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Savannah, GA (April 25, 2018) – United Way Volunteers held its 39th Annual Volunteer Awards luncheon celebrating the giving spirit of volunteers who made a difference in the lives of others.  More than 250 people attended the event held at Savannah Station.

Various community organizations in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties nominated individuals as a way to say thank you for their exceptional service.  Winners were selected from a field of 56 nominees in each of five categories. The winners and the organizations they served are as follows:

  • Animal Advocacy Award winner: Coastal Pet Rescue Volunteers, Coastal Pet Rescue
  • Arts & Culture Award winner: SCAD SERVE, Savannah College of Art & Design
  • Education Award winner: Cassie Beckwith, Urban Hope
  • Environment Award winner: Dale Thorpe, Savannah Tree Foundation
  • Human Services Award winner: Brad Green, Family Promise of Effingham

The Herschel V. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year Award was selected from the winners above.  Mr. Jenkins was a visionary and a community building volunteer who believed in the work of United Way and the importance of giving back to the community.  The award went to Brad Green.  A monetary prize of $1,000 was awarded to Family Promise of Effingham.

A $500 scholarship award, given by Critz Auto Group, was presented to the highest scoring youth individual in honor of their outstanding service.  The winner of this is award was Cera Schulke for her volunteer service through Coastal Pet Rescue.

Additionally, United Way Volunteers acknowledges the critical role that professional volunteer administrators play in each of our nominees’ service with the Shirley Sessions Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award.  Shirley Sessions, a veteran leader of United Way Volunteers, is a passionate and dedicated advocate who understands and embodies the power of service to make our community stronger.  The 2018 Volunteer Administrator of the Year award went to Lily McCormick of Senior Citizens, Inc.

Special thanks go out to a panel of community volunteers who took extra time evaluating the nominees.  Serving as Volunteer Awards judges were Rabbi Robert Haas, Congregation Mickve Israel; Betsy Able, South University; Cindy Jefferies, 2017 SCCPS Teacher of the Year; Alton Wright, Gulfstream Aerospace; Selah Gardiner, Community Representative and Louise Coniglio, Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration.

The event was made possible by our generous sponsor Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and Critz Auto Group.  Special thanks to United Way Board Chair Steve Pound of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, United Way Volunteers Chair Marc Hefner of WSAV-TV, Jenn Bishop of Savannah Repertory Theater, Somi Jaja-Benson of Shots by Somi, and DJ Jose Ray.

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