By Andre Butler, Moncrief Army Community HospitalJanuary 31, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- A Moncrief Army Community Hospital technician was recently presented with a citation for his volunteer efforts throughout South Carolina.
Allen Gotbeter, a supply technician at MACH, and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, received the President's Volunteer Service Award Jan. 13 in Orangeburg for volunteering countless hours to various causes across the state.
"Allen has donated an extensive amount of his personal time to youth and other venues in South Carolina," said Gerry Kirkland, state chairman for the South Carolina Elks Drug Awareness Program.
Kirkland like Gotbeter is a member of the Elks, and they have known each other for the past six years. Kirkland is also the one who nominated Gotbeter for the award.
"He is an exceptional individual," Kirkland said. "Throughout his years of volunteer service, Allen has (clocked more than) 4,000 hours helping others."
Gotbeter is known for his "Hoop Shoot" program in the community.
"When I think of Allen, 'Hoop Shoot' comes to mind," Kirkland said.
He is the pioneer of the program that is designed to help children from 8 to 13, Kirkland said.
"The program is a free throw competition for girls and boys in the area," Gotbeter said. "The contest starts out locally and (ends) up on the national stage."
The winner of the national competition has his or her name enshrined on a plaque in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Soldiers volunteer and help with the program.
"It's just amazing to see how the kids interact with the Soldiers who help me out," Gotbeter said. "The Soldiers think it is pretty cool too. ... The kids like to high-five the service members whenever they see them."
Gotbeter said seeing the children smile makes it worth it to him. Veterans are also a major priority for Gotbeter and the organization.
"We volunteer our time to our veterans because they deserve it," he said. "And as our motto states, 'As long as there are veterans, we are there to help them,' whether in the hospital or not."
Gotbeter also volunteers time to the drug awareness program.
"Where we can assist in the community, we do," he said. "There are a lot of kids out there who need our help and guidance. ... That is why we volunteer."
Kirkland views Gotbeter's volunteer service as above and beyond the norm.
"He is an American in all aspects of the idea," Kirkland said. "Allen is the perfect example of the type of person deserving of such an award."