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2014 Volunteer of the Year

We celebrated the tenth annual Volunteer of the Year Awards luncheon on April 10, 2014. The event, a partnership with The Register-Guard, is the culmination of a year of encouraging and recognizing extraordinary volunteers in Lane County.  

Chris Ferguson was chosen as 2014 Volunteer of the Year for his volunteer efforts at Fairfield Elementary School where he started the Spirit of Giving program, which provides funds so low income students can shop for Christmas gifts for their families. Chris also coordinates Food for Lane County’s program at Cascade Middle School on Monday nights, delivers fruit and vegetables to families unable to make it there, and is redoing Willamette High School’s garden. He spearheads two school “stores” with donated books and school supplies for Fairfield and Malabon schools.

In addition, a new award was presented in tribute to United Way and RSVP of Lane County volunteer Elaine Zobel.  Senior & Disabled Services Senior Meals Program volunteer Cynthia Kent received The Elaine Zobel RSVP Award for Volunteer Excellence for her work in modernizing and creating a reporting system that impacts not only the Senior Meals Program but RSVP as well. Sandy Karsten, Senior Meals Program Manager says “She is always thinking – she is constantly trying to improve our volunteer tracking system”.

More than 250 attendees honored twenty-four individuals and groups who volunteered throughout Lane County. Awards by category include:

Cornerstone Community Housing Woodleaf Village Team

Health and Well Being
Marilyn Starks, Trauma Healing Project

Education and Schools
Chris Ferguson, Fairfield Elementary School

Youth and Children Services
Marcie McKenna, Ophelia’s Place

Arts and Culture
Carmen Dowell, Cottage Theatre

Civic and Community
Tom English, Sponsors, Inc.

Senior Volunteer of the Year
Dean and Kathleen Huston, Junction City United Methodist Church

Youth Volunteer of the Year
Grieta King, Elmira High School

From these finalists the 2014 Volunteer of the Year was announced.