By AmeriCorps VISTA Krista Nielsen
Volunteers, staff and guests put on their finest on October 16th for a Volunteer Recognition Dinner held at the Moose Lodge in Austin – and this year, it was prom themed! Staff spent all afternoon decorating, lighting candles, blowing up balloons, folding napkins and arranging greenery to create a beautiful space and honor our wonderful volunteers.
Following an amazing dinner catered by volunteer Karen Blevins of San Marcos and her company Blevins Best Catering, several speakers shared their stories and spoke about how crucial volunteers are to the mission of the Red Cross including Board of Directors Chair Stacy Armijo, Central Texas Region CEO Marty McKellips, and special guest Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Palmer Buck. To close out the night everyone danced, ate cupcakes, and got their picture taken in true prom fashion.
The following are volunteers who received special recognition this year:
- Joanna Johnson of Spicewood, Volunteer of the Year. Joanna is a Disaster Action Team Captain who has responded to over 60 house fires.
- Elaine and Steve Thompson of Elgin, Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership
- Laurie and Dave Crittenden of Lockhart, Martha Townsley Volunteer Leadership Award
- Wray Hooper of Austin, Cynthia Wedel Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service
- Larry Baker of Austin, Walter Shuler Disaster Preparedness & Response Volunteer Award
- David White of Austin, Service to Armed Forces Award
- Kim Rigdon of Austin, Nurse of the Year
- Robert Adams of Austin, Rookie of the Year
- Bob Stephens of Austin, Virginia Horton True Blue Volunteer Award
- Michael Grimes of Leander, Stormy and Bettye Davis Humanitarian Award
Congratulations to all the honorees, and a huge thank you to all volunteers! You are generous and talented people and the Red Cross appreciates all that you do!