During National Volunteer Week, The Volunteer Center of United Way will honor service and give special recognition to eight outstanding individuals and groups at the 32nd Annual Volunteer Spirit Awards celebration and benefit.
Among the winners is Judith Weber of New Rochelle for New Rochelle Council on the Arts.
This year’s volunteer event takes place on Friday morning, April 20, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Lou Young, the popular CBS 2 broadcast journalist, will emcee the event at the Hilton Rye Town.
“We applaud the invaluable contributions of all volunteers who affect change in our neighborhoods,” said Alisa Kesten, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center. “The Volunteer Spirit Awards celebrate the ways the young and young at heart use professional skills, talents and enthusiasm to give back 365 days a year.
The 2012 Volunteer Spirit Award Winners, selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, are:
· Arts & Culture: Judith Weber of New Rochelle for New Rochelle Council on the Arts — Her leadership and infective passion for the arts engaged a devoted group of volunteers and galvanized a city-wide explosion of year-round cultural activities, reigniting a civic focus and appreciation of the importance of all arts for all ages.
- Education & Literacy: Nicole Sheindlin of Larchmont for Her Honor Mentoring — Her strong belief that young women can reach their full potential if given access to sound guidance and support led to the creation of a program that pairs them with professional women who provide hands-on experience and advice toward achieving life goals.
- Going Green: Peter McCartt, of Eastchester, for Eastchester Environmental Committee — His energy and leadership created two respected environmental organizations, and he continues to cultivate and motivate similar efforts throughout the county to preserve and protect our environment through sound policy and dedicated volunteerism.
- Health & Safety: Cynthia Odell, of Bronxville, at Afya Foundation — Her nurturing care buoyed a small staff who worked tirelessly in the days after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and led to the creation of a welcoming place for volunteers of all ages, particularly encouraging development of altruism within the next generation.
- Quality of Life: Louis Thomason of Chappaqua, at Richmond Community Services — His professional expertise was channeled for new and inspirational usage, enhancing assistive technology for people with significant intellectual disabilities and designing an intranet platform to facilitate internal staff knowledge sharing.
- Social Advocacy: Pat Rosafort of Mt. Kisco, at Hope’s Door — Her human resource expertise and compassion for victims of domestic violence combined to create efficient service delivery in a safe haven, supporting the organization’s staff and nurturing clients.
- New York Life Youth Group: Neighbors Link High School Volunteer ESL Tutors Group — Their initiative and commitment to service focused on helping English language learners acquire new skills at their own pace, encouraging deeper appreciation of the challenges faced by new immigrants thus enhancing the cross-cultural experience for all.
- New York Life Youth Leader: Jake Gallin of New Rochelle for Stars for Cars — His respect for military families who either have members currently serving or who have lost a loved one in the line of duty led to the creation of “Stars for Cars” a fundraising effort aiding the USO, proving leadership can start at a very early age.
The Volunteer Spirit Awards are made possible through the generosity of our 2012 Corporate Champions including New York Life, TD Charitable Foundation, Pepsi Beverages Company, Belmay, Bunge, IBM, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Robison Oil, Con Edison, The Dannon Company, M&T Bank, Rollins Insurance Company, Chubb, Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., RPW Group, CBRE, and The Westchester Bank. Additional support is provided through a strategic partnership with United Way of Westchester and Putnam.