Thirty-two individuals and groups were honored with the 2019 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award Oct. 29 at Dover Downs Hotel. The recipients were 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.
Monarch butterfly enthusiast retired Army Col. Michael McFarlin initiated and directed the Monarch Highway Habitat project. This project identifies and monitors sites on Sussex County roads with abundant native milkweed for “no-mow zones.” McFarlin has created public awareness and inspired people to protect and provide native habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators.
As the president of Pathways to Success Board of Directors, William Collick leads and mentors members of the board. His expertise and skills lend themselves to this volunteer position. He guided the Delaware State University football program through its most celebrated period in team history. He served as the dean of students and head football coach at Sussex Technical High School. He personally helped Pathways to Success reach the 98 percent graduation level with 96 percent of the graduates attending college, or entering the military or workforce. The difference lies in the leadership and understanding of youth. Collick is a humanitarian who genuinely cares about others
Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth was awarded the Governor’s Team Volunteer Award. Clients who live at home receive nutritious meals which improve their health and help them remain in their homes living relatively independently. This meal delivery also improves their overall well-being. Volunteers socialize with the seniors, brightening their day and helping them feel connected to the communities. The volunteers usually have the same routes, which allows them to know their clients.
One of the many ways Terry Andrews meets the needs of Delaware Hospice patients is by delivering medications to homebound patients whose caregivers are unable to leave their side. He provides transportation to appointments as well as transportation for caregivers who are unable to drive. Last year alone, Terry drove 1,091 miles to support Delaware Hospice patients, their families and the staff. He also provides transportation to non-driving family members of patients who are in the hospice center. Without Andrews providing the service, some patients might not get a chance to visit with their loved ones during the final hours of life.
As a volunteer for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays program, Dr. Dennis Bartow enlists other volunteers to conduct citizen science surveys on fish and horseshoe crab populations in the Inland Bays. The surveys engage the community around their ecosystem while providing the center with valuable information about population growth and/or decline which are helpful indicators of water quality and watershed health. Bartow’s work on the horsehoe crab survey allowed the center’s environmental scientist to publish a research article on migratory habits of horsehoe crabs in the Inland Bays in a national scientific journal. Bartow’s work has truly made an impact on the understanding of the Inland Bays.
The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation volunteer corps is made up of 288 volunteers who have touched the lives of a tremendous number of mid-Atlantic residents and seasonal visitors. The group’s primary service is to support the foundation’s mission: “Partnering to present memorable performances and inspired art education for all.” In addition to serving at the Freeman Stage, a group of volunteers works in schools in the Delmarva region through the foundation’s arts and education program. The program’s vision is to partner with schools to build a relevant and impactful arts and education program that provides a layered approach to current curriculum of schools. In 2018, thanks to the commitment and passion of the volunteers, coworkers and staff, 78,748 people experienced the arts.