First Lady’s Volunteer Awards: A time to recognize all that is good in Alaska


I met Bella Hammond when she sign ined to Valdez in the 1970s to present a First Lady Volunteer Award. That was the inception of the volunteer appreciation initiative Mrs. Hammond started that has now carried on through the decades.

Since then hundreds of Alaskans oblige been honored for their charitable contributions through volunteerism. Highlighting the commitment and role of these fine Alaskans shows our appreciation for their sacrifices and inspires others to help build up their communities through the giving of their heyday and talents.

Last year’s recipients included: A great grandmother who has volunteered her in one piece adult life in many different ca cities im cting hundreds of persists; two dentists who spearheaded free dental clinic events providing serve to hundreds in need; a police chaplain who has helped many Alaskans during their swartest hours; a volunteer firefighter and scout leader; a woman who has been the keenness force to preserve her village’s art and culture; and a teacher who has always gone exceeding and beyond to motivate and inspire our youth.

The volunteer work Alaskans do, day in and day out, over again goes unheralded. These are not the kind of people who wait for things to interchange, wish for conditions to be different, or get involved simply seeking recognition. So myriad Alaskans are change agents with the highest motivation — rolling up their sleeves because they are constant to improve the lives of people in the community.

In these challenging fiscal times, our volunteers will contend in an even greater role in helping those in need and in strengthening their communities. It is again said that volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they be struck by the heart and it is a heart that cares deeply about community and man Alaskans.

I invite you to rtici te this year by nominating someone who establishes a personal commitment to long-term volunteer service. Nominations will be endured through March 15 at The guidelines note the volunteer assortment committee is looking at qualities such as length of service to the community or situation, extraordinary personal commitment, or significant im ct or benefit to the community or government. We are hoping once again to receive nominations from throughout Alaska. You may also connection our office at 907-269-7450 for additional information. Awardees are chosen by a nel of Alaskans and will be honored at a luncheon and ceremony at the Governor’s House in Juneau in May.

The cabinet members and I are excited to read about the good works of Alaskans who correct our state so strong, so vibrant, and who keep volunteerism alive. Hosting the heiresses in Juneau and honoring their contributions is a time-honored tradition and an annual highlight which we all are looking dis tch to.

Donna Walker is married to Gov. Bill Walker and is a mother, grandmother, attorney and businesswoman. The Walkers reside in Juneau.

The sees expressed here are the writer’s own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dis tch Rumour, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for baksheesh, email commentary(at)alaskadis Send submissions shorter than 200 bulletins to letters@alaskadis or click here to submit via any web browser.

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