2014 Governor's Volunteer Awards

Event Photos
Award Winners
Winners and Nominees Map

The winners of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Awards have been selected, and these people and programs are inspiring!

This year, the awards recognized outstanding volunteers from all reaches of our state who improve their communities in a variety of ways, from helping foster children find safe, permanent homes to providing public access to library services in a cash-strapped rural county. Our teams of judges awarded eight state-level awards and 24 regional awards this year, for a total of 32 awards. They went to 22 individuals or duos and 10 volunteer programs.

We had a record number of nominations submitted in 2014 – 114 nominations, a 46 percent increase over the last awards. They were scored and debated by teams of volunteer engagement leaders from across the state.

Presenting sponsor Wells Fargo will make a cash grant to a nonprofit organization select by each winner. Grants of $600 will be made on behalf of state-level winners, and grants of $425 will be made on behalf of regional winners.

Award winners and nominees were recognized at the annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 24, at the Salem Conference Center. Before the luncheon, the Oregon Commission for Voluntary Action and Service and the Committee on Volunteerism held a hearing to gather input on the state of volunteerism in Oregon.

Event Photos

A selection of the photos we got at this year's event:

All of the 2014 Governor's Volunteer Award winners

Secretary of State Kate Brown reacts as emcee Steven Bass reads off the following about award winner William Hayes: "Almost 10 years ago, Bill's wife told him he needed a hobby, suggesting he volunteer at a local fire department." Hayes, who volunteers at the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department, received a regional award in the Adult Volunteer category.

Grant Crim speaks before receiving his state-level award in the Youth Volunteer category. Crim, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, brought many in the audience to tears with his story. At right is the woman who nominated Grant for his award, Bonnie Ell, from the American Cancer Society.

Fred Smith, winner of a state-level award in the Lifetime Achievement category, poses for a photo with Secretary of State Kate Brown after the ceremony. Joining him is his granddaughter Aspen Bullock. Fred delivered a very moving speech about some of his most memorable moments volunteering for various organizations through the years, including Douglas County Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Special Olympics, Umpqua Gleaners and Douglas CARES, among others.

Governor's Volunteer Awards Luncheon attendees enjoyed a beautiful ballroom at the Salem Conference Center.

Click here to see all of the photos on our Facebook page.

Award Winners

Click here to see all of the winners and nominees (the links at the top of the document will take you straight to the volunteer descriptions). Below you’ll find details on this year’s state-level winners.

Grant Crim
Youth Volunteer
American Cancer Society Volunteer
Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 22 months, Grant Crim has devoted himself to supporting the American Cancer Society, especially through his support of the Relay for Life fundraiser. A past relay participant, Grant in August 2012 joined his local Relay for Life of South Coos County event planning committee as the team development chair. He recruited new teams, mentored existing teams, prepared monthly meeting agendas, facilitated monthly team captain meetings and served as spokesman for his local event. Averaging 15-20 hours per week in Relay for Life volunteer service, Grant has put in about 1,560 hours since 2012. He shares his personal story of survivorship at local civic clubs, high school assemblies and Relay for Life events. He wrote and helped produce a song and several videos about his experiences spreading awareness about cancer and fundraising. In memory of his late friend Natalie Hill, he started a national #LLLN (Live Life Like Natalie!) fundraising and cancer awareness campaign.

Christy Martinez
Adult Volunteer
City of Carlton Police Department Volunteer
The Carlton Police Department is an accredited police agency because of Christy Martinez. The police department has only three full-time officers and no support staff. Over the past two years, Christy has volunteered to help with support staff duties. She created a high professional level for operating standards at the agency, allowing it to receive accreditation earlier this year. She volunteered about 125 hours per month on the accreditation project alone. In addition, she established a Child Identification Day in Carlton to coincide with a national effort to protect children, and she is instrumental in facilitating Project 365, a year-long community improvement project associated with National Night Out. Over the past 25 years, she has been involved in Relay for Life, Make A Wish Foundation, basketball coaching and many other efforts. Many people had no idea she with diagnosed with cancer five years ago because, despite how she felt physically, she rarely missed work or volunteer obligations.

Ronald Verini and Douglas Dean
Elder Volunteers
Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida Volunteers
Brothers Ronald Verini and Douglas Dean started the nonprofit Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida in 2008. The all-volunteer organization’s mission is to provide a voice for, support and honor, recognize and advocate for veterans, active-duty military and their families. The organization, with nearly 100 volunteers, provides space where people can come to find resources and assistance, as well as camaraderie. The resources include help with benefits and financial and mental health assistance. One veteran said he wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Ron and Doug. He was close to ending his life, and Ron and Doug helped him see how important he was and that he had a place in society. In addition to starting and volunteering at Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida, Ron has served on the City Council for eight years, and Doug is a consultant for the Treasure Valley Community College BizCenter. They are both Ontario Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and serve on the Visitors and Convention Board.

Josephine County Foundation
Youth Volunteer Program
Grants Pass
Josephine County Foundation is a high school student-led organization that serves a key role in an economically depressed community. In fall 2011, guided by teachers and community leaders, students from Hidden Valley High School formed the foundation, which now has student officers from all five high schools in Josephine County. The foundation teaches students about philanthropy, community service project planning, nonprofit management, fundraising and more. Through grant writing and other fundraising, the students have raised $160,000 for community projects and scholarships. For example, they held a free vision clinic in December 2012 that provided eye exams and glasses to 150 low-income residents. One eyeglasses recipient cried afterward, saying it was the first time she’d been able to clearly see her granddaughter. Other projects included a “Care Faire” that provided free dental cleanings, a needs assessment of all fire stations in the county and a “Business Bootcamp” for middle school students.

Josephine Community Libraries Volunteer Program
Not-for-Profit Volunteer Program
Grants Pass
Without the volunteers at Josephine Community Libraries, 83,000 Oregonians wouldn’t have access to a public library. Josephine Community Libraries formed in fall 2007, after the county closed its libraries due to funding cuts and the failure of a ballot initiative for a library district. The nonprofit today operates all the county’s libraries, with volunteers filling core roles: cataloging and shelving books, providing information to library users, hosting children’s story times, checking books in and out, marketing, communications, fundraising, outreach, facilities maintenance and more. The system has 360 dedicated volunteers. About 2,500 patrons check out items from the libraries each month, and 1,700 patrons use the public Internet computers. The system also has special programs for children: First Steps for toddlers, K-9 Reading Buddies for young readers, story times and the Summer Reading Program. It also has the Expanding Opportunities Program, which provides deeper access to library resources and community partners, helping people improve their prospects in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

Hampton Lumber Mills Willamina Division
Large Business Volunteer Program
The employees of Hampton Lumber Mills Willamina Division have rallied to help their community in many ways. They’ve formed a committee that identifies community needs and projects to address them, and it sets financial goals to meet those needs. Employees have competitions for deductions from their paychecks to make donations. They’ve donated thousands of dollars to causes ranging from Christmas presents for low-income families in Sheridan and Willamina to a youth program called “Night Court” that provides youth sports programs in the evenings. They’ve built swing sets in the park, planted flowers in town and cut wood and donated it to keep people warm. They not only hold food drives and donate enough food to last the food bank for three months, but they volunteer at the food bank to put the food away. The local churches and other organizations try their best to meet the needs in the community, but not one could even come close to meeting them without the mill and its employees.

Fred Meyer Volunteers
Statewide Business Volunteer Program
Fred Meyer’s volunteers support many causes throughout Oregon. For example, for more than 15 years, Fred Meyer has supported SOLVE, an organization that organizes volunteers to improve the environment. In 2013, Fred Meyer employees donated more than 1,000 service hours to SOLVE’s Spring Beach Cleanup, Project Oregon and Fall Beach and Riverside Cleanup. They pulled invasive weeks, planted native shrubs and trees and cleared watersheds and coastlines of trash. The company has also been a national corporate team member of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for nine years. Company volunteers field 50 teams at 32 Relay for Life events across Oregon. In addition, the employees encourage people to get screened, refer people to the 24/7 phone line, donate hair for wigs for chemotherapy patients and collect toys for kids going through cancer. Fred Meyer provides sponsorship dollars based on the level of commitment of its employees volunteering for a cause.

Fred Smith
Lifetime Achievement
Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Douglas County, Special Olympics, Umpqua Gleaners Volunteer, Douglas CARES
Fred Smith has spent more than two decades volunteering at numerous organizations. For the past 20 years, he’s served as an advocate for children in the foster care system through CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of Douglas County. He has volunteered for 18 years for Special Olympics, serving as program assistant, area outreach chair, coach, games director, area fundraiser, public relations director and organizer of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. For the past 23 years, he’s volunteered for Umpqua Gleaners, helping to harvest and deliver food for low-income residents. When harvest is over, Fred helps split wood for low-income and disabled households. He has also served for 20 years as a board members for Douglas County’s Child Advocacy Center, Douglas CARES. The list goes on. Fred says the violence he saw at home and during World War II left an impact on his soul that’s manifested in his volunteerism today.

Winners and Nominees Map

This map shows the general geographic distribution of our award winners and nominees this year (please note: The markers represent the cities in which the volunteers live and don't show the volunteers actual address) Click the box in the upper right-hand corner of the map to see a full-screen version:


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