Middle Tennessee Volunteers Recognized for Outstanding Community Service
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Middle Tennesseans were honored for outstanding volunteer work today at Hands On Nashville’s 29th annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health.
- Bob Bredensteiner– Capacity-building Volunteer Award
- Julie Davis and Cheryl Hays – Volunteer Innovator Award
- Conexión Américas’ Parents as Partners Facilitator Team – Civic Volunteer Group Award
- Asurion – Corporate Volunteerism Award
- Samantha Ponder – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Youth; ages 5-20 category)
- Maurice Curry – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult; ages 21-49 category)
- Amy Shever – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult 50+category)
- Andy Myers– Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award (Adult)
- Camryn Magsby– Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award (Youth)
More than 600 volunteers and agency representatives attended the luncheon and ceremony at the Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center. The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community.
This year’s event coincided with the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems. During the celebration, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean thanked nominees, finalists, and national service members for their efforts to improve Middle Tennessee. In his remarks, Mayor Dean recognized April 7, 2015 as the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service in Nashville.
“National service is a vital resource for our city, and our AmeriCorps and other national volunteers have a positive and lasting impact in making Nashville a better place,” Mayor Dean said. “As Mayor of Nashville, I have seen first-hand the power of volunteerism from community members and National Service volunteers alike and am thankful for the efforts of courageous, selfless and inspiring volunteers, like Mary Catherine Strobel, and those recognized today.”
More than 100 nominations were submitted for the 2015 Strobel Volunteer Awards. Following is a list of award recipients for each category and a brief description of the volunteer work for which they are recognized.
Capacity-building Volunteer Award
The Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry, or community organization.
Bob Bredensteiner has been named the 2015 recipient of the Capacity-building Volunteer Award for his efforts to bolster the impact of volunteer programming at FiftyForward RSVP and United Way of Metro Nashville’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Bob has given more than 1,600 combined hours to match volunteers with community needs, and trained hundreds of fellow volunteers to provide free tax preparation assistance.
Volunteer Innovator Award
The Volunteer Innovator Award honors individuals or groups that have responded creatively to an unmet community need by designing a volunteer program, practice or response or by adding innovation to an existing program or agency.
Julie Davis and Cheryl Hays have been named the recipients of the 2015 Volunteer Innovator Award for creating the Re-New Program at the YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee. Through Re-New, Julie and Cheryl create welcoming homes for select women and children in the YWCA’s Transitional Housing Program, complete with quality furniture, nutritious food, and living essentials. Since creating Re-New, the program has furnished more than 100 homes for survivors of domestic violence.
Civic Volunteer Group Award
The Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based, or noncorporate groups that volunteer together for a cause.
Conexión Américas’ Parents as Partners Facilitator Team has been named the 2015 recipient of the Civic Volunteer Group Award for its efforts to forge strong partnerships between Latino parents and schools to ultimately improve children’s academic achievement. Since 2008, the Parents as Partners Facilitator Team has hosted workshops in fourteen Metro Nashville Public Schools, engaging more than 1,100 parents in skill-building activities.
Corporate Volunteerism Award
The Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
Asurion has been named the 2015 recipient of the Corporate Volunteerism Award for service to Nashville students in need of academic intervention. Through its partnership with Teach For America Greater Nashville, Asurion volunteers spent more than 900 hours in seven Metro Nashville Public School classrooms during the 2013-2014 school year and students from Asurion-supported classrooms demonstrated significant growth in reading ability.
Direct Service Volunteer Award (Youth; ages 5-20 category)
The Direct Service Volunteer Award Recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.
Samantha Ponder has been named the 2015 recipient of a Direct Service Volunteer Award for her service to Snowball Express, an organization that serves children of fallen soldiers. As a result of Samantha’s first Snowball Express 5K in Franklin, Tenn., 80 youth were able to receive the support and care of Snowball Express during a retreat to Dallas, Texas.
Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult; ages 21-49 category)
Maurice Curry has been named the 2015 recipient of a Direct Service Volunteer Award for his mentorship, support, and guidance to young men at Cane Ridge Elementary School. Maurice meets each week with a group of young boys who are considered at-risk, and leads by example to instill core values and inspire the boys to achieve their goals.
Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult; age 50+ category)
Amy Shever is the recipient of a 2015 Direct Service Volunteer Award for her work to provide education and resources to pet owners, veterinarians, and animal care organizations nationwide in an effort to reduce the number of number of pets euthanized when their owners are no longer able to care for them. Amy is founder and Executive Director of 2nd Chance 4 Pets.
Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award
The Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes adult and youth volunteers who demonstrate a deep commitment to improving our community through Hands On Nashville programming.
Camryn Magsby is the recipient of the Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award in the youth category. As a Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Intern and Youth Volunteer Corps member, Camryn has demonstrated outstanding leadership to her peers and engaged hundreds of youth in experiential activities to grow their knowledge about nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.
Andy Myers is the recipient of the Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year in the adult category. Andy has been instrumental in implementing experimental gardening techniques at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm, a working and teaching hub for young people. Andy writes youth programming curriculum to empower youth to explore local agriculture, and discover the benefits of healthy eating.
About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates Strobel’s service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.
About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. Annually, HON connects thousands of volunteers to service opportunities supporting area nonprofits as well as its programs in urban agriculture, home energy savings, youth leadership development and support of public education.
Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to make a difference. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.
Thank you to the 2015 Strobel Volunteer Awards