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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 1, 2008

President's awards go to Bellevue volunteers

The City of Bellevue today announced it is honoring 15 individuals and seven groups with the President's Volunteer Service Award, a national honor.Karen McClain (with the clipboard), who has volunteered 35,000 hours for the Bellevue Youth Theatre, coaches an actress.

Established in 2003, the award is available annually to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering. Award eligibility is based on hour requirements. 

Bellevue has a long history of volunteer service, and more than 6,700 volunteers perform community service each year on behalf of the city. Among many other programs, volunteers help neighborhood mediation, the police department, Youth Link, the Bellevue Youth Theatre, the Botanical Garden, Eastside Amateur Radio Support (EARS) and the Highland Community Center.  

Recipients of the bronze award included Rachel Jiang, Jackie Gray, Jack Mahler and Rhonda Younker. The silver award went to Mike Ryan, Don Marshall, Angela McInnis, Laurie Roberts, Cressida Stapely and Elise Troske-Roberts. The gold award goes to adult volunteers who give more than 500 hours and teens who volunteer more than 250.  This year's recipients are Mike Matteson and Stacy Stensil.

Groups can qualify for the award by serving more than 1,000 hours. Seven groups working at the Bellevue Botanical Garden qualified for the 2008 award, including: the Botanical Garden Docents, Garden d'Lights, the Botanical Garden Trillium Shop, the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, the garden's Horticulture Volunteers, including Waterwise Garden, the Northwest Perennial Alliance and Genus II Plant Records Volunteers.

The President's Call to Service Award goes to volunteers who have given consistently over their lifetime. To qualify for the award, an individual must complete 4,000 or more volunteer service hours. This year's recipients are: Shirley Johnson, who has performed more than 4,770 service hours for the Highland Community Center; Gerry Katt, a longtime Bellevue Police volunteer with more than 7,300; Randall Apted who has donated more than 20,000 to the Bellevue Youth Theatre; and Karen McClain, who has logged an astounding 35,000 at the Bellevue Youth Theatre.

"These recipients of the President's Volunteer Service Awards are role models for all Americans," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "Each volunteer hour contributed makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others, and I encourage everyone to contribute to our community by volunteering.  Through their commitment, volunteers bring us closer together as families, as communities and as a nation."

The award is issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our nation. Chaired by two-time Super Bowl champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the Council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations and community volunteering.

For more information about volunteering for Bellevue, contact Volunteer Program Coordinator Shelly Shellabarger at 425-452-5375, or Volunteer@BellevueWa.gov. To explore volunteer opportunities throughout the city and the community, visit the city's volunteering web pages.

The President's Volunteer Service Award site offers more information about how to qualify for the awards and about additional volunteer opportunities in this area.


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