County Volunteers Honored By State At Ceremony

ANNAPOLIS – A number of Worcester County residents were recognized this week for outstanding service at the 25th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards ceremony at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts.

“Of course we realize that we haven’t covered everyone with this ceremony this afternoon,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “But as Marylanders, we all benefit from the extra effort put forth by the people who are here and others who are not.”

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards presentation precedes Volunteer Week in Maryland (April 27-May 3) and represents the most prestigious volunteer award presented by the Office of the Governor. Award categories include the seniors group, state government, community group, unsung heroes, faith-based, business group, individual seniors, individual service, individual youth, lifetime achievement, national service, public safety and emergency response.

Winning awards from Worcester County were Elizabeth Coni Bellavance, Unsung Hero; Donna Greenwood, Individual; Linda Busick, Senior; Shepherd’s Nook, Group; and Faye Ordway, State Government.

— Bellavance is an integral part of the ShoreCAN Volunteer Center. With her assistance, the center created 38 food baskets and 200-plus canned goods to needy people. She is a strong advocate of immigrant rights and works to see that local, state and federal governments protects the rights of all people. She also works with second language tutoring.

— As one of the founders of the “Play It Safe Program,” Greenwood has helped to save hundreds of graduating seniors’ lives and has eased the anxiety of many parents throughout Maryland and surrounding states. The “Play It Safe Program” aims to curtail underage drinking and drug use during senior week and into their future. The program sponsors 60 free events where students are provided with safe, fun, drug- and alcohol-free activities. Participation in the program has increased from 3,262 in 1999 to over 13,400 in 2007. Additionally, Greenwood is the chairwoman of the Ocean City Beautification Committee, the Mayor’s Hospitality Committee and the Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee. “I have been fortunate enough to work with Donna for over fifteen years. She is a model citizen whose tireless efforts have greatly improved our community,” said Delegate Jim Mathias, who nominated Greenwood.

— County Commissioner Busick was among the trailblazers of female officers serving in the Baltimore County Police Department. In its 97-year history she was the seventh woman to be employed by the department and the first female officer to complete 20 years of service. She retired in 1991 and has since taken the role of a star volunteer including seats on the Worcester County Child Protection Citizen’s Review Board; the Worcester County Child Fatality Review Board; Worcester County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Coalition.

— Heim is an AmeriCorps member with ShoreCorps/PALS at Salisbury University and has been serving as a part-time member with Salisbury’s Promise since September 2007. He has worked on several projects, the first of which was “Gimme Five” Youth Day, one of the largest projects of the organization. As a graduate student of History, much of his volunteer experience has centered on preserving Maryland history. He volunteered his time as a guest lecturer at Towson University to speak about the environmental threats to the distinct culture of Smith Island, and with the National Park Service at Assateague Island as a historical researcher and archivist.

— Ordway, or "Miss Faye," as she is affectionately known to all who work at Assateague State Park, has been a volunteer at the park for 20 years. She holds the current position as liaison between 48 campground hosts and year-round staff. The host program consists of volunteers from all over the United States who assist campers, clean sites, and encourage visitors to enjoy the park’s facilities in an environmentally-friendly manner. Balancing the management of the wildlife and visitors can be a challenging undertaking. In 2007, Assateague State Park was host to over 1,000,000 visitors. The campground alone saw almost 300,000. The year-round staff said the park would be "lost" without Ordway.

— Shepherd’s Nook is located at the Community Church of Ocean Pines. It is a seven-day-a-week emergency service outlet for various projects such as needs of the homeless and for medical emergencies. It is a committee of 54 volunteers who work daily preparing clothing and/or food for the days they are open to the public. The loyalty and dedication of the volunteers is extraordinary. Among their many good deeds, they gave clothing to 162 people in the county; provided food to over 170 families and 18 baskets for Thanksgiving and 21 at Christmas; they have a special relationship with the Berlin Nursing Home and routinely deliver much-needed items such as slippers and robes and donates funds and gifts for their annual birthday party; and they donated $3,000 to the church for the purchase of a convection oven and $500 to the Angel Tree for Christmas baskets.