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:
Sara Young, a senior at MU, has been an active volunteer since her Springfield high school days. Young has performed volunteer service to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services for the last eight months by participating in the Car Seat Program. The program provides are seats to low-income families to insure the safety of Columbia's children. Young fills out forms and entertains the children as their parents are being instructed on proper use of the devices. Young, a Biology major, cannot imagine her life without volunteer time. "I just enjoy seeing the appreciation on peoples face when we've been able to help," says Young. Thanks to Sara's efforts, the Health Department has been able to assist more people, which means more car seats are being used in our community with a greater safety awareness. The City of Columbia is fortunate to have students that find a way to give back to our community. Stick around Sara, we need more people like you! Thank You!
Shelley Soligo is a registered nurse and has a son under six months old. How does she find the time to plant her yard and three Adopt A Spot Beautification Beds? It's a passion. The Adopt A Spot Beautification Program has been a perfect marriage for business and community for Shelley and her husband, local realtor Michael Bratrud. Adopting a spot first on Scott Boulevard and Vawter School Road inspired Shelley. She later adopted spots at Nifong and Bethel as well as a third in progress at Chapel Hill Plaza and Forum Blvd. She hauls water to two beds on a regular basis in addition to regular planting, maintenance, mulching and weeding. Each bed requires a 4-year contract from the adopter, which does not deter Shelley who appreciates the positive feedback from coworkers and motorists alike. She encourages businesses to involve employees in adoption of beds in their area. Shelley believes it will strengthen continuity in the workplace and community. "Being able to live in a beautiful community," says Shelley, "is the most gratifying." Thanks Shelley for contributing so much to our community.
Written by Randy Williamson, volunteer
The cultural arts are a vital part of Columbia's legacy and community. Our Volunteer of the Month, Lisa Ryan, has been instrumental in supporting the cultural community through her four years of volunteer service with the City Office of Cultural Affairs. "This is my fourth year as a volunteer for the Fall Festival Poster Party," say Ryan, "and I hope to help with this event for many years to come. We are lucky to have fairly widespread support of the arts in Columbia." Ryan, a native Columbia, volunteers because it helps make Columbia a great place to live. She believes, through hands-on experience, that many programs are offered and run with the help of volunteers that might not be available if run by paid staff. "Volunteers make a tremendous impact on our city," say Ryan. "I have met so many great people through volunteer efforts, and some of them have become dear friends." The Columbia Festival of the Arts, free and open to all residents and visitors, entertains more than 10,000 visitors every year. The City of Columbia thanks Ryan and we look forward to her volunteer efforts in the future.
The City of Columbia has a friend in Donnie Morison. As a resident of Paquin Tower, Morison has been a fully involved community volunteer with the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department for over four years. Morison secures the Paquin Tower lobby every night, checking for locked doors and straightening up the large common room. He s also an assistant for the many special events held at the Tower, such as the recent Paul Pepper Show. He is a member of the Recreation Council and the Sargent-at-Arms for the Resident's Association. Morison is not one to let his disabilities hold him back from lending a hand to his fellow neighbors, which he does often with kindness. The impact of his big heart is felt by many people in the Paquin Tower community. Donnie Morison, the City of Columbia thanks you for your dedication, kindness and assistance in helping to make your community a better place to live.
Our July 2001 Volunteer of the Month, Bob Humphreys, is involved with many volunteer commitments. Humphreys is a member of the Park Patrol program monitoring the MKT and taking care of time reporting for the other Park Patrollers. As an active member since the inception of the Park Patrol, he is one of the long-term members helping to make the trail safe. In addition to his service to the City of Columbia, he is active with the Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center. His is also a member of the Columbia Track Club whose members assist in a wide variety of charitable events. "I give what I can back to my community that has given me and my family so much over the years, " says Humphreys. The City of Columbia expresses its gratitude to Bob for his helping hands over the years.
Don Reavis, the City of Columbia's Volunteer of the Month for the month of June, has been volunteering for over seven years with the city. Don has been an active volunteer for the Columbia Police Department, where he is a Police Teleserve Operator. As a Teleserve Operator, Don takes calls that do not require the immediate attention of an officer, such as annoying phone calls and walk-in complaints. Another aspect of Don's responsibilities includes entering tickets and summons into the computer system. Don's job as a Teleserve Operator helps police officers to spend their time on more serious issues that require the presence of the officer. Reavis believes that volunteer work is very beneficial, for both the community and the individual. Don states, "Volunteering will help you to get a real insight on the community. It is good to know that you are helping someone". He says that he has met the most interesting and wonderful people through volunteering, and many his fellow volunteers are now his good friends. Don encourages everyone to be involved in volunteer work, stating, "There is a place for everyone. Everyone should try it, no matter what age or occupation". Thank you Don for your willing heart and faithful service.
Written by volunteer Sarah Romano
"My greatest joy in volunteering is the satisfaction that I get from being able to help other people, and not expecting any pay in return, " says Ruth Vickery, the May 2001 volunteer of the month. Vickery, a volunteer with the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department, spends many hours providing recreation services to children, the elderly, and the disabled. Ruth has been a volunteer for over five years, and has helped with a variety of activities. She currently plays in the Rhythm Band which visits nursing homes. She is the Secretary of the Recreation Council. Ruth, a former teacher, spends many hours a week in volunteer work. Although her work is very time consuming, she believes that it is well worth it, stating, "Volunteering keeps me occupied and active; it gives me something fun to look forward to each week." The City of Columbia thanks Ruth for her hard work and dedication.
Written by volunteer Sarah Romano
Lester and Betty Powell, the City of Columbia's Volunteers of the Month for April, have a combined 18 years of volunteer service with the city. The Powells are active members of the Older American Klub (OAK), a program sponsored by the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department. After serving as president of the group for two years, in February Lester passed the gavel to Betty, who has served as secretary for several years. The Powells are active in two OAK musical groups; the OAK Variety Band and the OAK Rhythm Band. Both groups provide entertainment at nursing homes and schools in Columbia and in surrounding communities. The Powells enjoy making appearances with both bands and in seeing how much others enjoy their music. Lester and Betty have also provided leadership in fundraising activities for the OAK program. They have helped with the annual ham and bean dinner, rummage sales and bake sales.
Thanks to Lester and Betty Powell for their dedication as volunteers.
The Columbia Bike club, our March Volunteers of the Month, has assisted the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department for the last 10 years, helping with events and encouraging bike safety and physical fitness. This group of about 60 members has assisted with the annual Bike Safety Day, the Kid's Duathlon and the Kid's Triathlon by helping children improve their bike skills. Club members also check bikes for minor maintenance and distribute helmets to promote safety. The club has volunteered for many other activities in the community, including the Show-Me State Games and the Senior Games. One future event is an adventure challenge to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Columbia Bike Club's efforts are not limited just to biking - they helped with the Southridge tornado cleanup, donate to help the needy at Christmas, and have assisted the Friends of Rock Bridge State Park. Club president Dan Clinkinbeard said the Columbia Bike Club is involved in a variety of projects because each member has an interest in something different. Thanks, Columbia Bike Club, for your contributions to the City of Columbia!
Kids teaching kids...it can be a building block to the future. Our February2001 Volunteers of the month, the Service Learning Group of Oakland Junior High School and teacher Harry Webb, are busy teaching some responsibility to younger children as well as themselves. Webb and company get involved with the Columbia community by teaching local groups of kindergarten to 3rd grade school children about Hazardous Household Waste, a program run by Columbia Public Works Department. Valuable lessons are learned by Webb's class and subsequently shared with the younger children. This also may help to establish a lifelong process of environmental savvy for these children, many of whom do not understand the dangers of hazardous chemicals and waste until taught by Webb's class. "The program teaches my students a sense of responsibility to the younger kids," says Webb, "and in turn it teaches all of them some of life's lessons and gives them a better understanding of the world." Webb's class doesn't stop at hazardous waste either. They assist at the Food Bank, clean their Adopt-A-Spot litter site four times a year and put on blood drives. They City of Columbia takes this opportunity to thank Harry Webb and the Service Learning Group of Oakland Junior High School for their efforts.
"Every member of a community has a responsibility to make a positive contribution, and I believe that volunteering allows me the opportunity to fulfill my obligation," say Heather Oliver, the City of Columbia's January 2001 Volunteer of the Month. Oliver, a Columbia Public Works Department Household Hazardous Waste volunteer since April 1996, has consistently contributed her time and knowledge to help make Columbia a cleaner, less toxic environment. Her assistance with regularly scheduled disposal days and sharing her knowledge with friend, family, peers and neighbors are a direct product of her volunteer spirit. In addition, Oliver chaired the 1999 Missouri Recycles Day committee for elementary education. "I have enjoyed working with and meeting the citizens of Columbia during my time with Household Hazardous Waste," Oliver says, "The costs of volunteering are small, but the rewards are great." The City of Columbia offers our gratitude to Heather for her volunteer spirit and community involvement.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, call 874-7499 or write to volunteer@GoColumbiaMo.com.