April 9, 2012
Temple, Texas—During National Volunteer Week, more than 300 VA volunteers from across Central Texas who tirelessly work to improve our community will be honored Thursday for their service to the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. The celebration is set for Thursday, April 12 starting at noon at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center located at 3303 N. 3rd St. in Temple. The theme of this year’s recognition is “Volunteers Rock…In Touch and In Tune with Everyone Here, You’re One Terrific Volunteer!”
“Each year we recognize our volunteers who so faithfully serve Central Texas Veterans, but I am always amazed to hear the number of hours of service they unselfishly give of their time performing countless acts of kindness and service,” said Thomas Smith, director of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. “For this past year, our volunteers contributed a grand total of over 124,000 service hours--a value of more than $2,726,000. I want to thank each one of our volunteers, because Volunteers Rock!”
The more than 1,600 volunteer workforce serving the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is the largest volunteer group in Central Texas. Their combined annual service equates to the equivalent of 61 full-time employees. These volunteers live in Temple, Belton, Austin, Palestine, Brownwood, College Station, Killeen, Harker Heights, Waco, and many other Central Texas cities and provide service at one of the eight facilities that comprise the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System and its 39-county catchment area of Veterans.
More than 300 volunteers who have made significant contributions will be recognized with awards during the event. Volunteers receiving the top awards for their hours of service include Richard Davenport, Arthur Martinez and Donald Phillips – 8,750 Hours; Jeanne Pricer – 12,500 hours; and Lilo Saenz – 32,500 hours. In addition to these significant awards, other volunteers will receive service pins for volunteer hours.
Four students who volunteer at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System will be awarded scholarships related to their volunteer work.
National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an Executive Order establishing an annual celebration of volunteering. Every president since has signed a proclamation promoting the week.
“We hope National Volunteer Week will motivate others to join our volunteer workforce,” said Smith. “I encourage others to spend a little of your time and talent to help our country’s most vulnerable residents – the homeless, the hungry, the elderly, at-risk youth, and the disabled.”
Media interested in covering the event or needing additional information should contact Deborah Meyer at (254) 534-0304. Lunch is available for media attending the event, but please RSVP Deborah Meyer so seating can be arranged.
SPECIAL NOTE – CEREMONY AGENDA (These are all approximate times just for media planning purposes):
12 p.m. Meal
12:20 p.m. Welcome-Chief, Voluntary Service
12:30 p.m. Remarks-Dr. Gerald Darnell, Assistant Director for Operations
12:40 p.m. Memorials
12:50 p.m. Youth Scholarship presentation
1:00 p.m. Awards presentations from lowest to highest
(Highest awards will start at approximately 1:30 p.m.)