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

  • By Sandy Parnell
  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:24pm
  • Opinion

Since the First Lady Volunteer Awards were founded by Bella Hammond a quarter century ago, hundreds of Alaskans have been honored for their volunteerism in the 49th state.

During the past few years, I’ve been privileged to continue the tradition, and today I invite you to participate by nominating someone on the Kenai Peninsula who demonstrates a personal commitment to long-term volunteer service, and who has had a significant impact on the lives of Alaskans.

Last year’s recipients included a volunteer firefighter in Cordova, a football coach in Anchorage, a mentor at a youth correctional facility in Fairbanks, and a volunteer who works with special needs students in Anchorage. One recipient was a 95-year-old who worked with at-risk youth, and another was an architect who used his skills and time to design and build cabins for a Camp Fire summer camp. Past recipients have also included exceptional teens who have had a great impact on the lives of others.

The day-in and day-out work of Alaska volunteers often goes unheralded. They are not the kind of people who wait for things to change, wish for conditions to be different, or get involved simply to gain recognition. So many Alaskans are change agents with the highest motivation – rolling up their sleeves because they are determined to improve the lives of people in their community.

I’m reminded of a young girl who penned one of the most famous diaries in history. Anne Frank wrote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Alaskans embody that spirit.

All types of volunteer work are considered for the award, but don’t wait: the nomination period ends March 3. The guidelines note that the volunteer committee is looking at qualities such as length of service to the community or state, extraordinary personal commitment, or significant impact or benefit to the community or state. Awardees are chosen by a committee of Alaskans, and will be honored at a luncheon and ceremony at the Governor’s House in May.

Nomination information is available at volunteerawards.alaska.gov, or contact Lindy Irwin at 907-269-7450 or email governor@alaska.gov with other questions.

I look forward to reading about the good service of Alaskans who make our state strong, vibrant, and an extraordinary place to call home. Thank you in advance for taking the time to nominate and share the stories of these wonderful people in our community.

Sandy Parnell is First Lady of Alaska.

More in Opinion

A Remington Deluxe Model 5 manual typewriter. (Homer News file photo)
Editorial: Let our better angels prevail

We hope election of Biden and Harris means the end of bitter, divisive politics, and the rebirth of civility in government and social existence.

Opinion: Best practices to sustain permanent fund

It is our job to equip the fund for success for decades to come.

Jeremy Field, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (courtesy photo)
Opinion: Shopping small for 2020 holiday season needed more than ever

Small retailers and restaurants are relying on us to send a message with our dollars that says, “We’ve got your back.”

Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (courtesy photo)
Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (courtesy photo)
Opinion: No trace of fraud in Alaska’s 2020 election

My thanks go out to every Alaskan who chose to participate in our democratic process.

Flag.
Opinion: Helping Alaska’s veterans connect and heal

Americans should be concerned about the wellbeing of Alaska’s military veteran

Vic Fischer (courtesy)
Alaska Voices: Oh, for bipartisanship!

Now is a good time to seek a model of political goodwill that has been sorely missing from our state

A poll worker helps a voter with their ballot at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Nov. 3 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: Practice patience as we wait for election results

Every voter must have their voice heard and vote counted — and that process takes time

West Homer Elementary School Principal Eric Waltenbaugh.
Point of View: Keep practicing COVID-19 safety to reopen schools

Safe practices, testing and contact tracing will bring numbers down.

Most Read