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August 10, 2012

Community

McCoy volunteer receives Friend of Recreation Award

Story & photo by Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

A Fort McCoy volunteer was recognized in the 2011 Army Recreation Awards competition in the Friend of Recreation (volunteer) category.
PHOTO: Francis “Fritz” Downs is recognized at an award ceremony. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
Lt. Col. Rich Harvey (left), Fort McCoy garrison deputy commander, and 1st Sgt. Justin Maloney (right), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison recognize Francis “Fritz” Downs during a Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation awards ceremony for winning an award in the 2011 Army Recreation Awards competition in the Friend of Recreation (volunteer) category.

Francis “Fritz” Downs, a volunteer at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) Automotive Skills Center, was nominated for his commitment, knowledge and customer-service skills. Downs was awarded a trophy and certificate at a July 19 DFMWR awards ceremony.

Downs said he began volunteering after retiring because it was something to do to keep himself busy.

Downs has extensive knowledge about older vehicles and brakes, and does everything possible to help customers with their auto maintenance/repair needs, said Sheila Peterson, Community Activity Center manager. He has improved the quality of service offered at the Automotive Skills Center by providing excellent customer service to the Fort McCoy community.

He teaches customers how to operate equipment and ensures that all Automotive Skills Center safety procedures are known and followed.

With his help, customers have been able to save hundreds of dollars on auto repair costs, Peterson said.

Downs also has helped the Automotive Skills Center conduct tool inventories and reduce the loss of tools.

Downs has volunteered nearly 40 hours per week in the last several years. In 2010 he was awarded a Presidential Call to Service Lifetime Award for volunteering more than 4,000 hours over his lifetime.

This award demonstrates that Fort McCoy has quality people who selflessly give of themselves to help other people, specifically Soldiers and their Families, said Jeffrey Uhlig, Community Recreation Division chief.

Downs, the IMCOM Central nominee, was among seven others who won the Friend of Recreation award.

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