Volunteer Champions Honored
Here in the Chattanooga area, United Way’s Volunteer Center (a Hands-On affiliate) helped host the 2011 Volunteer United Awards Banquet to honor those local volunteers who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in this community. This year’s theme, “Celebrating People in Action,” is about recognizing and thanking area people who get out and work to make our community a better place to live by seeking out imaginative ways to help and by putting themselves at the center of social change.
In our area during 2010, United Way’s Volunteer Center managed 7,316 volunteers; on average promoted more than 100 volunteer opportunities daily on its web site; coordinated 39 corporate days of caring; and helped 125 area nonprofits recruit volunteers for their activities.
The Volunteer United Awards Banquet was hosted by United Way’s Volunteer Center, DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) and the Corporate Volunteer Council (an advisory committee to the United Way). Together with other area nonprofits, they organized two local events to focus attention on thanking volunteers who worked to advance the common good and make lasting social changes in this community. Area volunteers were celebrated for accomplishing extraordinary feats – such as community revitalization, conservation and education – through service.
At the banquet, the Volunteer Center recognized one corporation and six individuals who volunteered to create impact in this community. They are TGI Fridays for the Corporate Volunteer of the Year; Douglas Daniel for the Education Volunteer of the Year; Art Holekamp for the Health Volunteer of the Year; Chris Brown for the Youth Volunteer of the Year; Don and Diane Barnes for the Community Volunteers of the Year; Terry Trecartin for the Environmental Volunteer of the Year; and Gladys Woods for the National Service Volunteer of the Year.
Brian Smith, community volunteer and Morning Meteorologist and Co-Host for WDEF News 12, served as keynote speaker for the evening. Brian is an avid volunteer mentor and shared with the audience not only his own reasons for volunteering, but why it is so important for our community.
The awards banquet was made possible thanks to the generosity of both our premier sponsors, TVA and Unum, and our supporting sponsors, Comcast and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company.
United Way's Volunteer Center, DOVIA and the Corporate Volunteer Council also held a special baseball outing at the Lookouts on April 9 as another way of thanking their hard-working volunteers. About 823 volunteers were in attendance at the Lookouts’ Volunteer Night, where they got to see volunteer Earl Connell with Jr. Achievement throw out the first pitch of the game.
With hundreds of volunteer projects available, area citizens can join the volunteer movement and get involved. If you are interested in becoming a community volunteer, call Windy Brooks at the Volunteer Center at 423.752.0316. You can also volunteer by visiting us online at www.LiveUnitedChattanooga.org and click on “Volunteer.”