Nominees for the 2008 Wallace Galluzzi Outstanding Volunteer Award:
Adults: Hank Booth, United Way of Douglas County; Mary Jones, Toys for Tots; Mary Seyk, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County; Janney Burgess, Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care; Bob Lantry, Kansas Audio-Reader Network; Suzanne Richardson, Douglas County CASA; Pete Peterson, LINK; Tyler Staples, Trinity In-Home Care; Dianna Nelson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Linda Randel, Douglas County Emergency Management; Fred McElhenie, Health Care Access Clinic; Ruth and Robert Tomasek, Harold Jones, Ray and Marian Wilbur, Don Warders, and Carolyn and Fred Madaus, all of Lawrence Meals on Wheels; Robert Bryant, Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care; Laura Kozak, Women’s Transitional Care Services; and Greg Pelligreen, Lawrence Youth Ensemble.
Youths: Dakota Driscoll, Lawrence Memorial Hospital; Sarah Stern, Youth Volunteer Corps; and Dela Breyne, Lawrence Youth Ensemble.
Sarah Stern has been volunteering for four years. She helps throw birthday parties for the homeless, worked with Latino children during the summer and volunteers with several other Lawrence nonprofits.
Stern is the Wallace Galluzzi Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year — and she hasn’t even graduated from high school yet.
“I love the people I meet when I volunteer,” said Stern, a 17-year-old Lawrence Free State senior. “There are some things you can only learn when you’re out in the community working with people who are different from you.”
The winner of The Roger Hill Center’s Outstanding Adult Volunteer Award was Pete Peterson, a volunteer with the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen.
Greg Moore, LINK director, said he nominated him because Peterson is his “right-hand man.” Peterson couldn’t make it to the event on Thursday.
The volunteer center usually gives awards to two volunteers each year, but this year’s committee decided to add another award to the program: the Wallace Galluzzi Lifetime Service Award.
Roger Hill Center Director Tracie Massey Howell said the award was created because of the quality and quantity of nominees.
The first recipient of the award is Hank Booth, a household name in the Lawrence volunteer community.
He has been volunteering for about 50 years, serving as a moderator on KLWN and a sports announcer for local athletics.
Booth said the United States won’t rebound by the investment of trillions of dollars in bailout and stimulus funds, but by the donations of “trillions of moments” from volunteers.
“The real strength of this country isn’t from financial institutions or Wall Street,” he said. “It’s from people, the folks sitting in this room, who want to help others.”