As we move forward into a new decade, I am happy to continue the First Lady’s Volunteer Awards, an annual tradition started by First Lady Bella Hammond in 1975 to recognize and pay tribute to a special group of volunteers that make extraordinary contributions to our communities and state. In the past decade alone, thousands of nominations were received, and 71 incredible Alaskans have been awarded as recipients of the First Lady’s Volunteer Awards.
Last year, our program recognized Alaskans that raised money to support our thriving military community, founded homeless coalitions, improved the lives of Alaska’s children through educational camps, and provided resources for families with dyslexia, as well as organizing community wide cleanups to get the next generation of Alaskans involved in giving back. Each one of these Alaskans has made our state a better place to live, and I thank them for their service.
It is a special honor for me to present these awards to individuals who are selfless, caring, and make positive impacts on the lives of other Alaskans and our communities. Exceptional volunteers are not those that seek recognition, but rather do the hard work with a giving heart. The First Lady’s Volunteer Awards shines a light on these special Alaskans. Each one of the nominees has an inspirational story to tell, and I look forward to sharing those stories with all Alaskans when the recipients are announced.
Recipients are chosen by a committee of Alaskans in a selection process that values long-term volunteerism, and high-impact service to community. The 2020 recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the Governor’s Residence in Juneau this spring. The committee members and I are looking forward to reading the nominations with the opportunity to highlight the good work that is being done across Alaska.
Please join me in recognizing deserving Alaskans by submitting a nomination. Nominations for outstanding volunteers are being accepted beginning February 1 through March 1, 2020. Nominations can be submitted online at volunteerawards.alaska.gov or by using hard copies which are available to pick up in person in the Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, or Palmer Governor’s Office. For more information, please contact the Office of the Governor at 907-465-3500.
• By Rose Dunleavy, Alaska’s first lady