The garrison recognized and honored the contributions volunteers and volunteer-run organizations make to our community during the annual U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at the Community Activity Center, here, May 13.
Hour-by-hour, and day-by-day, Army community volunteers donate their time and talents to make things happen in Wiesbaden — a gift that is making a difference in more ways than one.
According to ArmyVolunteer Corps coordinator, Mary Cheney, in 2015 more than 3,072 registeredvolunteers, donated 68,757 hours of service, to 273 different organizations in the Wiesbaden garrison, saving our community $1,619.914.92.
The numbers speak volumes; however, the effect on a community is truly immeasurable.
“You may never know the profound effect you may have on a person’s life. A kind word, a gentle gesture,or a listening ear can mean so much to someone; it can lift spirits and touch lives,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Addington, garrison command sergeant major during his remarks.
Community members were individually recognized as volunteers of the year, from the following five categories; military, civilian, retiree, youth and family.
Federica Lemauk says she was “incredibly surprised” to be recognized as the civilian volunteer of the year among the nine nominees. “I see myself as the one who helps other volunteers get what they need,” said Lemauk who volunteers as the ArmyVolunteer Corps program assistant at Army Community Service. “I love to volunteer, because I love to work, and the Army’s system allows you to do meaningful work as a volunteer. Volunteering allows me to do things I love doing.”
Air Force Lt. Col.Thomas Davison, who volunteers his time as a Sunday school teacher and Cub Scout pack 65 chairman, was recognized as the military volunteer of the year. Davison says it’s challenging, but important to him, to make the time to volunteer.
Organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Transatlantic Council, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, the USO, Civil Air Patrol and the Wiesbaden schools benefit from the generosity of the Young family who was recognized as the volunteer family of the year.
Maj. Craig Young, wife Lisa, and children Zachary, 16, Abigail, 12, and Ben, 10, said volunteering is about keeping organizations, the schools, and the kids thriving.
“If one of us volunteers, you get the whole package,” said Lisa.
Robert Mentell was recognized as the retiree of the year for his passionate support to military retirees in Europe. “I continue to serve to support the 14,000 military retirees here in Europe, of which 7,000 are Soldiers,” Mentell said.
“Volunteers like Mentell bring value to our communities, they are part of our readiness,” said David V. Fulton, president of the Army in Europe Retiree Council, who nominated Mentell. Mentell has lived the Army values throughout his career and carries those now into the community. “What the Army teaches us in uniform goes with us when we are out of uniform,” Fulton said.
Ami Rose Heiges was named the youth volunteer of the year. Heiges, who was nominated by the USAG Wiesbaden religious services office, donates her time and talents volunteering for Vacation Bible School, religious education programs, and serving as a Girl Scout assistant, Daisy, and Brownie Troop volunteer.
Entire service organizations were also recognized for inspiring volunteerism and for their contributions to the community between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016. Recognized were, Boy Scouts, Barbarossa District, Wiesbaden office with 3,014 total volunteer hours;Wiesbaden Community Spouses Club with 5,520 hours; and Wiesbaden Thrift Shop with 5,986 hours; and the American Red Cross with 8,866 hours.
The ceremony closed with a presentation to AFN Wiesbaden’s radio-show host and emcee of the ceremony, Paul “the Brit” Hughes. Hughes was presented a golden microphone plaque for his contributions to the community. The award was a surprise to Hughes who said he was humbled by the recognition.
The annual volunteer shopping spree, courtesy of the Defense Commissary Agency, was won by Christine Thomas. The three-minute supermarket sweep will take place, June 28, at 8 a.m.
The event was hosted by USAG Wiesbaden Army Community Service’s Army Volunteer Corps program and featured music from the U.S. Army Europe, Woodwind Quartet, and the posting of colors by Wiesbaden High School JROTC Color Guard.