Thirty-two individuals, groups receive state volunteer awards


Thirty-two individuals and groups will be honored with the 2019 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award on Oct. 29 at Dover Downs Hotel. The recipients will be recognized for significant contributions, engagement and impact in diverse activities, including mentoring children, supporting people with disabilities, protecting the environment, and assisting seniors, people who are homeless and veterans.

“Each day across our state, thousands of volunteers come together with the common purpose to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve,” Governor John Carney said. “Their selfless work on behalf of others is helping us to build a stronger and better Delaware for everyone. We appreciate all those who volunteer their time and talents in Delaware, and it is my privilege to honor 32 individuals and groups with the 2019 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award.”

The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards, administered by the State Office of Volunteerism, honor the contributions of individuals and groups in Delaware who have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering. The State Office of Volunteerism reports that 17,815 Delaware adults volunteered in 2017, contributing more than 700,000 hours of service to nonprofits and community organizations. The value of their service is estimated at more than $17.4 million.

The recipients of the2019 Governors Outstanding Volunteer Service Awardare:

Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Patrina Spiezio – Kent County volunteers with Bayhealth.
  • Merry Jones – Kent County volunteers with Special Olympics Delaware.
  • Anthony Bosworth – New Castle Countyactive in the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.

2019 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award Recipients

Individual: Exceptional Individuals over 18

  • Terry Andrews – Sussex Countyvolunteers with Delaware Hospice.
  • John Austin – Sussex County volunteer service as a consultant and member of both the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Citizens Advisory and the Science and Technical Advisory Committees.
  • Dr. Dennis Bartow – Sussex Countyvolunteers for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Citizen Science program.
  • Charles Gillean – Sussex County volunteers at Bayhealth.
  • Joan Loewenstein – Sussex Countyestablished a thrift store at the Frankford Presbyterian Church, where she serves underserved, vulnerable populations by providing them with clothing and furniture.
  • John Sykes – Sussex County spearheaded the founding of Delaware Interfaith Power and Light, which is made up of several different faith communities. The group’s goal is to address the cause and impacts of climate change.
  • Diane Twining – Sussex Countyis a Volunteer Host for Trap Pond State Park.
  • Louise Cummings – New Castle Countydevotes her time to multiple organizations, including, but not limited to, Ballard Reading Buddies, Tower Hill School, Delaware’s Women’s Workforce Council, and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement.
  • Robert Bolton – New Castle County volunteer Safety Ambassador for St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington,
  • Richard Forsten, Esq. – New Castle CountyMultiple communities are the beneficiary of Richard Forsten, Esq. His primary volunteer service is with Appoquinimink School District. He also volunteers at the Ministry of Caring and the Everett Theatre.
  • Thomas A. Gears – New Castle County serves Historic Red Clay Valley, Inc.
  • Susan Hannell – New Castle Countyvolunteers with the New Castle Historical Society Museum.
  • Helene Johnson – New Castle Countybeen leads the canteen volunteers at the Christiana Blood Bank of Delmarva.
  • Ladaye Johnson – New Castle County started Cool Shoes Inc., a summer camp for kids ages 5 to 13. Easter egg hunts, toy giveaways, and turkey drives have been a fundamental part of Cool Shoes. He has been able to provide book bags for students returning to school and thousands of toys have been collected and distributed.
  • Thomas Jones, III – New Castle Countyvolunteers Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research.
  • Mary Anne Korant – New Castle County has been an active board member and treasurer of the Friends of Bellevue Delaware.
  • Robert Koury – New Castle County maintains the very popular “Auburn Valley Railroad” in Yorklyn.
  • Tara Quinn – New Castle County volunteers Ministry of Caring.

Active Military/Veteran

  • Col. Michael McFarlin – Sussex Countyinitiated and directed the “Monarch Highway Habitat Project.”.

Volunteer Leader

  • William Collick – Sussex County as the president of Pathways to Success Board of Directors, leads and mentors members of the board.
  • Sara Pletcher – Kent County has been an integral part of Downtown Milford, Inc., a multi-faceted economic development organization that works with businesses and property owners to beautify and preserve the Historic Riverside District.
  • Debbie Short – Sussex Countystarted a nonprofit transition home called “Barbara K. Brooks Transition House,” which provides a safe, sober and structured living environment for women who have completed drug or alcohol rehabilitation

Nonprofit Volunteer Program

  • Harvey Hanna and Associates, Inc. – New Castle CountyThomas Hanna and the team at Harvey Hanna and Associates created the Delaware KIDS Fund in 2008. Delaware Kids in Distressed Situations is dedicated to providing goods and services to children at risk in distressed situations, including financial support for essential needs, such as clothing, shelter, and food.
  • Good Ole Boy Foundation – Sussex CountyThe Good Ole Boy Foundation was founded to assist families in time of unforeseen difficulties.
  • Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Volunteer Corps. – Sussex County The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Volunteer Corps mission: “Partnering to present memorable performances and inspired arts education for all.”.

Group/ Team

  • Virtual Reality Volunteers – New Castle County The chemotherapy suite can be a stressful environment for patients; they often present with anxiety, which can be magnified by the sights, sounds and scents they encounter. Christiana Care Health System Volunteer Services partnered with the infusion team at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and the Health Technology Innovation Center to provide a positive distraction to cancer patients while receiving chemotherapy.
  • Nanticoke Creekwatchers – Sussex CountyThe Nanticoke Creekwatchers are directly responsible for obtaining high water quality data from the Nanticoke River and its creeks.
  • The Glades Quilters – Sussex CountyFor more than 16 years, the Glades Quilters has provided quilts to local community organizations, as well as directly to those in the Sussex and Kent counties.
  • Meals on Wheels Lewes – Rehoboth Delivery Drivers, Sussex County Clients who live at home receive nutritious meals, which improves their health and helps them remain in their homes living relatively independently. are delivered to help the clients with yard work, shopping and doing small repairs. These drivers spend numerous hours enriching the lives of our seniors.
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