By Mr. Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)April 21, 2016
The Fort Leonard Wood community capped off National Volunteer Week with the annual Installation Volunteer Corps Recognition Awards Ceremony Friday at Pershing Community Center.
Registered Fort Leonard Wood volunteers donated 87,905 hours to the installation in 2015. Rhonda Hutsell, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator, presented a symbolic check for $2,168,767 to installation leaders, representing the amount of service volunteers donated to the installation, had their service been paid.
Representing the command, Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School commandant, along with Col. Andy Herbst, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Tyson Goolsby, USAG command sergeant major, presented awards to the installation's top volunteers.
"Our volunteers truly do touch the lives of every service member, civilian, retiree and Family member on Fort Leonard Wood," Gervais said before beginning the awards presentation portion of the ceremony. "The thing that makes Fort Leonard Wood so great is the fact that we have volunteers who give so much of themselves so we can enjoy a lot of the programs we have."
Although he was unable to attend the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center or Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, issued a statement honoring the community's volunteers and the impact they have on the installation and military Families.
"Our volunteers -- both on Fort Leonard Wood and in the local community -- truly make service in the heart of America more rewarding and enjoyable," he said.
Gervais said without volunteers, many of the programs that benefit the community would be impossible. Some of the programs that rely on volunteer service include Army Community Service, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, installation religious education programs, youth sports, the Bruce C. Clarke Library, Family Readiness Groups and more.
According to Hutsell, Fort Leonard Wood has more than 5,500 registered volunteers.
"Their professional attitude, caring personality and selfless service not only brings credit upon themselves, but to your organizations and our installation," Hutsell said.
She said this year's National Volunteer Week theme, "Lifting Spirits, Touching Lives," is exemplified through Fort Leonard Wood's volunteers.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away. To the world, you may be one person, but to the one person you may be the world. That's what volunteers do when they lift spirits and touch lives," she said.
The following individuals were honored at the ceremony:
Volunteers of the year
-- Military: Chaplain (Capt.) Robert Jackson.
-- Retiree: Ronald Alexander
-- Civilian: Beth Gillette
-- Family: Carl, Shelley, Derek, Aaron, Zacari Emperato
-- Youth: Matthew Knell
Volunteers of the Quarter
-- Military: Sgt. Shanejoel Adriano
-- Retiree: Jose Hernandez
-- Civilian: Sara Stackpoole
-- Family: Andrew, Carmen and Gabriel Osborn
-- Youth: Kolina Metcalf
Jimin Roscoe, Nadine Albrecht, Julie Wahlers, Chrissie Lance, Jocelyn Morris, Teresa Thayer, Kelly Valley, Mason Michels, Debbie O'Donnell, Sunni Harvey, Jennifer Cagle, Catey Coughlin, Michelle Helton, Joseph Krill, June Sablan, April Penny, Christine Mitchell, Sarah Custer, Sandra Dubbs, Julie McNeil, Sherry Hopkins, Gretchen Barnes, Johnnie Bryant, Suzie Woodring, Mary Lou Price, and Ronald Jones.