Twenty-five individuals, groups, and corporate groups will be honored at the 2013 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards Oct. 22 at Dover Downs. These exceptional Delawareans participate in such diverse activities as advocating for causes important to them, educating others about the state’s history, and raising thousands of dollars for community organizations.
“Carla and I strongly believe serving others binds us together as individuals and strengthens our connection to the larger community,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “This year’s volunteer award recipients are just a few of the outstanding Delawareans who give their time and talents to make Delaware a better place to live and inspire others to do the same.”
First Lady Carla Markell is a champion of volunteerism, and, along with the governor, is doing much to encourage more people across the state to volunteer.
The recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards represent the efforts of thousands of Delawareans who make positive contributions to society and inspire others to do the same.
“By working together we can improve the lives of many and create a positive and healthy future for all,” said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversees the state’s efforts to foster volunteerism and service.
At the Oct. 22 dinner and ceremony at Dover Downs, more than 400 people are expected to honor the volunteers for their outstanding service. The event will begin with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and the ceremony starting at 7.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $35 per person and are available by calling 302-857-5006 or by visiting www.volunteerdelaware.org to download the invitation and RSVP form.
The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, the Division of State Service Centers, the State Office of Volunteerism, UnitedHealthcare, WSFS Bank, as well as the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.
John M. Iwasyk of Wilmington received the Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Individual winners in Sussex County include John Gladwell, Lewes, community service; Lucy Mehl, Milford, community service; Patrick Miller, Millsboro, public safety; and Bob Patterson, Lewes, community service.
Since starting with Meals on Wheels in 2005, Gladwell has delivered more than 15,000 meals to the elderly clients on his route, created an outreach committee, trained other volunteers, and dedicated more than 2,800 hours helping others. In addition to John’s work with Meals on Wheels, he is also a dedicated volunteer for Conley’s Chapel Thrift Store, where he stocks shelves, sorts, and cleans.
Mehl believes it is her mission in life to educate and give back to the community. She will be honored for her work with Delaware Hospice, Prime Hook and the Milford Garden Club.
Miller serves his community in many ways through his service to the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard/ Riverdale and the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company. He has served nearly every level of both organizations, from fundraiser to board member.
For almost 20 years, Patterson has been an integral part of Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. Serving as construction volunteer, board of directors, and member of the construction management team, he has completed homes in more than 10 towns in Sussex County. In the last five years, Patterson has served more than 2,500 hours; having completed 22 projects in the last year alone. In addition to his work in Sussex County he has participated in builds in Alabama, Mexico and Guatemala.
Statewide group winners include Stacey and Gregg Bacchieri, human needs; Stockings for Soldiers, human needs; and Volunteers of Waggies by Maggie and Friends, human needs.
The Bacchieris have served as members of boards, chairs of committees, task forces, events and activities. Their numerous volunteer efforts include organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, Christiana Hospital, Sanford School and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
Stockings for Soldiers was founded in 2004. Under the direction of Judy Travis and 40 team leaders, hundreds of volunteers help by sewing holiday stockings and collecting special donated items to fill these stockings for deployed troops in Afghanistan.
Waggies by Maggie, a dog treat business, is a nonprofit founded by two Delaware women, Mary Ann Nolan and Leigh Corrigan, in order to provide meaningful employment for adults with intellectual disabilities. Waggies by Maggie hires persons with intellectual disabilities and empowers them to become productive contributors in their community.
Bank of American received the Corporate Group Award for Education.
For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities, go to www.volunteerdelaware.org, or contact Carrie Hart, volunteer service administrator, at 302-857-5006.