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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 14, 2011

Volunteers of the year announced

A high-school girl who spearheaded a coat drive that collected more than 3,000 jackets for needy families last year has been named city volunteer of the year. A man who gave hundreds of hours to a local nonprofit agency is the 2011 community volunteer of the year.

Gigi Jirapolchet, the Bellevue High student, and Bill Gill, who volunteers for Jubilee REACH Center, will be honored at the April 18 City Council meeting as a part of National Volunteer Week.

Thousands of volunteers provide service to the Bellevue community every day. In 2010, more than 5,895 people gave more than 135,000 hours to city programs. Even more volunteers serve dozens of local organizations that provide services to Bellevue residents.

"Volunteering is a very powerful, positive way to respond to today's challenges," City Manager Sarkozy said. "We invite all the citizens of Bellevue to consider volunteering, either with a city program or throughout the community. They make a huge a difference."

Both awards recognize volunteers who go beyond the call of duty and show leadership, innovation, creativity and collaboration. Volunteers for both city and community programs are honored as the city's volunteer program embraces a communitywide approach to civic service.

Gigi, who was nominated by Bellevue Youth Link, took on the leadership of the 2010 Kids Care Coat Drive Action Team, leading the group to collect and distribute jackets and coats to needy families. Gigi is also involved in the Bellevue Youth Court and the Bellevue Youth Council and is president of the Bellevue High School Fashion Club. 

Gill has volunteered for Jubilee REACH for years, participating in the Before School, Vibes Volunteer, ESL and the youth tutoring programs. He also helps families in crisis find needed resources and coordinates scout projects and school supply donations.

Volunteering at Bellevue

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