Southern Pines Recreation Department Honors Volunteers
The Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department paid tribute to its volunteers with an appreciation luncheon featuring a slide show of many of the volunteers in action while they helped at activities.
Under the direction of Mary Lou Bernett, a tap dance by the Sophisticated Ladies was followed by an awards presentation and socialization.
Outstanding Volunteer awards were awarded to individuals who have freely and enthusiastically given of their time and talent in service to the department and whose contribution has significantly enhanced the success of the program. Special Citation awards were presented to individuals or organizations who have rendered extra special service to help advance the recreation and parks field by sponsoring a program, developing a new program, contribution to beautifica tion efforts, etc. The Meritorious Service award recognized individuals or organizations who have unselfishly given long tenure of loyal service in the field of recreation and parks.
Outstanding Volunteer awards went to Myron Ingram, Susan Reeve, Mary Lou Bernett, Amber Bennett, Brenda Mayo and Cadette Girl Scout Troop No. 988.
Ingram has contributed many hours of his time coaching in the youth tackle football program in the fall for ages 10-12. >Over the last three years, he has been the head coach of one of the teams and has helped recruit kids, recruit other volunteers to help coach, and has been a positive role model for the kids playing in the league.
Reeve has been coaching girls' softball and youth basketball teams for seven years and helped out at special events such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Hershey Track & Field. >
"She has done a great job of making sure all the players on her teams have a chance to learn the sport and have fun playing as a team," says Robert Reeve, director of the department.
Mary Lou Bernett was awarded for her dedication toward the senior division and the tap dance program.
"Mrs. Bernett gave of her free time to conduct a tap class, teaching novice and advanced tap dancers," says Rynet Oxendine, who heads up that division. "She did this as a volunteer and not an instructor."
"Pinecrest High School student Amber Bennett has volunteered for the past three years for our department's Summer Explorers Day Camp," says Sue Gillis, program coordinator. "She has cut up reams of construction paper, rinsed out countless paintbrushes and helped organize numerous games; she has done all of this enthusiastically and with a ready smile on her face."
Brenda Mayo has coordinated the finish line crew at Autumnfest for the past four years, helped with Egg Hunt registration and leading the ever popular Bunny to meet young children, and has been active at many more special events.
"Mrs. Mayo's friendly manner, compassion and love for children make her an extra-special outstanding volunteer" says Gillis.
Under the direction of troop leader AnnMarie Mello-Morris, Cadette Girl Scout Troop No. 988 started volunteering for Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department when they were Junior Girl Scouts. Since then, they have hidden thousands of eggs in the spring and at Halloween, painted faces and led games of chance at special events throughout the year.
"Whenever I need extra helping hands, I simply call or e-mail AnnMarie, and the troop eagerly volunteers," says Gillis.
Receiving the Special Citation award this year is Crescent State Bank. >Several >years ago, Crescent State Bank started providing financial support for the annual T-Ball League for youth 5- 7 years old. > The Southern Pines league normally has well over 100 children playing each year (this year reaching 128), and with the support of Crescent State Bank, has been able to offer jerseys for the kids. > Crescent State Bank has also provided support for programs like the "Movie in the Park" and the annual holiday events in December. > Jim Byrd and Lee Riggsbee, from Crescent State Bank, have volunteered their time for the special events and athletic leagues.
Dr. Joseph "Joe" Boals is the recipient of the Meritorious award. > Boals started volunteering his time more than 10 years ago with the T-Ball League. > Since then, he has helped coach teams in machine pitch baseball and multiple teams in youth basketball. > When it came time to coach all-star teams in basketball, Boals has coached both boys and girls teams for Southern Pines, even after his children were no longer participating in these programs. > Besides the time spent volunteering in programs, Boals has provided >sponsorship through Sandhills Pediatrics for the machine pitch baseball program and the youth all-star basketball teams. >
"We owe a debt of gratitude to our volunteers," says Reeve. "Volunteers turn good programs, special events and athletic leagues into great programs, special events and athletic leagues. Volunteers help beautify the town by planting approximately 3,000 impatiens each spring, picking up litter along roadways throughout the year, and checking holiday decorations each winter."
Mike Haney, Southern Pines mayor, echoed the many contributions that volunteers make to the town and reminded everyone in attendance at the luncheon that "volunteers are the reason why Southern Pines is such a wonderful community."
If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer with Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department, call the office at (910) 692-2463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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