Know someone who makes a big difference helping others in the community?The Maryland Heights Parks and Recreation Department wants to hear about your star volunteer for its annual Volunteer of the Year Award.
According a recent press release from the city, “Every year Maryland Heights recognizes individuals, either residents or people who work here, who make outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life in the city by contributing their time, energy and expertise to worthy civic or charitable causes.”
Volunteers in the community have been honored this way for past 15 years.
“We started this award back in 1996 in regards to people who serve their community,” said Mary Vaughan, Maryland Heights Director of Parks and Recreation. “It’s so important to recognize those who are making a tremendous impact volunteering for the betterment of the town throughout community organizations.”
The award is available to any individual who volunteers in the Maryland Heights community. Volunteers from churches, non-profits, and local agencies are just a few of the potential candidates for this prize.
“The winner gets a plaque on behalf of the city and the parks and recreation Advisory Commission,” Vaughan said. “The runner-ups get gift certificates for different locations around town. We don’t assign places other than first place because we just really want to give back something to all of those who are nominated for their efforts in volunteering.”
Any citizen or organization can nominate an individual they deem worthy for this honor. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, along with Parks and Recreation staff, choose the winner from the nominations.
The winner will be announced at the annual Family Picnic event on Sept. 29 at Vago Park, located at 2700 Fee Fee Rd.
Last year’s winner was Pattonville High School student Joshua Johnson.
“This was the first time we have given the award to a teenager, which was great,” Vaughan said. “He was only a junior at the time, but he put in 1200 hours volunteering at Loaves and Fishes. He even beat the school record for the most volunteer hours.”