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Washington County volunteers honored at inaugural event

April 22, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Volunteer Washington County President Sam Cool, right, presents the Washington County Free Library volunteer of the year award to Nina Wells Monday afternoon during the Inaugural Volunteer of the Year Luncheon.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Gerald “Jerry” Overdorff, who lost his eyesight in 2011, and Christian Doub, who is a student at Washington County Technical High School, both received special awards at Monday’s Inaugural Volunteer of the Year Luncheon.

Another 24 volunteer awards were given during the event, hosted by Volunteer Washington County at the American Red Cross office.

“I feel good about it but I realize I’m in a group of volunteers,” Overdorff said outside during the luncheon. “That’s what we do.”

Overdorff, 80, won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer work at places such as Arc of Washington County and Habitat for Humanity along with his continued involvement with Maugansville Ruritan Club and Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown.

Doub, 16, a junior at Tech High, won the Teen Volunteer of the Year Award for his assistance with Volunteer Washington County’s website and his development of power point programs to help encouraging teenagers and seniors to volunteer.

He said he is learning about computer game development and animation at school and can use his skills in technology to do cutting-edge volunteer work.

“In the future I really would like to develop games, and the money I make from that, put toward donations, and even make games for different companies to promote volunteering,” he said.

Bernadette Wagner, co-director of Volunteer Washington County, talked about how effective getting people to begin volunteer work as teenagers can be.

“Volunteering enables them to develop their interests, discern areas they might want to pursue, and they also can meet mentors,” she said.

She described Overdorff as “unflappable and unstoppable.”

“He continues to be an inspiration to all who know him, maybe even more so since he lost his sight,” she said. “That each of us could just do a small percentage of what Jerry has accomplished, we could all feel like we’ve made an important difference.”

After Doub and Overdorff were recognized at the luncheon, which featured radio and television personality Lou Scally as the master of ceremonies, Chick-fil-A catered the meal for the event.

Scally recognized Volunteers of the Year selected by 24 nonprofit organizations for their contributions. The honorees were presented with certificates by Sam Cool, Volunteer Washington County President.

“Each person contributes something, and we like  to say at Volunteer Washington County that we don’t need a few people to do a lot, we need everybody to do just a little,” Wagner said. “By honoring that today we get to express our gratitude, and we also get to encourage and inspire other people to step forward and play their part in our community.”

All 26 nominees will be submitted to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who recognizes volunteers statewide in October, Wagner said.

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