By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: August 2010
Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa will honor one outstanding volunteer during this year’s gala. Brenda Michael-Haggard, executive director, and Steve Smith, co-chair, are helping organize the event.
A few good people who have selflessly served the needs of others will be honored on August 14, when Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa presents “A License to Change,” a Casablanca style gala at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
The focus is on 31 people nominated by their member organizations for the positive differences they have made on others during the past year. They come from seven categories: youth (ages 14 and younger); young adult (ages 15 to 25); adult (ages 26 to 49); senior adult (ages 50+); pro volunteer (1,000+ hours of volunteer service); community group; and employee volunteer group.
During a special ceremony in June, “A License to Change…Here’s Serving With You, Kid!,” an independent panel of judges selected an honoree from each category as a finalist in the gala that will recognize one of them as the Change Agent of the Year. The finalists are:
Youth – Evianna Barrow
Evianna, 14, has been a volunteer with Sojourn Care, a local hospice organization, for three years. She works in the office and does crafts projects with clients.
Young Adult – Evelyn Gutierrez
Evelyn has been a tutor at Grove Elementary School for three years. She is bilingual and has recruited friends to volunteer.
Adult – Jennifer Legler
Jennifer has worked with the Parent Child Center of Tulsa for a year and a half. She has combined her academic and work skills to chair the Toyland Ball and coordinate the organization’s Christmas party for 40 children.
Senior Adult – Janet Johnson
Janet has volunteered with Rivercross Hospice for 11 years, serving all capacities from patient care to respite. She also holds a full-time job and cares for her mother in a nursing home.
Pro Volunteer – Mary Jo Sartain
Mary Jo has done virtually anything and everything at Tulsa International Mayfest for the past eight years. She has recruited many volunteers and instituted new programs for the event.
Community/Family Group – Crossroads Community Bible Church of Mannford
Volunteers from this group make hospital gowns and bibs for Sojourn Care, a local hospice organization.
Employee Volunteer Program – ONEOK Volunteers With Energy
Over 500 volunteers from this corporation have labored and mentored in more than 30 community projects.
Executive Director Brenda Michael-Haggard says these nominees exemplify the best in all of us. “Their sense of caring and responsibility for others, their commitment to service, and their demonstration of true citizenship define them.”
Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa provides the only service within the community that matches volunteers of all ages with organizations of all types to address issues and needs. In addition, Volunteer Central offers educational and professional development opportunities so that volunteer administrators can become more effective with their efforts.
The annual gala is the organization’s biggest fundraiser. This year’s event, “A License to Change,” begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and then recognition of the Change Agent of the Year. Dinner will be catered by Rick Kamp of Rick’s Café Americain. Local performers are Chris Crawford and Heather Richetto Rumley, accompanied by pianist Scott McQuade, who will present familiar tunes from the movie “Casablanca.” A silent auction and casino gaming, with prizes, will top off the evening’s festivities.
The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation will be recognized as top patron, the Transforming Agent. The Zarrow Foundation has set the standard for financial support of many volunteer programs in the Tulsa community. Videographer Jeremiah Maloney of 3134 Productions will provide a video keepsake of the event. Steve Smith and Kate Jones serve as co-chairs. Janet Dundee and Jeff Darby are in charge of publicity.
Chris Webster is chairman of the silent auction, the first for this gala. Some of the items up for bid are season tickets to TU football and TU basketball, a one-week stay at any Marriott Time Share Resort anywhere in the world, and professional chiropractic and cosmetic dental services.
Tickets are $50 per person. Advance reservations are requested by calling the Volunteer Central office at (918) 447-1888.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.