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News > Hanscom honors volunteers with gathering and award ceremony
Hanscom honors volunteers with gathering and award ceremony

Posted 6/2/2011   Updated 6/2/2011 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Geoff Buteau
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

6/2/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Volunteers from the Hanscom community will be honored at this year's annual Hanscom Volunteer Salute, scheduled for June 9 at the Hanscom Conference Center, where up to four nominees may receive the Chief of Staff Volunteer Excellence award. The theme of the event this year is "Volunteers Change the World."

The Volunteer Salute, which will include opening remarks from Col. Stacy Yike, 66th Air Base Group commander, and a multi-media tribute and display, centers on the Chief of Staff award winners and highlights the accomplishments of the many others who make volunteering a part of their lives.

Each of the eight volunteers has been nominated by their organizations on base and reviewed by a five-person panel from the Hanscom community. The award is usually given annually to up to four people from each Air Force base.

"Now, more than ever, with the struggling economy and recent string of natural disasters around the world, selfless volunteers are stepping up and pitching in," said Terri O'Keefe, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant and the manager for this Air Force-wide award program and ceremony for Hanscom Air Force Base. "They're helping with clean-up and rebuilding, while offering support and compassion during tremendously challenging times."

The breadth of activities that volunteers undertake across the world, said Ms. O'Keefe, is so vast that their impact cannot be accurately measured. From distributing food, funds, clothing, blankets and administering medical services, building homes and organizing disaster relief efforts to providing mentoring, teaching, coaching, tutoring, supporting and guidance services, there really is nothing volunteers can't touch, she said.

Many of those selfless volunteers take on so much right here at Hanscom, according to Ms. O'Keefe.

"Volunteers are our 'heroes on the home-front.' They visit lonely hospitalized veterans and foster pets for deployed personnel. They crochet baby items for new military parents and assemble goodie packages for personnel serving overseas. They help with taxes, manage the Thrift Shop, offer scholarships and advocate for students in our schools."

Hanscom volunteers over time, said Ms. O'Keefe, have volunteered with organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society and Doctors Without Borders.

Hanscom's nominees, and their nominating organizations, for 2011 are: Nino Amoroso from the Battle Management Directorate, Robert V. Grudziecki from the C2ISR Directorate, L. Douglas Kenyon from the Cyber/Netcentric Directorate, Edward E. Mason from the Electronic Systems Center Acquisition office, Marianne Porter from the 66th Air Base Group, Stephen Pries from the Cyber/Netcentric Directorate, Sharley Robertson from Hanscom Spouses Club and Steve Tavernaro from Hanscom Knights of Columbus.

The Volunteer Salute and reception lunch -- free to all base volunteers and their supporters -- is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those interested can contact Ms. O'Keefe at the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 781-377-4222 or 66.fss.fsfr.cmb@hanscom.af.mil for more information and to RSVP.

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