By Suet Lee-Growney, Fort Riley Public AffairsApril 28, 2017
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Fort Riley volunteers were recognized April 18 at the Volunteer of the Year awards ceremony at Riley's Conference Center.
According to Army Installation Management Command, this year's volunteerism theme is "Army Volunteers Serving for Life."
One of the top category winners and winner of Retiree of the Year is retired Command Sgt. Maj. Lowell May, who was recognized for his effort at the Fort Riley Museum. He also provides weekly briefings to incoming Soldiers and families at the "Big Red One" welcome and encourages them to learn about the history of Fort Riley.
"His tireless work in creating the museum gift shop is truly an asset to the museum," said Becky Willis, Army Volunteer Corps Program manager at Army Community Service. "His work as president of the Friends of Fort Riley Museum Board has contributed in making Fort Riley Museums one of the most visible and visited museums in Kansas."
Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley acting senior commander, said May is responsible for the process of bringing Chief; the preserved last cavalry mount back to Fort Riley. Currently, Chief is located at the University of Kansas.
"We've been trying to get Chief back for years," May said. "Finally, I think it was yesterday, KU agreed to let him come back to Fort Riley for two or three years."
Sandy Shorr, wife of Maj. Geoff Shorr, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., was recognized for her efforts as the technology chair at the Fort Riley Spouses Club.
"I feel very honored; I was very surprised to be nominated," Shorr said. "It is my first time being in a spouses club."
Shorr redesigned the club's website last summer. She not only manages the website and club's Facebook pages, but is also a judging chairperson with Combined Scholarship Fund.
"She actively volunteers with InDependent Fort Riley, The Stroller Warriors and her local church," Willis said.
At the end of the night the winner for the Adult Family Member Volunteer of the Year went to Leah Kennedy, wife of Maj. Luke Kennedy, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Kennedy, who is a Certified Public Accountant by profession, was presented a new 370Z Nissan to use for 30 days or 500 miles and a $200 gas card by Briggs Auto. She volunteers as treasurer for the Combined Scholarship Fund, as funds custodian for her Family Readiness Group, Ashwood Farms at St. George, Kansas, and First United Methodist Preschool at Manhattan, Kansas. She also serves on the Advisory Executive Council of 1st CAB.
"She exemplifies selfless leadership and commitment on a level that exceeds all others," Willis said. "She is always willing to support other military families in their time of need. It is with this commitment that this volunteer is the epitome of an Army spouse, resilient and concerned with the well-being of other military spouses."