Ansbach, Germany -- "Volunteers are the heart of the community" was this year's motto of the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony that took place at the Von Steuben Community Center May 7, 2019. Not all of the registered 140 volunteers were able to attend, as some were fulfilling their volunteer commitment for the garrison. Those who came were honored with a garrison certificate of appreciation, a commemorative pin and small tokens.

The Ansbach community relies on helping hands for many of its activities and services. Any volunteer action, no matter how big or small, can affect positive change on an entire community. In the past year, Ansbach volunteers supported the garrison via 13 different organizations.

"Here in Ansbach and at Illesheim, our volunteers serve as coaches and mentors; enhance religious support at our chapels and support Army readiness through Soldier and Family Readiness Programs. You help us deliver much needed Youth Programs and services, work with our schools, support our German-American outreach program, and make possible our award-winning theater--the Terrace Playhouse. All of these activities contribute to an improved quality of life for the entire community and my bet is that everyone in this room has benefitted from one or more of these programs or services," said Col. Steven M. Pierce, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach.

During his remarks, Pierce asked the attending volunteers to talk about their motivation to volunteer. Cpt. Bartley Wilt, a chaplain who works with the local Boy Scout pack, explained his desire to mentor and shape youth to help them grow into responsible adults as his personal motivation.

The Ansbach volunteers come from all different corners of the USAG Ansbach community representing the different types of organizations. There are youth and adult volunteers, Soldiers and Civilians, family members, retirees and local nationals.

Although their work is priceless, a dollar amount attributed to the hours volunteered makes their value even more obvious.

"Had we paid employees to do the massive amount of work that you did at USAG Ansbach alone, it would have cost the Army $559,460. That dollar amount is based on an incredible 22,000 volunteer hours logged," said Pierce.

At the end of the ceremony, Toni McIntyre, the garrison volunteer coordinator, handed an oversized check representing the dollar amount of volunteer work of one year to the garrison commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier.

To view the photos of the event, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagansbachphotos/albums/72157704983474232
(U.S. Army photos by Bianca Sowders, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)