Base hosts volunteer recognition lunch|
by Staff Sgt. Sarah Loicano
Air University Public Affairs
8/13/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The 42nd Force Support Squadron held a Volunteer Excellence Award recognition luncheon at the Maxwell Event Center July 31 in honor of the base's long-term volunteers.
Christine Bushby, a Maxwell volunteer with the base chapel and Boy Scouts for the past eight years won the volunteer excellence award for 2012.
In total, six people whose volunteer time around the base span more than 70 years and 21,000 hours were recognized by base leadership.
Ruben Aguilar, 42nd FSS volunteer resource coordinator, said volunteers are essential to keeping many base organizations running smoothly, such as the Airmen's Attic or Maxwell and Gunter thrift shops, which rely on volunteers to stay open.
"Volunteers are even more critical now because many organizations both on base and off are being affected by finances," he said. "Budget cuts are hurting everybody; inflation, gas prices etc., they affect everyone but the most diehard volunteers. It doesn't matter what it takes or what it costs to them."
Although Aguilar said there are many people who volunteer around base, including active duty, dependents, retirees and their spouses, the luncheon was designed to focus on those who have been long-term volunteers. To be featured, nominees had to have at least five years on continuous volunteer work.
"Some of them have been volunteering for 15 to 18 years, and this is essentially a lifetime achievement award," he said.
Aguilar tries to keep track of everyone who volunteers and the number of hours they serve, but admits that it can be difficult to gather that information because many people volunteer off base or don't report hours. This is because many people are not doing volunteer work for the recognition.
To help improve tracking methods, Aguilar is trying to find a way to reach out to people to report hours because he said it helps with the bigger picture.
"It shows the community involvement, which can be important in situations such as BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure]," he said.
Bushby received an appreciation gift, a certificate and a one-year special parking pass for the commissary and base exchange. During the luncheon closing, Col. Trent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, spoke to the audience about the nominees, calling their efforts impressive.
"You make Team Maxwell - Gunter a better place to work, play and pray," he said to the nominees.
To learn about volunteer opportunities or report hours served, contact Ruben Aguilar at 953-2353 or email@example.com.
Renee Butler has been volunteering for more 15 years as a victim to survivor advocate since 2006 and has contributed more than 300 direct client hours and 1,500 on call hours for Maxwell AFB. She is also an on call advocate for a local community partner, standing together against rape since 2007, contributing more than 250 on call hours. Butler also volunteers at her church where she serves in the music ministry and as lay budget and finance reviewer and youth ministry and drama team advisor.
John McCune has been volunteering locally for more than 18 years. As a devoted church member, he volunteers as "Mr. Fix It" for the church widows ministry and makes house calls to ensure necessary and safe repairs are made. As a 42nd Medical Group pharmacy volunteer since 2009, McCune is responsible for ensuring the correct refill medications are provided to more than 39,000 beneficiaries. He also has supervised 42nd MDG volunteers in the cleanup efforts of Lake Jordan, who collected more than 5.4 tons of garbage from the lake.
Judy May has been volunteering for more than 13 years with the 42nd MDG pharmacy and Titus Community Center where she has assisted in putting together the annual bluegrass music festival and organizing vendors for the past five years. May started Stitcher of Hope in 2007, sewing, knitting and crocheting items for nursing homes, Counseling Outreach for Pregnancy Emergency (COPE) in Montgomery, the Tallassee Pregnancy Center and Catholic Social Services. She also is responsible for the Alabama Water Watch Program at Lake Jordan where she has helped train 10 water monitors to do monthly testing.
Leonard Pagilone has been volunteering for more than 10 years with organizations such as the Red Cross, his neighborhood homeowners' association and his church. As a volunteer for the Maxwell pharmacy, he provided more than 24 hours each month, enabling the work center to deliver more than 360,000 annual prescriptions to beneficiaries. He serves a president of the Smoke Rise homeowners' association where he uses the leadership gained from 30 years of honorable military service.
As a member of Maxwell's parish, Christine Bushby has dedicated hundreds of hours to the chapel choir, vacation Bible school and religious education and confirmation. With two boys of her own, she also volunteers with Boy Scouts of America and has stepped into the role of pack treasurer and advancements chairperson. Her pack, Troop 23, collected more than 3,000 pounds of food during its Scouting for food service project. Bushby also served as a career day mentor at Daniel Pratt Elementary School.
During the last six years, Shannon has been volunteering at the Maxwell and Gunter Annex fitness centers, giving thousands of hours to benefit the aerobics programs. She also volunteers her time as a speaker of local running and cycling groups and serves a volunteer conditioning coach for St. James Equestrian team. Crumpton also works with her Bible study group to serve a monthly meal to the homeless.