City of Columbia volunteers recognized for extraordinary efforts!
Kudos recognizes the efforts of some of the many volunteers who improve the City of Columbia. Visit this page to read about our volunteers of the month! Read about past recipients:
December 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Somewhere in his busy schedule, Richard Poelling finds time to fill the vital seat as secretary for the Columbia Neighborhood Watch program. The program has been in existence since 1975 and has been an excellent tool to help Columbia's neighborhoods become a safer place to live and work. Poelling has been instrumental in helping the Columbia Police Department to revitalize the program. A former police officer, Poelling brings his experience and enthusiasm with him to this volunteer position. Communication between the board members and the Police Department has much improved with Poelling as liaison. In addition to his chair duties, Poelling is an important part of the effort that keeps the program viable by raising funds at the annual golf tournament. The City of Columbia wishes to honor Richard Poelling for his time, commitment and community spirit. We thank you!
November 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Barbara Ball spends most of her time outdoors. In addition to her day job she has put in nearly one-hundred hours toward the City of Columbia TreeKeepers program. She is a vital part of the North Garth Bear Creek Trail project, from inception to completion. The TreeKeepers have planted the entire parking area and maintain it as an Adopt A Spot Beautification site. The volunteer work includes mulching, digging holes, planting trees and bird watching too! Ball helped obtain a grant from the Earth Day Coalition to erect bluebird houses in the adopted area. She volunteers to watch the nests, count fledglings and report her observations to Cornell University for a pilot study in progress. In addition, Ball maintains the bird houses.
The Boone County Historical Society also benefits from Ball's "volunteer spirit." Monthly she is docent for the Museum. "I enjoy doing volunteer work outside my regular job," says Ball "I get to meet new people and give to my community." The City of Columbia thanks you, Barb, for your volunteer enthusiasm and community contributions.
October 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Local artisan Ned Vail was instrumental in establishing an offshoot, the CARE Gallery, of the CARE (Career Awareness and Related Experience) for Columbia Parks & Recreation Department. After extensive research by Vail, the program was initiated this summer. Vail, as acting coordinator, has seven trainees between the age of 14 and 18. They are creating works of art for local events such as the Missouri Symphony "Orchestra Safari" and the Giant Street Puppets for the First Night New Year's Eve Celebration. The trainees will also be involved in this year's Columbia Fall Festival of the Arts. "I volunteer because there are many things that need to be done to keep Columbia moving in a forward direction," says Vail, "the money is not always available to support these programs, but community time is." Vail's hope is those programs like CARE Gallery will eventually attract the attention of people in the position to help support the programs, insuring that the CARE Gallery, and others, become successful community programs. The City of Columbia wishes to thank Ned for his time, effort and dedication.
September 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Dorothy Walton is not your retired, stay-at-home type. Her 1981 move from suburban Detroit was definitely a stroke of luck for the City of Columbia. She immediately jumped into volunteer work for the Columbia Police Department with the Neighborhood Watch Program. With 19 years as an active volunteer, Dorothy has worked with the Columbia Police Department longer than many of the hired staff. The Neighborhood Watch program currently consists of 300+ groups with more than three thousand members. A current and past member of the board of directors, Dorothy has assisted as a fund-raiser and recruitment leader for the program. As a board member, she attends to the decision making process, as well as the organization effort for new Neighborhood Watch groups in Columbia. Dorothy is also involved with the Meals on Wheels program, and supports the Moberly Children's Home with their fund-raising efforts throughout the year. The City of Columbia extends our heartfelt thanks to Dorothy for her many years of service to our community.
August 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Christopher Starbuck, Associate Professor of Horticulture is a veteran composting trainer for the City of Columbia Public Works Volunteer Program and the August volunteer of the month. Starbuck, a pioneer of the compost and worm bin programs, has be active for the City since July, 1994. In addition to shared compost teaching responsibilities he often staffs the Public Works booth at various festivals and home shows. His reasons for volunteering are best put in his own words. Starbuck says "We Americans are gradually coming to realize that we cannot continue to consume and waste natural resources at our present level for very long. Most of us would be more environmentally responsible if we knew how. Composting green material in the back yard is a small thing that the homeowner can do to conserve resources. Once people start composting, they tend to become more environmentally aware. I participate in the PW volunteer program because it provides a great vehicle to get practical information out to Columbians so that they will be more likely to do back yard composting." The City of Columbia wishes to thank Chris for his dedicated service to the community.
July 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
Gail Biggerstaff, the July 2000 volunteer of the month, says "Volunteering is the funniest thing I do." A City of Columbia Police Cadet since May 1999, Biggerstaff has put in well over 100 hours to provide assistance at community events such as the annual Memorial Day Air Show, Home Show, and Partners in Education programs. She also helps with parade traffic control and wears the McGruff costume for community education. When she joined the Police Cadets she had no idea what they actually did, but she was looking for a clear idea of what it takes to be a police officer. "I want to be a Police Officer and being a Cadet I have learned lots of things and have met many nice people both in and out of the Columbia Police Department," says Biggerstaff. The City of Columbia salutes Gail for her dedications and commitment to our community.
Betty Rose Northup
June 2000 - Volunteer of the Month
If you see this volunteer, chances are that she and her faithful dog Shadow are picking up litter around her neighborhood. Betty Rose Northup has adopted her second Adopt A Spot litter area from Parklawn Drive to Creasy Springs Road and over to Business Loop 70. "Shadow is a little co-volunteer and we walk miles every day picking up litter. Much more fun when one has a dog to help," says Betty. Betty's neighbors can attest that their community is a much cleaner and safer place to live due to her daily litter patrol. For over two years she has been a welcome site in the area as she gets out nearly everyday to help better her community. Betty is also working alongside Councilman Chris Janku in an effort to get the park on Parklawn Circle fixed up. Betty Rose's example should encourage other citizens to become involved in taking back their neighborhoods. The City of Columbia salutes Betty and Shadow!
For more information on volunteer opportunities, call 874-7499 or write to volunteer@GoColumbiaMo.com.