News Archive
ATTENTION: This news article is more than 1 year old and information may be outdated.

April 12, 2016

Commissioners Announce 2016 Volunteer Awards during National Volunteer Week

Boulder County, Colo. - The Boulder County Commissioners (BOCC) celebrated the
important role that volunteers play in the community by hosting a volunteer
recognition event on April 12 and awarding $8,000 total for 18 volunteer
program proposals during National Volunteer Week.

On an annual basis, Boulder County invites volunteers from
county government programs to submit proposals requesting up to $500 per
proposal. Proposals may seek to fund an innovative new idea or can be used to
enhance an existing volunteer program. Based on predetermined guidelines, a
selection committee chooses the proposals to fund.

In honor of this 25th annual awards event, the
BOCC funded $8,000 total this year, $2,000 more than last year. Volunteers were
individually recognized during the ceremony and the funding will go directly to
the programs in which they participate.

The volunteer award recipients for this year are listed below
in alphabetical order:

Carbone – Boulder County Head Start, Community Services Department
- $500 to purchase enough fleece for
volunteers to make 25–50 blankets for Head Start children to use during nap

Cassaday – Community Protection, District Attorney’s Office
- $500 to purchase one Microsoft Surface 3 tablet to be used by Community
Protection volunteers to look up online resources for members of the public and
make it easier for them to give public presentations out in the community.

Cladis – Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center, Housing & Human Services
- $500 to
purchase various types of art supplies so that Casa de la Esperanza students
can create a mural-style project to explore each student’s ancestry and help
them create a stronger sense of self.

Crocco & Ken Riedel – Angler
Host, Parks & Open Space Department
- $500
to purchase 50 new fishing rods to replace old or broken ones and buy
additional ones, which will allow the Angler Host program to serve more kids at
the free fishing clinics.

Damon – Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Area Agency on Aging, Community Services
- $325 to purchase 7
assistive hearing devices commonly called “pocket talkers” so that each
Ombudsman can carry one and share it with a resident if needed while they are
meeting to discuss a resident’s care.

Green – Juvenile Assessment Center,
Community Justice Services, Community Services Department
- $500 to
purchase several new books ranging from fun and easy reads to more engaging,
educational texts for youth at the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Gene Joerns, Ruth Newell & Dave Pence – Cultural
History, Parks & Open Space Department
- $500 to purchase materials to
construct wooden desks, benches, and a blackboard, as well as buy other
classroom accessories to make Walker Ranch’s 1880s One Room Schoolhouse feel
more authentic for students and other members of the public.

Judd – Circles Campaign, Community Action Programs, Community Services
- $350 to print and
bind 40 copies of “Your Money, Your Goals” financial empowerment booklets,
which Circles volunteer Allies will use when working with Circle Leaders.

Kadlec – Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center, Housing & Human Services
- $500 to purchase a math camp “in-a-box” kit targeted to girls
in grades 3-6, which includes over 40 games and activities, a teacher’s guide,
and other supplies; the camp hopes to launch over the summer with small groups
of girls and may evolve into a yearlong program for all youth at Casa de la

Khatri – Jail Education & Transition, Community Justice Services,
Community Services Department
- $500 to purchase several guided meditation
CDs and meditation books as well as 3 meditation mats (zabutons) for inmates in
the Transition unit within the Boulder County Jail.

Lang – GENESISTER Program, Community Health, Public Health
- $425
to purchase one HP Chromebook that can
be centrally shared by GENESISTER girls as well 9 copies of “Coding for
Beginners in Easy Steps” to help them explore coding and possibly build an
application related to sexual health and education.

Matula – Respite & Companion Volunteer Program, Area Agency on Aging,
Community Services Department
- $500 to purchase 33 Bluetooth speakers so
that Respite Care volunteers may use them for their weekly visits with their
older adult program partners. Volunteers can use their smartphones or other
devices to connect to the speakers and listen to their program partners’
favorite types of music with them, allowing a different and powerful type of
emotional connection.

Murphy – Victim Impact, Community
Assistance Program, Sheriff’s Office
- $320
to purchase a DVD player, a steel security box to store it in, and a DVD entitled “Unlikely Friends”
as a teaching aid to be used for inmates’ classes related to victim impact in
the Transitions program at the Boulder County Jail.

Nakasato – Respite & Companion Volunteer Program, Area Agency on Aging,
Community Services Department
- $500 to purchase 19 activity and
game bags, mostly focusing on activities appropriate for dementia, which can be
checked out by Respite Care volunteers to use with their older adult program
partners during their weekly visits.

Parker – Community Protection, District Attorney’s Office
- $250 to purchase 2 “Joy for All”
therapeutic, robotic cat companions with batteries so that Community Protection
volunteers and staff, when appropriate, could offer a comforting cat to victims
to hold while interviews take place.

Rapp – On-Scene Victim Advocate, Community Assistance Program, Sheriff’s
- $400 to send two On-Scene
volunteers to a 3-day “Crisis Incident Stress Debriefing and Management” national
training in Boulder this Fall. These volunteers will then share what they learn
with other volunteers on their team, and will be able to better support
victims, witnesses and first responders in our community.

Sherman & Dennis Whalen – Medical Reserve Corps of Boulder County,
Public Health
- $500 to purchase 8 Medical
Reserve Corps (MRC) polo shirts for quick identification, 8 MRC field guide
binders, and 2 additional medical response bags to provide to new MRC
volunteers who will reside in our
mountain communities, thereby being more
readily able to support mountain communities during or following a disaster.

Vendegna – Boulder County 4-H, Extension, Parks & Open Space Department
- $430 to purchase an observation bee hive and a youth-sized bee safety suit
in order to advance the knowledgle and skills of the youth participating in the
Barnyard Busy Bees 4-H Club.

Specials thanks was extended to two special guest speakers, Ginger
Barnes, Community Assistance Program volunteer with the Sheriff’s Office and Robin Ecklund,
Volunteer Naturalist with Parks & Open Space. Both volunteers gave inspiring
talks about why they’ve chosen to volunteer for Boulder County for 25 or more

Also, special guest musician Alex Moroz played fun ukulele
music at the event. Alex is a
former volunteer ukulele instructor for the Juvenile
Assessment Center and a 2015 Volunteer Program Enrichment Award recipient.

This ceremony is one of many special ways Boulder County
celebrates local volunteerism and the profound impact that volunteers have in
our community. To see our current volunteer opportunities and learn more about
our programs, please visit

For more information, contact Deb Olszonowicz, Community
Engagement Manager, at or

Group photo of all Volunteer Award winners