Area volunteers honored for their work, generosity

From individuals to entire organizations, 25 people and groups were recognized Tuesday for their volunteerism.

“We couldn’t operate without these people who give their time and their talent,” said Anne Grubbs, enrichment coordinator for Community Education. “It’s the good in the world coming through.”

Volunteers In Action, a core group of about 10 organizations, held its annual reception and awards program at Christ Episcopal Church. The event recognize volunteers, each receiving a certificate and medallion that read, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

The 18-year-old event, Grubbs said, gives those nominated a chance to meet each other and see what they are doing.

Grubbs said letters were sent to churches, schools and civic organizations – to name a few – and they nominated people or organizations as a whole.

“There are a lot of groups that do things as a whole,” she said.

While each nominee received a token of appreciation, awards were given to individuals in three categories: Rookie Volunteer, Spirit of Service and Team Spirit Volunteer.

But before awards were presented, guest speaker Jonathan Jeffrey, a WKU professor of library special collections, recalled the many people by name in his own life who volunteered their time.

“They impacted my life,” he said.

He said after Sept. 11, 2001, one-fourth of the nation volunteered. He said volunteering rose from 20.4 percent to more than 26 percent in 2006.

The top five states for volunteering, he said, are Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Alaska and Kansas. The bottom five states are Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, New York and Nevada.

“Someone said when you die, you’re remembered more for your passion than your personality,” he said. “The desire to help others has preceded our country from the beginning. Community is a shared experience … freely chosen, and that is volunteerism.”

Hugo Becker with Court Appointed Special Advocates won the Spirit of Service award. Becker acts as a liaison for the board of advisors, coordinates quarterly luncheons for the advocates, and trains new advocates.

Nell Ruth Hill won the Rookie Volunteer award.

Hill cooks five times a week for the Salvation Army soup kitchen while working as a caregiver for an elderly lady in Warren County four times a week.

Community Greeters Newcomers Club received the award for Team Spirit. The group, nominated by Community Education, was established in 1952 and has assisted more than 20 organizations in its efforts, including the humane society and the American Red Cross.

“I think this is wonderful. It’s the first given and it’s an honor,” said Donna Moore, secretary of the club and one of its 186 members. “These are an amazing group of people here. There are a lot who do so much for this community, and I think it’s wonderful to at least recognize some of them today.”

Ralph and Lucia Maxson, nominated by CASA for the Team Spirit award, were nominated for starting one of CASA’s main fundraisers. They said they were impressed by the people nominated.

“We were flattered (to be nominated),” Lucia Maxson said. “It was a pleasure to do what we did. We didn’t think of it as volunteering.”

In addition to the three winners, a Spirit of Community Award was given to BB&T, the event’s title sponsor.

BB&T has been the event’s title sponsor for the past two years.

“We haven’t always had sponsorship,” Grubbs said. “But that’s not why we named them. We named them because they do so much.”


Jordan, Natalie (2007, April). Area volunteers honored for their work, generosity. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from