FORT BENNING, Ga. - Fort Benning, here's your chance to meet some of the people behind the scenes of many of the services offered on post. Volunteers involved in everything from the Red Cross to area schools will be honored at the Fort Benning Volunteer Awards Ceremony Thursday at Riverside.

The event kicks off with live music by the MCoE Jazz Combo at 5 p.m. At 5:30, the ceremony starts with the presentation of a ceremonial check.

An annual tradition, the post volunteer coordinator, Starla Desaussure, will present a check to the post commanding general, MG Michael Ferriter. This year, that amount totals more than $1.9 million and represents the efforts of more than 2,000 volunteers giving more than 91,000 hours of their time to post organizations.

And for Fort Benning, that's not only nearly $2 million saved; it's a multitude of services that the community wouldn't enjoy without the volunteers' generosity, Desaussure said.

Without volunteers, there would be no coaches for soccer, no leaders for Girl Scouts, no workers at the Thrift Shop, she said.

"There are a lot of things that would not come to fruition if we did not have volunteers," Desaussure said.

The ceremony will include more than 30 awards recognizing groups and individuals.

"It's our way of saying thank you," Desaussure said. "All of the awardees have contributed more than 500 hours for 2009 individually. It lets them know, 'Hey, we appreciate everything you do.'"

Desaussure said she expects more than 300 volunteers to attend the ceremony, but the rest of the community is invited to attend to show support and appreciation for the volunteers.

Refreshments will be served following the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Benning Conference Center.

Page last updated Thu April 22nd, 2010 at 17:33