September 17, 2015, the Commissioners and Volunteer Services Manager Kelly Brinkley recognized seven individuals and four groups during the annual Volunteer Spirit of Worcester County Awards dinner ceremony at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin. Volunteers were nominated by their peers in one of four star categories: youth, individual, faith-based and nonprofit volunteer program.
“These volunteers represent the countless hundreds of stars in our community stepping forward to volunteer to assure that vital community services and programs remain available to meet the needs of area residents and visitors,” Brinkley said. “It’s a huge honor to be able to shine the spotlight on them, even if it’s just for a moment to say thanks, and we appreciate the way you turn love into action to care for the community’s needs.”
Wade Wilkins of Stephen Decatur High School was recognized in the Youth category with the Volunteer Spirit Award for his work with the 38th annual Children’s Theater program at SDHS where he was instrumental in stage setup, set creation and performing.
Those in the Individual category include Pat Westcott of Coastal Hospice who received the Volunteer Spirit Award for her 23 years as a patient care volunteer. Those recognized as Stars include Sandy McAbee and Paul Mazzei of Star Charities, Beverly Thomas for the Friends of the Worcester County Commission for Women, Stacy Paulson of Assateague Coastal Trust, and Joan Jenkins of the Rackcliffe House Trust. McAbee and Mazzei assist neighbors in the community and support numerous nonprofits in northern Worcester County. Thomas’s leadership roles support the goals of the Commission for Women. Paulson provides information technology services that help the nonprofit share its mission to protect the coastal bays with the local and global communities online. Jenkins provided the leadership and energy needed to completely restore the Rackcliffe House.
In the Faith-Based category, the Shepherd’s Crook at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea in Ocean City received the Volunteer Spirit Award for their work in providing food, clothing and a welcome break for all those who enter. Those recognized as Stars include the volunteers in the Backpack Program at Atlantic United Methodist Church in Ocean City who ensure children in need receive a backpack full of nutritious food to feed them during the weekends when they are not at school.
In the Nonprofit Volunteer Program category, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) through the Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services in Berlin received the Volunteer Spirit Award for acting as a voice for children in need in the courtroom and all other areas in life until each child finds a permanent home. Land Stewardship Volunteers with the Lower Shore Land Trust were recognized as stars for nurturing relationships between the community and landowners that lead to the preservation and protection of sensitive tracts of land for future generations.
Volunteers make Worcester County a better place to live, work and visit. To honor those whose contributions assure the continuation of vital services, Worcester County residents were recently invited to nominate individuals and community organizations for the 2015 Volunteer Spirit of Worcester County.
For more information about volunteering in Worcester County or to learn more about the work done by this year’s Volunteer Spirit of Worcester County Award winners, contact Brinkley at (410) 632-0090.