Oakland Park – Out of nearly 300 active volunteers who contributed 10,773 hours of service to the city this year, Lizzie Dost, 17, was selected for special recognition. Dost performed 818 hours of volunteer service in after school and summer recreation programs and earned the “Volunteer of the Year” award.
She represents “the essence of volunteerism,” Bruce Garrison, who manages the city’s volunteers, said.
Lizzie, a sophomore at Northeast High School, has been part of the city’s youth programs since elementary school and began volunteering in 2013 at summer camp. “She takes her volunteer role as a counselor in training very seriously and is always on top of not only the activity sessions, but I hear she keeps track of the staff as well,” Garrison said.
“Lizzie is an absolute joy to have in our program! She always arrives with a smile on her face, ready to help in every way possible. She selflessly gives of her time and talent throughout the year,” Garrison said in presenting her with her award.
Garrison also gave a shout-out to Pat Crowley, last year’s “Volunteer of the Year” who contributed 262 volunteer hours this year. She volunteers in four departments in the city and helped with numerous special events.
Brandon King named ‘Youth Volunteer of the Year’
Honored as “Youth Volunteer of the Year” was Brandon King, who grew up in the city’s after school and summer recreation programs and volunteered for the first time this summer.
He is a sophomore at Northeast High School where he is a member of JROTC.
“Brandon was a tremendous help with summer camp and often volunteered from open to close,” Garrison said. “He proved to be very dependable, always on time and ready to help every day with a giant smile on his face. He’s got a great attitude.
”He also helped out in making this year’s Father’s Day Weekend Fishing Tournament the best ever, bringing his total volunteer hours to 462,” Garrison said.
“Brandon surpassed all expectations while volunteering and was an extremely wonderful addition to our summer camp team.”
Cucina Caruso Restaurant
Recognized as Business Partner of the year was “the fantastic crew from Cucina Caruso, led by owners Dominic and Ana Caruso.”
The relatively new restaurant at 4165 N. Dixie Highway has grown over the past two years and supported volunteer and Leadership Government Academy events. “They are always a pleasure to work with to plan events,” Garrison said.
The Volunteer Corps reaches out to many local businesses for support. Numerous business partners donate to activities and events throughout the year, including providing services, meals, products and volunteers.
Among the partners are Garlic Knot, Scandinavian Builders, New Beginnings TLC and All American Awards.
2016 ‘Team of the Year’ honors go to Memorial Healthcare employees
Each year the city’s volunteer program recognizes team spirit by honoring groups that come together to make a difference in the community.
“This year we’d like to recognize one group in particular who proudly represent their organization all around Broward County,” Garrison said. The “Volunteer Team of the Year” is HEROs [Healthcare Employees Reaching Out] from Memorial Healthcare System.
Led by Lisa Harper, Memorial’s community volunteer coordinator, “They perform service hours outside of their busy work schedules and never hesitate to join in our Operation Our Neighbor projects. They have helped with four projects,” Garrison said.
Also cited were the Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park and Rotary Club of Oakland Park-Wilton Manors, active local civic organizations that support city projects and events.