BERLIN — Volunteers are the heart of a community, and in late August the Worcester County Commissioners joined Volunteer Services Manager Kelly Brinkley for the Volunteer Spirit of Worcester County awards dinner to recognize nine individuals and groups whose contributions add to an outstanding quality of life.
Those present were nominated by their peers in May in the youth, individual, member of a board, faith-based, group/team, nonprofit, community of service, veteran spirit and lifetime achievement categories.
“Once a year, we honor volunteers who are making a positive difference in the community,” Brinkley said. “That’s what this program is all about. We’ll be seeking nominations for the 2018 Volunteer Spirit Awards next spring.”
Pasquale D’Ascoli received the Youth Award for his work at Diakonia, where his kind words and compassionate actions make a difference.
Libby Davis received the Individual Award for her work with the Worcester County Developmental Center where she has participated in every activity throughout the year, helping all 94 clients live richer, fuller lives.
Susan Buckle Pusey received the Member of a Board Award for her work with the Delmarva Discovery Center and Museum (DDCM).
Missions at the Community Church of Ocean Pines, 56 members strong, including the Shepherd’s Nook, Sarah’s Pantry, and Flea Market, received the Faith-Based Award for providing financial support for electric bills, rent, medications, and veterans’ needs, and for providing services that meet many other immediate needs, including serving food to 1,200 families and providing bags of clothing.
Mary and Mike Evans received the Team Award for their work with Star Charities, where they support events for 4Steps Therapeutic Riding Program, Coastal Hospice Palliative Care and Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake.
The Kiwanis of Greater Ocean Pines and Ocean City received the Nonprofit Award for faithfully improving the world one child and one community at a time for more than 37 years. Their 51 members contribute 3,000 hours each year, raising funds to provide $13,000 in scholarships and to lend a hand to Worcester GOLD, Diakonia, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Shelter, and numerous other area nonprofits.
Town of Berlin Welcome Center Volunteers received the Community of Service Award. With eight volunteers ages 47 to 74 increasing foot traffic, sales, and attendance at special events, and directing visitors to shops, restaurants, and attractions, it’s no wonder Berlin is the Coolest Small Town in America.
Justin Pusey received the Veteran Award for his work at Diakonia. “His dedication to helping others is truly remarkable, from his military service, to his future plans, and the time and effort he gives to Diakonia,” Diakonia Volunteer Coordinator Degan Allen said when nominating Pusey. “He is a remarkable young man.”
Barbara Tull received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with the DDCM, where she has logged more than 10,000 volunteer hours and traveled thousands of miles over the years to visit other museums for ideas and inspiration.