Community members gathered at Pershing Community Center May 16 to honor the numerous volunteers who invested in the community throughout 2017 at the Fort Leonard Wood Annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony.
Rhonda Hutsell, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator, presented senior leaders with a symbolic check for $1,393,565, representing the 56,443 hours donated by volunteers in 2017.
“We are here to celebrate you, the volunteer. You have voluntarily chosen to undertake a service or duty and for that: Volunteers: ‘We salute you,’” Hutsell said at the opening of the ceremony.
Megan O’Donoghue, who served as emcee for the program, said volunteers continually improve the installation.
“Our volunteers continually improve the lives of those around them, asking nothing in return. Today is just a small way to let you know your work has not gone unnoticed,” O’Donoghue said.
Casey Morris Jr. served as guest speaker. Morris retired from the Air Force in 1990 and retired again from civil service after 20 years. Morris, who volunteers with several programs around the community, provided an oral history of volunteering.
Following Morris’s presentation, Col. Tracy Lanier, US. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, provided the community with facts about installation volunteers. He said in 2017, 2,199 volunteers logged in hours on and off the installation.
“Through the years, volunteers have played an important role in the lives of our service members and families. They add the positive quality of life we are privileged to have on Fort Leonard Wood. We salute you and we are honored to present these awards for your selfless service,” Lanier said.
Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and USAG Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis joined Lanier in presenting the following honors:
(Volunteers who provided at least 100 volunteer hours)
Amanda Sullivan, Public Affairs Office; Ashley Johnston, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion; Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shepker, Boy Scouts of America; Cathy Kroeger, Headquarter and Headquarter Company, 1st Engineer Brigade; Guilia Abbaet , Company A, 787th Military Police; Herta Kiger, Fort Leonard Wood Thrift Shop; Kathy Vaught, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital; Sgt. 1st Class Lani Yearicks, 399th Army Band; Staff Sgt. Loretta Streichert, USO; Margaret Quinn, Fort Leonard Wood Lions Club; Michael Jackson, 84th Chemical Battalion; Milton Johnson, Army Community Service; Richard Switzer, Survivor Outreach Financial Services; Robert Steinmacher, Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers; Shelly Emperato, Armed Services YMCA; and Stephanie Smock, 2-10 Infantry Battalion.
Mobile USO volunteers
Kathy O’Conner, Bob O’Reilly, Kathy O’Reilly, Clare Hamilton, Judi Furman, Susan Hopson, Linda DeLaney, Bill Hoffman, Becky Elfink and Tim Arthur.
Military Volunteer of the Year
Staff Sgt. Loretta Streichert was awarded the Military Volunteer of the Year Award. Streichert provided more than 726 hours of off-duty time to Better Opportunity for Single Solders, USO, Fort Leonard Wood Red White & Blue team and St. James Veteran Home.
Retiree Volunteer of the Year
Christopher Martin was awarded the Retiree Volunteer of the Year Award. A military spouse, Martin volunteered more than 1,700 hours in multiple volunteer activities.
Civilian Volunteer of the Year
Jennifer Alfonso was awarded the Civilian Volunteer of the Year. Alfonso volunteers through the Family Readiness Group and at the Public Affairs Office.
Family Volunteer of the Year
Jeff, Tabitha, Irina, Elijah, Ezra and Ian Crispin were awarded the Family Volunteer of the Year Award. The Crispin family took on leadership roles in various programs, such as: Bible studies, Resurrection Fest, Christmas programs, Wednesday Night Live, troop bible studies, Vacation Bible School, and Protestant Women of the Chapel. Chaplain (Col.) David Bowlus, MSCoE Garrison chaplain, accepted the award on behalf of the Crispin family.
Youth Volunteer of the Year
Emma Timmins was awarded the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. Timmins contributed more than 125 hours to various area organizations.
Exemplary Service Award
Mary Beth Savre was awarded the Exemplary Service Award. Savre has helped serve the community in numerous ways and founded the GLWACH Layette Program.