BThe Boulder County Commissioners celebrated the important role volunteers play in the community by hosting a volunteer recognition event on April 9 and awarding $6,000 total for 10 volunteer program proposals during National Volunteer Week.
On an annual basis, Boulder County invites volunteers from county government programs apply for funding to support their program. For example, volunteers can apply for supplies that will enhance their volunteer program, or training dollars to increase volunteers’ skills. This awards program is a way to encourage innovation, to strengthen our volunteer programs, and to come together on an annual basis to celebrate volunteerism.
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:
- Anastasia Bailey: Community Services Department – Community Justice Services (CJS) Anastasia is a volunteer yoga instructor who provides health and wellness programming to youth in custody at the Juvenile Assessment Center. Through yoga, meditation, and other engaging activities, Anastasia helps participants relieve stress and maintain both physical and mental health. Her program was awarded $600 to purchase new exercise equipment for the indoor recreation area, including a treadmill, an upright bike, and a sports equipment pack. These items will replace the existing broken equipment and will benefit the hundreds of youth who pass through the center each year.
- Dylan Saeed: Community Services Department – Community Justice Services (CJS) Dylan is an intern at the Juvenile Assessment Center who assists with intakes and assessments, and supervises the daily activities of youth in custody. Dylan leads healthy, prosocial recreational activities to help participants relieve stress and channel their energy productively. The $600 awarded to this proposal will be used to purchase an indoor basketball arcade game and educational activity books. These helpful additions to the center and will be used daily for both individual and group activities.
- Kathleen Cassaday: District Attorney’s Office – Community Protection Division (CPD) Community Protection Division volunteers provide information and resources to Boulder County residents who may be the subjects of financial abuse and/or exploitation. Telephone fraud is on the rise, and many of our vulnerable community members have a difficult time navigating and installing the call-blocking technology necessary to protect them from telephone scammers. The $350 awarded for this proposal will be used to purchase Call Blocking devices that volunteers can use for hands-on demonstrations in the office and at community events.
- Mary Mahlendorf: District Attorney’s Office – Victim/Witness Advocate Program Volunteer Victim Advocates with the DA’s Office assist victims of crime by offering them information and support as they make their way through the criminal justice system. They ensure that each case the DA’s Office prosecutes is a strong case with a victim who feels that his or her voice is being heard. The $500 awarded for this proposal will be used to pay for two volunteers to attend an upcoming Safe Shelter Symposium on Dating Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault. It will also be used to buy educational books on a variety of victim advocacy topics which will become part of the program’s lending library.
- Susan Constantine: Housing & Human Services Department – Kestrel Housing Community As a Kestrel Housing Community volunteer, Susan works with children and families doing art, science, and cooking projects. She has a passion for environmental education and cooking, and she has dreamed of creating a community gardening project at Kestrel. The $800 awarded to this program will help Susan bring her dream to life. The funds will be used to purchase an educational guide, shelves with grow lights, and materials to build raised garden beds. Children will work alongside volunteers, parents, and guardians to create and care for the garden, and prepare the fresh food in the Kestrel Community Center kitchen.
- Mitchell Hopperstad: Housing & Human Services Department – Casa de la Esperanza The Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center provides educational and recreational services to Casa residents, including an onsite after-school program and academic center. Mitchell not only helps these kids with their math and reading skills, but also helps them stay active outdoors. He wants to share his passion for sports with Casa kids by developing a sports program. Thanks to Mitchell’s proposal, Casa will receive $445 toward the purchase of sports equipment, including basketballs, soccer balls, whiffle balls, and bats. The funding will also be used to purchase Rec Center day passes so that Mitchell can take the kids rock climbing.
- Viki Lawrence & Carol Stock: Parks & Open Space Department, Resource Management Division – Raptor Nest Monitoring Viki and Carol are volunteer Raptor Nest Monitors. They do observational monitoring and recording of nesting events at Bald eagle and Golden eagle nest sites. They also monitor other species such as Ospreys, Northern Harrier, and Swainson’s hawks. The data they collect contributes to the understanding of nesting species in Boulder County and is included in the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Statewide Raptor Database. The $1000 awarded to their combined proposals will be used to purchase new binoculars and a new spotting scope, which will be used by many volunteers. The funds will also pay for the purchase of two registrations for the 2019 Raptor Research Foundation Conference. The attendees will bring what they learn back to the program, sharing their knowledge with other group members and with the community.
- Carol Achatz: Parks & Open Space Department, Extension – Master Gardener Program Master Gardener volunteers provide educational outreach and informational clinics. The program’s research-based Fact Sheets cover a broad range of gardening topics and are a key source of information that volunteers share with clients. The $500 awarded to this program will pay for the translation and editing of these information-filled Fact Sheets into Spanish, so they can be distributed to the program’s broader Spanish speaking client base. These Fact Sheets will be used at the county office, during clinical outreach, and can be shared with community partners like OUR Center and Casa de la Esperanza.
- Teresa Rusk: Parks & Open Space Department, Extension – Boulder County 4-H Volunteer 4-H Livestock superintendents deliver youth educational programs that build character and discipline, while teaching them about agriculture and sportsmanship. Participants gain confidence in themselves by caring for the animals that depend on them. This year, the Livestock Program was awarded $500 to purchase a reusable Swine Learning Lab Kit. This kit will provide hands on learning activities related to swine anatomy, breeds, conformation, medicine, and animal handling. It will remain a permanent resource for teaching youth in the 4-H Livestock Program for years to come.
- Kellie Kevan: Parks & Open Space Department, Extension – Louisville 4-H STEAM Club Kellie is a youth volunteer 4-H Leader with the Louisville STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Club. She leads innovative and fun activities that support teamwork, leadership, and presentation skills. The $840 awarded to this program will be used to purchase 2 Lego Mindstorm Education EV3 Core Sets. These sets include a curriculum pack with over 48 tutorials that will drive STEAM projects and activities, while providing hands-on teambuilding opportunities for participants. They’ll be a great addition to the 4-H club experience.
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