By Mrs. Erinn Burgess (IMCOM)April 30, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz recognized and celebrated community volunteers at the Volunteer of the Year Ceremony 6 p.m. April 26 at Armstrong's Club.
During 2018, community volunteers logged 138,646 hours of volunteerism, which saved the Army $3,649,173 in labor costs. The work was performed by more than 5,000 volunteers ranging from youth, to civilians, to Soldiers.
"Sure, we can attach a dollar value on the costs you save when you volunteer to help -- and we can certainly be proud of that," said garrison commander Col. Jason T. Edwards. "But I am here to tell you that your efforts are priceless. The value goes much deeper than dollar amount. It's about the spirit of simply wanting to offer some of your time and talent to make our community a better place."
Not only do volunteers help make USAG RP the best community in Europe, said Edwards, they also increase Army Readiness by supporting troops and their families.
Recognized with top honors for volunteer hours were:
Youth Volunteer Award: William Hanna; Vogelweh Library and Boy Scouts
Teen Volunteer Award: Chloe Begin; USAG RP libraries and Kaiserslautern High School booster club
Single Service Member Volunteer Award: Sgt. Brian Wolford; Better Opportunities for Single Service Members and Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving
Service Member Volunteer Award: Staff Sgt. Deborah Keen; USO
Family Volunteer Award: Julie Carter; 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery; Baumholder Community Spouses' Club; Baumholder School Age Center; Baumholder Thrift Store and Baumholder Chapel
Civilian Volunteer Award: Marianne Warwick; KMC Onstage
Elaine Leist "Lead by Example" Award: Melinda Pedigo; 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Baumholder Middle High School PTSA and Baumholder Chapel
Humanitarian Volunteer Award: Pat Keena; USO
Volunteer of Distinction Award: Barba Stuwe; USO
"For all that you've done - many of you in between juggling your own jobs, activities and families - we owe you a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay," Edwards said. "What you do for our community does not go unnoticed."
The event included entertainment from KMC Onstage, finger foods and an awards presentation for volunteers.
"Volunteering enriches programs provided by many organizations and supports our entire community," said Greetchen Garcia, Army Community Service program support assistant.
Garcia said those interested in volunteering may attend an ACS volunteer orientation, offered at 2 p.m. every third Monday on Kleber Kaserne, Bldg. 3210, and 2 p.m. every third Tuesday on Clinic Kaserne, Bldg. 8746.
For more information, call ACS at 0611-143-541-9000 in Kaiserslautern and 0611-143-531-2850 in Baumholder.