York County Celebrates 2014’s Outstanding Volunteers

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volunteers group
Nine citizens were named York County's outstanding volunteers of 2014. (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)

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Nine York County citizens were honored in April for their dedication to volunteering in the community.

In 2014, 1,620 volunteers donated their time to the county, resulting in 46,399 volunteer hours.

At the upper end of the county in New Quarter Park, archaeologists digging for historical artifacts and answers to York County’s past have been busy excavating sites with the Fairfield Foundation.

During the yearly digs, volunteers learned how to sift through dirt and spot various artifacts such as a 17th-century clay tobacco pipe and pieces of glass bottles.

Thane Harpole, the man spearheading the digs in 2013 and 2014, along with Fairfield Foundation staff archaeologist Anna Hayden and retired archaeologist Dave Hazzard, accepted the nominations for outstanding volunteers of the year from Molly Nealer, the recreation supervisor for the York County parks, recreation and tourism division.

In a different learning environment, three volunteers — Nancy Beaton, Ed Foudriat and Bruce Jensky — dedicated time to teaching senior citizens basic and intermediate computer skills. The three taught classes at the Senior Center of York, putting a combined 1,250 hours of computer and internet instruction into the volunteering at the center.

The York County Child and Family Services division named Shakari Fowler as its outstanding volunteer of the year, citing her service on various boards including personnel committee, the health services committee and the education review team.

Fowler took the initiative to actively work on the nutrition for kids regional backpack program, organizing weekly food delivery and staying on top of the emergency pantry supply.

“She has a passion to serve and goes above and beyond the call of duty,” said Tracy Bridgeforth, who presented Fowler with the award.

Master Gardener Kris Wessler received the award from the Virginia Cooperative Extension, which provides educational programs on gardening and other outside activities.

Wessler became a Master Gardener in 2005 and serves as the extension’s training and recruitment coordinator, organizing the trainings, classes and workshops, interviewing and selecting volunteers and participating in almost every program the extension has to offer.

Nicole Yancey was named the Community Services volunteer of the year for her work on the Yorktown Bicentennial Celebration, her efforts to have the French memorial built on the Yorktown battlefield and her involvement in the coordination of bringing L’Hermione — a replica of the ship that brought Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780 — to Yorktown as its first port-of-call.

The citizens were presented with the awards at the April 21 York County Board of Supervisors meeting.

“I cannot express enough appreciation for how the volunteers make things work in York County,” Chairman Tom Shepperd said.

The 1,620 citizens who volunteered in 2014 saved the county a total of $1.36 million.

“Without them, the county would not be anywhere as nice as it is,” Shepperd said.

York County Celebrates 2014’s Outstanding Volunteers