During 2011 over 400 individuals provided volunteer service, totaling over 4,000 hours. The banquet was held at Trinity Baptist Church and was sponsored by the following: Appleshine Car Wash, Jim & Reba Banks, Kenny & Kelly Fuquea, Barnsley Gardens, Chick- fil-A, Chris Taylor Construction, Dub’s High on the Hog, Fire House Gym, Gordon EMS, Longhorn Steakhouse, Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Rome Braves, Ruby Falls, Sassy Scissors, Tellus Science Museum, Tennessee Aquarium, The Sweet Spot, and the Voluntary Action Center Board of Directors. Richard Cooper provided photography services for the event.
During dinner and prior to the presentation of awards entertainment was provided by Chloe Litton, from Gordon Central High School, and Caleb Harkins and Zach Waters from Sonoraville High School.
The Volunteer of the Year award is awarded based on hours served and length of service. Eric Alford was recognized as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for his commitment and dedication to service. Mr. Alford has been volunteering for over two years and participates at least two days per week.
Volunteer awards are presented based upon cumulative hours over the individual’s entire length of service. Taylor Moore received the Double Platinum award for having over 750 volunteer hours. Eric Alford and David DePerro both received Platinum Crystals for having over 400 hours of service. Gold Medals were awarded to John and Mary Podgorny for serving 200 hours each. Grant Maddox, Harriett Maddox, and Ann Mann were presented Silver Medals for completing 100 hours of service. CJ Gilbert, Kim Mann, Allana Mathis, Amanda Overlander, Jennifer Randolph, and Haleigh Ware each received a Bronze Medal for completing 50 hours of service.
The following individuals provided at least 25 hours of service: Catalina Argueta, Joan Clark, Jim Clark, Jennifer Ezpinoza, Darin Hardin, Julie Hardin, Elise Hartley, Todd Holbert, Daniel Kendrick, Rebecca Lott, Joe Pistacchio, Berkleigh Stroup, Courtney Taylor, and Julee Wing. All individuals providing at least ten hours of service were awarded a certificate of appreciation.
The Volunteer Banquet also honors employers, churches, civic groups, and public service organizations for their community commitment. Calhoun First Presbyterian Churches was recognized as the Community Partner of the Year. Joan Clark accepted the award on behalf of the church. First Presbyterian Church collectively had the most individual volunteer hours for the year. They were also the first organization to step forward and commit to serving at least one meal per month, for the Community Kitchen.
The following organizations were presented plaques in recognition for their support of the Community Kitchen: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, College Street Church of God, First Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Georgia Cumberland Academy, Gordon/Calhoun GNETS, Gordon EMS, Kiwanis Club of Calhoun, Maranatha North Georgia Church, Oostanaula Baptist Church, Optimist Club of Calhoun, The Babb Family, Shaw Industries, South Calhoun Baptist Church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, and Trinity Baptist Church. These groups each sponsored at least one meal for the Community Kitchen.
Community Partners in Action are awards presented to organizations that exemplify strong community commitment. These organizations allow their employees or members to volunteer and offer encouragement or incentives. Calhoun City Fire Department, Calhoun First Presbyterian Church, Gordon County Fire Department, Gordon EMS, Maranatha North Georgia, Owen Security Solutions, and Shaw Industries were all presented with Community Partners in Action Awards.
At the end of the banquet the Executive Director, Stacy Long, and Assistant Director, Karen Poole, presented a plaque to the Board of Directors for their efforts in establishing the Community Kitchen. The Board of Directors consists of Leyner Argueta, Angie Frazier, Kelly Fuquea, Greg Green, Joni Harbin, Doug Hite, Richard Lee, Jeff Mathis, Bud Owens, Annette Printup, Jim Reddoch, Sharon Smith, and Justin Timms.