howard Hill, general manager of KANU public radio, and Kurt von Achen, Eudora architect.
"One of the things the judges were struck by was the overwhelming commitment shown by the volunteers," Heine said regarding both awards. "It was a hard decision. Everyone's making a difference in their own way.
Five Award of Excellence nominees, including one who also was nominated for the Wallace Galluzzi Volunteer Award, are profiled in today's Variety Section.
They are Dora Bice, Wayne Kruse, Rachel Marion, Carol Nalbandian and Erica Weaver. The five were selected from among semifinalists for the Award of Excellence to show the diversity of volunteer work going on locally. Nalbandian also was nominated for the Galluzzi Award.