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May 5 - United Way HandsOn Savannah Celebrates Volunteer Excellence


Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

May 5, 2017 - United Way HandsOn Savannah held its 38th Annual Volunteer Awards luncheon celebrating the giving spirit of volunteers who made a difference in the lives of others.  More than 250 people attended the event held at Savannah Station.  

Various community organizations in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties nominated individuals as a way to say thank you for their exceptional service.  Winners were selected from a field of 56 nominees in each of five categories. The winners and the organizations they served are as follows:

Animal Advocacy Award winner: Jane Mace, Islands Feral Cat Project

Arts & Culture Award winner: C.A. Miller, Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Education Award winner: Horizons Savannah Youth Volunteers, Horizons Savannah

Environment Award winner: Will Sims, Savannah Tree Foundation

Human Services Award winner: Rosalie Wilson, Senior Citizens, Inc.

The Herschel V. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year Award was selected from the winners above.  Mr. Jenkins was a visionary and a community building volunteer who believed in the work of United Way and the importance of giving back to the community.  The award went to Rosalie Wilson.  A monetary prize of $1,000 was awarded to Senior Citizens, Inc.


A $500 scholarship award, given by Critz Auto Group, was presented to the highest scoring youth individual in honor of their outstanding service.  The winner of this is award was Abreona Batts for her volunteer service through Horizons Savannah.  

Additionally, United Way HandsOn Savannah acknowledges the critical role that professional volunteer administrators play in each of our nominees’ service with the Shirley Sessions Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award.  Shirley Sessions, a veteran leader of United Way HandsOn Savannah, is a passionate and dedicated advocate who understands and embodies the power of service to make our community stronger.  The 2017 Volunteer Administrator of the Year award went to Khani Morgan of Royce Learning Center

Special thanks go out to a panel of community volunteers who took extra time evaluating the nominees.  Serving as Volunteer Awards judges wereRev. Ken McKenzie, Christ Presbyterian Church; Eileen Baker, City of Savannah; Amy Riesinger, Holiday Inn & Suites Savannah Airport; April Haas, Congregation Mickve Israel; Melanie Willoughby, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System; Tom Pace, Thomas & Hutton; and Louise Coniglio, Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration. 

The event was made possible by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Special thanks to United Way Board Chair Steve Pound of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Rachel Hopkins of Johnson High School, Mia Amini of Alpha Media Savannah, and Coastal Jazz Association for making the celebration a great success.

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