United Way Hands On Savannah held its 37th Annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards luncheon celebrating the giving spirit of volunteers who made a difference in the lives of others. Approximately 350 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 63 individual and group nominees in each of five categories: Animal Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Education, Environment and Health & Human Services. The winners and the organizations they served are as follows: Animal Advocacy Award winner: HSGS Pet Fix Volunteers, Humane Society for Greater Savannnah Arts & Culture Award winner: Chandler White, SCAD Serve Education Award winner: Hwee Miang Chow, Urban Hope Environment Award winner: Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers, Tybee Clean Beach Health & Human Services Award winner: Samuel Watkins, American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia The Herschel V. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year Award, honoring the late Herschel V. Jenkins, a visionary and a community building volunteer who believed in the work of United Way and the importance of giving back to the community, was selected from winners in the above five categories. The award went to Samuel Watkins. A monetary prize of $1,000 was awarded to American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia of Southeast and Coastal Georgia.
Additionally, a $500 scholarship, sponsored by Critz, Inc., was given in conjunction with the Global Youth Service Day Award to the highest scoring youth individual in honor of their outstanding service. The winner of this award was Christel-Ann Ramus for her volunteer service through Southeastern Guide Dogs.
For the second year, the ceremony honored the critical role that professional Volunteer Administrators play in each of the nominees’ organizations with The Shirley Sessions Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award. Shirley Sessions is a passionate and dedicated advocate who understands and embodies the power of service to make our community stronger. Ms. Sessions joined the awards ceremony to announce the 2016 Volunteer Administrator of the Year, Selah Delacos of Humane Society for Greater Savannah.
Special thanks also go out to a panel of community volunteers who took extra time evaluating the nominees. Serving as Volunteer Recognition Awards judges were Byron Atkinson, Boost by Design; Steve Bahlmann, Georgia Transformer; Gail Eubanks, Savannah Technical College; Ashle’ King, Memorial Health; Lori Mc- Campbell, Liberty County Volunteer; Cyreia Sandlin, WTOC-TV; and Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration Board of Directors.
The event was made possible by our generous sponsors Critz, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and Sold Sisters Savannah. Special thanks to United Way Executive Board Member Mark Bennett of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation; Pastor Richard Hayes, New Day Community Church; Rachel Hopkins, Sol C. Johnson High School; Salsa Savannah; and Gabrielle Ware, Georgia Public Broadcasting, for making the celebration a great success.