Every year, Hanover County recognizes some of its most outstanding volunteers at its “Spirit of Volunteerism” celebration. The 2022 celebration was held on May 12 at Hanover High School.
Judges selected the following volunteers for a 2022 “Spirit of Volunteerism” award:
- Memorial Regional Medical Center received the “Commitment to Community Award”, established to honor a Hanover business that exemplifies strong community values and a sustained commitment to supporting the community. Hanover’s only full-service hospital, MRMC was recognized for exceptional service during the pandemic and particularly its Hanover Crisis Intervention Center. This Center is a partnership between Bon Secours Mercy Health, the Hanover Community Services Board and the Sheriff’s Office to serve those experiencing a mental health crisis. The Hanover Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of this award category, made a financial contribution to Hanover Crisis Intervention Center.
- William Berkley “Berk” Jones received the “Spirit of Dedication” award, given to a volunteer aged 60 or over. He is a lifetime member of the Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad and at age 75, is still one of the most active volunteers who gives more than 60 hours of service monthly. He serves as a member of the board of directors and as the organization’s chaplain. As a paramedic, he provides critical advanced life support services to patients. He also is a trainer in first aid and CPR, instructing classes to hundreds of students in the community. Berk also serves as a mentor and evaluator for younger members in the squad, helping them learn how to properly care for patients and improving their skills. The category’s sponsor, Covenant Woods, made a donation to the Ashland VRS.
- David and July Fuller received the “Spirit of Family” award. David is retired from a career that highlighted Virginia and Hanover County. He was a member of economic development groups, and served on boards in Hanover County's Public Schools. Judy works part-time in security at the Hanover Courthouse and assists with her husband with volunteer activities in the Hanover Sheriff's Office. Over the years, they have worked tirelessly raising awareness for the Hanover County Project Livesaver Program, helping to raise $11,000 in funding. The category’s sponsor, Ace Hardware & Equipment, made a financial contribution to the Hanover County Sheriff’s Foundation.
- Scott Boyer received the “Spirit of Inspiration” award, which goes to an individual who has volunteered for 20 years or more within a specific organization. More than 45 years ago, Scott was one of the founding members of the Concert Ballet of Virginia. Now 73, he continues to work with dancers throughout the state, giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams on or behind the stage. Award sponsor Grace Community Presbyterian Church honors Scott with a contribution to the Concert Ballet of Virginia.
- There were two “Spirit of One” winners, Kim Alford and Alexis Torres. Kim is a volunteer in a number of roles with Wings of Hope Ranch, a Christian-based non-profit that rescues neglected horses and rehabilitates them to provide a ministry to help children facing conflicts or challenges. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) will make a contribution to Wings of Hope Ranch. Alexis is the mother of a 5th grade student at Washington-Henry Elementary School and has made a big impact on the entire school with her volunteer efforts. REC made a financial contribution to Hanover County Public Schools in honor of Alexis.
- The “Spirit of Team” award was presented to Henrico and Chickahominy Medical Reserve Corps members. They serve as the volunteer branch of the Chickahominy Health District and Hanover Health Department and provided the majority of staffing at the Hanover Vaccination Center’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics and also for the mobile teams who did COVID and flu vaccination clinics and testing events at various locations. Last year the team provided more than 22,000 hours of volunteer services in Hanover County, including more than 16,000 hours supporting the County’s Vaccination Center clinics. Two-thirds of the staffing at the various vaccination clinics were provided by team members. The category’s sponsor, Copy Cat, made a contribution to support the work of the Chickahominy Health District.
- Maggie Sharp won the “Spirit of Youth” award. Maggie is a 10th grader at Patrick Henry High school and a member of the Hanover Youth Service Council (HYSC), and is an active member of her Girl Scout Troop 725. A straight A student, she plays three varsity sports, works part-time at the YMCA as a lifeguard and speaks out on mental health, women’s rights and Black Lives Matter issues. The category’s sponsor, Virginia Credit Union, made a contribution to the HYSC to continue the outreach programs Maggie has created.
- Mechanicsville High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps won the “Spirit of Youth Team” award. In August, the student leaders conducted the first Mustang Leadership Camp for rising 7-12 graders. More than 60 students attended the five-day camp, and the response was extremely positive. The cadets spent 425 hours on this event. In September, the unit planted 2,977 U.S. flags in front of the school for a 9/11 memorial, the first conducted by a school in the nation. They also planted 13 flags in memory of service members who died in the August attack in Kabul. They spent more than 180 hours preparing for this event. Also in September, the cadets continued an annual commitment to Richmond International Raceway by spending 90 hours cleaning after race weekend. In November and February, the unit worked with VFW Post 9808 in its "Troopsters" initiative, which sent more than 600 care packages for U.S. service men and women deployed overseas. They also presented the colors at the VFW Post's annual Patriot Pen Awards ceremony. In December, they laid 200 wreaths at Cold Harbor National Cemetery, part of the Wreaths Across America project. Virginia Credit Union made a financial contribution to Mechanicsville High School in honor of these youth.
Volunteers in Hanover County reported more than 106,000 hours of volunteer service in 2021, generating a value of more than $3.8 million. A representative ‘check’ was presented by members of the Hanover County Council on Aging and the Ashland-Hanover TRIAD in honor of Older American’s Month.
The guest host for the event was Simone Cuccurullo of NBC 12.
“This is a special night of gratitude and celebration for all of us across this county,” said Board of Supervisors member Canova Peterson from the Mechanicsville District. “Hanover’s spirit of volunteerism is part of every facet of our life. We are gathered here tonight to highlight the diversity of such gifts and express our sincere gratitude for each of you.”
Susan Greenbaum provided musical entertainment for the crowd gathered at Hanover High School. This was the first “live” Spirit of Volunteerism ceremony held since 2019.