Friday, January 15, 2010

Appreciating Our Volunteers

This past weekend we had our annual Volunteer Appreciation Event. Held at Jhanna Levin's Home, Harmony House, we celebrated the contributions of our volunteers throughout the year.

This event is always a little tricky because many of our volunteers help with the planning and the actual execution of the event. So I am very thankful to those volunteers for helping me thank the other volunteers. See, tricky!

The first thing we always do for this event is identify the 5 year volunteers. These volunteers have served the organization for five long years and for their service, we like to honor them by bringing them to the front of the crowded home we have the event in and giving them a token of appreciation. This year's five year volunteers were: Frieda Weise, Jerry Chappell, and Beverley Jacobs. They are all great volunteers and we REALLY appreciate all that they do!

The other part of the event is a surprise. We announce our Volunteer of the Year. The Volunteer of the Year is chosen with the input of the Executive Committee, the Assistant to the Director, the Executive Director, and the retired Volunteer Coordinator. This year there was actually some tough competition with 3 volunteers being considered. All 3 of these volunteers do great work. I won't name the 2 runners-up because they just might win next year!

The Volunteer we ended up choosing was chosen for her above and beyond commitment to the Laurel Historical Society over the last year. This volunteer sits on at least 2 or 3 committees and is always ready and willing to do the work that needs to get done. She is always one of the first people to volunteer for special events and special tours. She is in the process of photographing the entire (yes, ENTIRE) collection. And she is our Research Volunteer who mans the Research Library and responds to the myriad of requests we receive. She has, in short, become one of my top "go-to" volunteers. Her name is Frances Brooks and we're VERY privileged to have her volunteering for the organization.

When I was giving Frances the award at the Volunteer Appreciation Event, she made me tear up a little bit. It was exciting to see someone who works so hard all of the time and never expects any recognition be surprised that people noticed her efforts. Of course, it reminded me that I need to keep telling all of my volunteers how great of a job they do all of the time.

Overall it was a great event. I left full of sweets and cheese and thankful for the wonderful group of volunteers that choose to help the LHS become the great organization it is today!

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