FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 8, 2013) -- Fort Benning's top volunteers and organizations were honored at the Volunteer Awards Ceremony April 30 at Riverside.

Kelly Furtick was named Volunteer of the Year. She serves as the corresponding secretary, webmaster and Benning Bazaar co-chair for the Community Spouses Club. She spearheaded the renewal of the CSC Bowling League, which hasn't been around for several years, she said. And she's the 316th Calvary Brigade, 3rd Squadron, 16th Calvary Regiment, senior Family Readiness Group Advisor.

"I volunteer because I simply enjoy working with people and helping," she said. "I am busy as a military spouse and a mother of three small boys, but I will always take the opportunity to help where help is needed. I think that by helping the military spouses and Families, that we in turn help the Soldiers and that in turn creates a better environment for everyone."

Starla De Saussure, Fort Benning's Army Volunteer Corps program manager, presented Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster and Fort Benning Command Sgt. Maj. James Carabello with a symbolic check worth almost $2 million. The amount represents the number of hours Fort Benning volunteers worked.

Katie McMaster, wife of Maj. Gen. McMaster, Fort Benning's commanding general, said it was the volunteers that helped keep the Fort Benning community healthy and happy.

"We all know our volunteers are the backbone of the Army and it is their work and dedication that ensures our Families are Army strong," she said. "Whether you are a spouse of a Soldier, a Soldier or one of our wonderful retirees -- thank you sincerely for everything you do to make Fort Benning such a great place and for the difference that you've made in this community."

Volunteers of Excellence

Laura Cory
Julie Deckard
Genny Davis
Sara Donlin
Amanda Eckenrode
Sgt. 1st Class Steve Gonzalez
Bruce Kemp
Allison Kemp
Melinda Miller
Aja Range-Lopez
Cassady Reynolds
Yvonne Rucobo
Regina Schuster
Frawn Simpson
1LT Kimberly Smith
Gillian Valentine

Family Readiness Group Volunteers of Excellence

Sylvia Bielich
Kristan Brown
Kim Friese
Tamara Gontarek
Stacy Harding
Tara Jauert
Joy Kovacevic
Leslie Marshall
Michele O'Brien
Elizabeth Odum
Nicole Thompson

Retiree Volunteers of Excellence

Gloria Bonaparte
Retired Master Sgt. Patrick Harmon
Herbert Mattison
Glenda Osborne
Mary Renteria
Ken Sines

Youth Volunteers of Excellence

Donald Neal
Danasia Williams

Volunteer Family of Excellence

Chester and Linda Seivert

FRGs of Excellence

3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment
F Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment

Unit of Excellence

11th Engineer Battalion

Volunteer Organizations of Excellence

American Red Cross
First Steps
Fort Benning Wounded Warrior Association

Retiree Volunteer of the Year

Barbara Singleton

Volunteer of the Year

Kelly Furtick

Volunteer Family of the Year

Staff Sgt. Arthur White
Simone White
Corey Boston
Damian Boston