Volunteers honored at annual appreciation ceremony
Tutoring students, Bible study among activities honored
By Lisa R. Rhodes
That's the sentiment Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein shared with the 350 people who attended the installation's annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony on April 19 at Club Meade.
"It's really you that make Team Meade possible," Rothstein said to the volunteers. "You lead by example."
Rothstein recognized several outstanding volunteers for their service to Fort Meade and the surrounding community during the past year. Each volunteer received a plaque of appreciation and a citation from Gov. Martin O'Malley.
"I am constantly in awe of the amount of things our volunteers do," said Marie Miles, the Army Volunteer Corps coordinator at Army Community Service. "Thank you from a grateful heart."
The two-hour ceremony featured music and dance performances by Nate Hutchings, a senior at Severna Park High School, and members of Child, Youth and School Service's SKIES Unlimited. A buffet of appetizers was served.
Brief remarks about the importance of volunteering were given by Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Sid Taylor and Deborah Alexander (wife of Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency/chief of Central Security Service and commander of U.S. Cyber Command), who was the recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Volunteer of the Year award. Evelyn Silva, chairman of volunteers for the Enlisted Spouses Club's Thrift Shop, also spoke.
The Argonne Hills Chapel Center Gospel Service was recognized as the Volunteer Organization of the Year.
Blair Alexander, president of the Argonne Hills Chapel Center Gospel Service Parish Council, received the honor on behalf of the congregation.
"It's really what God tells us to do," Alexander said. "We give as much as we can, as often as we can."
Through the work of its more than 20 ministry groups, the gospel service volunteers donate their time in many ways such as providing Thanksgiving meals to families, school supplies for students at Meade Heights Elementary School and care packages for service members from the 902nd Military Intelligence Group deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Navy Information Operations Command was recognized as the Volunteer Unit of the Year. Sailors from the command tutor children in Fort Meade's Saturday Scholars Program and also volunteer through the Adopt an Angel and Holiday Assistance programs.
"I'm extremely proud of our Sailors for taking the time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community," said Commander Rach Velasco-Lind, executive officer of NIOC. "We're very ecstatic -- over the top."
Master Sgt. Gwendolyn Beck of the 7th Intelligence Squadron was selected as the Active-Duty Volunteer of the Year for her work as the advancement chair and advisor to Boy Scout Troop 403 in Bowie. Beck coordinates the advancement of Eagle Scouts and organizes adventure and community service activities for the troop.
"This is wonderful, it's great," said Becker, noting that she volunteers to be a role model to the Scouts. "It was a shocker."
Tianne Travis, wife of Air Force Master Sgt. Marshall Travis, was recognized as the Civilian Volunteer of the Year for her work as the volunteer supervisor at Army Community Service.
"I volunteer because I have a heart to serve people," said Travis, who helps volunteers register and log their hours, among other duties.
Travis, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and applied behavior at the online Ashford University, said to be selected is an honor.
"I don't look for recognition," she said. "But I was really happy inside."
Volunteer Family of the Year was awarded to Air Force Tech Sgt. Larry Moore of the 7th Intelligence Squadron; his wife, Katherine, second vice president of ESC; and their 5-year-old son Jayden.
"It's a huge honor," Larry Moore said. "It makes me proud of my family."
For almost three years Moore has served as his unit's point of contact for the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization that honors veterans by transporting them to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials.
The Moore family participates in the program by greeting the veterans when they arrive at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
"It's honoring people who did so much and ensuring that their sacrifices are remembered," said Larry Moore, who also is a volunteer math tutor at Maryland City Elementary School.
"Growing up, my dad instilled in me that you help people whenever you can," said Katherine Moore, who has held several positions in ESC and is currently vice president of the Thrift Shop Council.
Katherine Moore also coordinated the club's scholarship program and organized its annual Clean Up Fort Meade day. Last summer, she volunteered as the youth coordinator for the KaBOOM! playground project.
After five years at Fort Meade, the Moore family is leaving for Royal Air Force Base in Feltwell, England.
Rothstein presented 10 volunteers with a lapel pin for the Presidential Call to Service awards, which is given to volunteers who have earned more than 4,000 hours of service in a lifetime.
More than 70 volunteers also received the lapel pin from the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for their volunteer service during the past year.
Before the ceremony ended, the Moores presented Rothstein with a poster check representing the estimated $5 million that Fort Meade's 1,225 registered volunteers saved the installation through their donated hours last year.
"This is fantastic," Rothstein said.
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