Volunteers celebrated at 20th annual Heart of Marin awards
Megan Hansen | 01/11/2013
About 775 people packed the Marin Center Exhibit Hall on Thursday to celebrate local nonprofits and their volunteers. The event is organized each year by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, which has supported volunteerism in the county for 50 years.
Center CEO Linda Davis said the ceremony is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the generosity and spirit of giving that exists in Marin.
"The depth and scope of the work of volunteers and nonprofit leaders in Marin County is truly astonishing," Davis said.
This year's Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Dr. Patrick Bennett, who volunteers with Marin Community Clinics and Operation Access. He helps patients by donating his time for surgical procedures and specialty care. In 2012, he served 74 clinic patients and did eight surgical procedures.
Gary Anspach received the Excellence in Board Leadership award for his role as board chairman for the Marin Conservation Corps North Bay. He streamlined and reorganized the board's practices to make it more effective.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Rafael received the Corporate Community Service award. The company's physicians and staff serve on 25 nonprofit boards, and medical center staff donate their time and money to various efforts.
Legal Aid of Marin's Marin Community Court received the Excellence in Innovation award for creating a community court for homeless and precariously housed people who can't pay court fines. The program connects people to social services.
Bob Berner, the first executive director of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, was awarded the Excellence in Leadership award. He helped develop one of the most successful farmland preservation programs in the country.EAH Housing received the Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence award for its work to develop, manage and promote quality affordable housing.
Five youths were also honored for their volunteer efforts:
• Orlando Zepeda, a senior at Marin Oaks High School, was honored for helping make his continuation school a safe and supportive environment.
• Ana Camara Flores, a senior at San Marin High School, was honored for her Teen Project Services club — a group that provides free child care to parents wishing to participate in nonprofit and school meetings.
• Edward Corena, a senior at San Rafael High School, was honored for his commitment to creating a healthy and safe community through Youth Leadership Institute's Marin County Youth Commission.
• Johnny Xu, a senior at Terra Linda High School, was honored for creating Baby Basics, an initiative that provides new mothers with the essentials of baby care.
All of the recipients, excluding Kaiser Permanente, received $5,000 monetary gifts toward their nonprofits and each received a handmade glass sculpture. Each youth volunteer received a $1,000 award for each of their nonprofits.
Union Bank sponsored the event. Award sponsors included Autodesk, the Marin Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Rafael, Redwood Credit Union, Dominican University of California, Bregante and Company LLP, the College of Marin and the Bank of Marin. The Independent Journal served as the media sponsor.Original article: http://www.marinij.com/sanrafael/ci_22357844/volunteers-celebrated-at-20th-annual-heart-marin-awards