Middle Tennesseans were honored on Wednesday, April 21, for outstanding volunteer work at Hands On Nashville’s 31st annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Advance Financial.
- Laura Little – Capacity-building Volunteer Award
- Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit – Civic Volunteer Group Award
- FYKES Realty Group – Corporate Volunteerism Award
- Olivia Wright – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages five to 20)
- Terry Key – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 21 to 49)
- Lillian Schklar – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 50 plus)
More than 600 volunteers and agency representatives attended the luncheon and ceremony at the Music City Center downtown. The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community.
This year’s awards ceremony kicked off with a choir performance by St. Cecilia Academy Choir to recognize the award nominees and finalists. Great-granddaughter and namesake of Mary Catherine Strobel, Mary Catherine Pyburn, recited the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, a favorite of her great-grandmother. Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room In The Inn, closed the ceremony with remarks about the event’s significance and an eloquent remembrance of his mother’s legacy.
“The Hands On Nashville team is once again energized by the spirit of service at the Strobel Awards,” said Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Strangers don’t exist at that luncheon. There is a seemingly unending line of new friends wanting to hear more about you and thank you for your service.”
Community members submitted 126 nominations for the 2017 Strobel Volunteer Awards.
“Volunteerism is a key component of our business culture and a key part of being a Nashvillian,” said Tina Hodges, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Experience Officer at Advance Financial. “Our employees are offered volunteer time and we hear about their incredible experiences all year long. The Strobel Awards celebrate stories like theirs and those of our fellow Nashville volunteers in such a special way.”
“This is probably one of the best awards I could ever imagine receiving,” said Terry Key, recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award (ages 21 to 49). “I get a chance to make a difference and work with people who are making a difference. I’m going to show this to all the kids in the bike club and tell them, ‘No matter where you’re from, you can make a difference!’”
Following is a list of award recipients for each category and a brief description of the volunteer work for which they are recognized.
The Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
Laura Little received the 2017 Capacity-building Volunteer Award for her work with 18 different nonprofits around Nashville, which includes facilitating donations for Nurses for Newborns, the Department of Children’s Services, The Nashville Food Project and more. Laura anticipates when organizations have upcoming needs for food or supplies, and notices when they’re storing something that might better suit another cause.
The Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.
Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit received the 2017 Civic Volunteer Group Award. The MDU is a mobile facility that offers free healthcare services, and welcomes people from all backgrounds. Its volunteers, who include medical and dental professionals, as well as church members, provide healing, restorative, compassionate care.
The Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
FYKES Realty Group is the 2017 recipient of the Corporate Volunteerism Award for its work with Open Table Nashville, which works with individuals facing homelessness. Twice a month, the FYKES team joins Open Table Nashville to set up a resource shelter so unhoused neighbors can enjoy good meals, warm beds and showers, while getting help with housing, paperwork, medical needs and haircuts.
The Direct Service Volunteer Awards recognize individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy and/or resources to support an agency’s constituents.
Olivia Wright received the Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages five to 20 category for her work with Tennessee H.U.G.S., or Help Us Give Shoes, an organization she started with she was only nine years old. Now 17, Olivia started the program to help children meet basic needs and ensure their ability to get an education. The idea has transformed into an international organization: H.U.G.S. has delivered more than 100,000 pairs of shoes to 13 countries and six continents.
Terry Key is the 2017 recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award, ages 21 to 49 category, for his efforts with the Edgehill Bike Club. Terry started the club as a way to show kids in his neighborhood life outside Edgehill. Edgehill Bike Club works to give children bikes, teach them basic maintenance and encourage children to take control of their futures. Since 2013, Terry has helped give more than 1,000 bikes to kids, and is working to establish new bike clubs in other Nashville communities.
Lillian Schklar received the 2017 Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages 50-plus category for her tutoring work with FiftyForward’s Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP) program. She is a fixture in the school where she tutors, having logged hundreds of service hours in more than a decade. She works not only to improve her students’ academic skills, but to develop loving friendships with them.
For more information:
Jessica Moog, Hands On Nashville, (615) 298-1108, ext. 409, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Huddleston, MP&F Public Relations, (615) 259-4000, email@example.com
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 her 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. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.