Volunteers….the heart of Tuolumne County were recognized during awards ceremonies in Sonora last night . The non-profit Volunteer Junction community service program — now in it´s second year — honored volunteers throughout the Mother Lode.
Spokesman Ed Minium said nearly 200 people attended the event at the Sonora Elks Lodge. Award winners have the opportunity to make a contribution to the charity of their choice.
The “Lifetime Volunteer Achievement “award went to Martha Cover of Covers Apple Ranch. She received $1,000 and plans to donate it to the hospital´s Project Hope.
The “Extra Mile” Volunteer was Mary Leamey. She will donate the $500 prize money to the National Association of the Mentally Ill. The “Never Too Young” award went to the Friday Night Live group. The $500 received will go to the Yes partnership
The “Volunteer Champion” winner was Interfaith, and they will put the $500 award money back into their organization. The “Community Excellence” award – for businesses that ncourage volunteer efforts by employees – was given to the Sonora Starbucks who will donate their $500 award to the YES Partnership.
And a special Judges Award went to Tuttie Pelayo who volunteers at VNA Hospice.
Judges for the event were Dr. Todd Stolp, Dr. Jim Riggs and Professor John Carter. Awards sponsors were the Sonora Area Foundation, Black Oak Casino, Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Sonora Regional Medical Center, and the Sierra NonProfit Support Center. Event sponsors included Blue Mountain Minerals and WATCH Resources, Inc.