[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                          May 9, 2008
News

Volunteers honored at 
recognition dinner, ceremony

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      Volunteers being recognized at a Fort McCoy Volunteer Recognition Banquet presented Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser with a symbolic $92,750 check for services provided during 2007.

Photo: Pictured with the symbolic volunteer savings check is ACS Director Becky Wapp Sawyer, AVCC David Blakeman, Garrison Commander Col. David  E. Chesser and 18 of the 23 volunteers honored at the 2008 Commander's Volunteer Recognition Banquet. (Photo by Julie Gran)
Pictured with the symbolic volunteer savings check is ACS Director Becky Wapp Sawyer, AVCC David Blakeman, Garrison Commander Col. David  E. Chesser and 18 of the 23 volunteers honored at the 2008 Commander's Volunteer Recognition Banquet. (Photo by Julie Gran)

      The amount represented the approximate amount volunteers saved Fort McCoy is 2007.  Forty-one volunteers were recognized for donating 4,808 hours of service, said David Blakeman, Fort McCoy Army Community Service Army Volunteer Program manager. The dollar value of volunteer work was based on an estimated $19.29 an hour wage at the national level in 2007.

      "Volunteerism stabilizes our Army communities by contributing to community cohesion, increasing self-reliance and enhancing the well-being of our Soldiers and their families," Blakeman said. "The AVC (Army Volunteer Corps) provides a centralized umbrella of support for all Army community volunteers."

      Volunteering in the Fort McCoy community takes many shapes and forms, both on and off post, he said. On post, organizations including the Religious Support Office, the Directorate of Human Resources/Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DHR/DFMWR), the Directorate of Emergency Services/Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (wildlife conservation), and Family Readiness Programming use volunteer contributions to enrich their programs. Guidance for which organizations have the authority to accept volunteer services, primarily those services and programs that provide services to Soldiers and their family members, can be found in 10 U.S. Code 1588 (a)(1-8).

      Fort McCoy personnel also have provided off-post volunteer support to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Operation Home Front, WAFER (food pantry), For Goodness Sake (a needs listing service), the Wisconsin National Guard Family Readiness program and more.

      "As the Army transforms itself, it must transform its volunteer programs to meet emerging needs, provide a professional approach to volunteer management and find new ways to engage volunteers that accommodate their ever-changing family and work demands," Blakeman said. "This new reality drives the need to transform volunteerism within our communities."

      "The AVC continues the proud tradition of volunteer service in the history of our Army and extends it into the future, transmitting Army values and pride in our nation, (from) one generation to the next," he said.

      Guest speaker Charles "Chip" Lutz presented tips to the volunteers and other attendees who are leading busy lives about how to manage the stresses they face in today's world by injecting humor into their daily lives, Blakeman said. Lutz, a retired Naval officer, is the founder of Fun Squad Inc., which works with individuals and organizations helping to break down barriers and to create a more positive, change resilient culture.

      Chesser presented 22 volunteers in the Fort McCoy community with Commander's Certificates of Appreciation.

      Twelve of the volunteers were honored with Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, and were:

  • Gold (500-plus hours) -- Robert Tatinger, Pine View Recreation Area.

  • Silver (300-499 hours) -- LeAnn Clark, ACS, and Mary Hirsch-Justice, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Ski Patrol.

  • Bronze (100-299 hours) -- Candy Weiss, ACS, and Michael Roeske, Norb Brown, David Hirsch, Amy Roeske, Eric Funkhouser, Wade Riniker, George Hirsch and Aaron Craig, all MWR Ski Patrol.

      In addition to the Presidential Awards, the following individuals received a Commander's Certificate of Appreciation: Craig Bartholomew, Laurie Bartholomew, Heidi Bauer, Marie Blakeman, Susan Casteel, Ann Currie, Courtney Daniels, Shawn Eckelburg, Ken Enghusen, Alex Frazee, Julie Gran, Cynthia Grant, Luke Haverstick, Donald Herr, Karen Kast, Julie Kelly, Jodel Lamberson, Tom Luey, Pat Luey, Treyton Luey, Jerry Nelson, Laura Rakow, Cynthia Remley, Brandon Retzlaff, Cindy Storkel, Cassandra Taylor-Roby, Larry Thompson, Pamela Valeska, and Gail Zuege.

      David Blakeman said there are currently 36 volunteer positions at Fort McCoy waiting to be filled.

      For more information about the program or to volunteer, call Blakeman at (608) 388-6507 or visit the Web site http://www.myarmylifetoo.com.

 

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