Local volunteers recognized with President’s Volunteer Service Award | ParkRecord.com
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Local volunteers recognized with President’s Volunteer Service Award

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff
Three student volunteers at the National Ability Center recently earned the President s Volunteer Service Award. Cumulatively they have performed 740 hours. From left to right: Victoria Kochanek, Mackenzie Howard, Meeche White, CEO of NAC and Jayci Robb.
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Victoria Kochanek, a junior at Park City High School says she feels best when volunteering.

As part of National Volunteer Week from April 23 to 29, Kochanek and two other students were recently recognized at the National Ability Center for giving back to the community. They received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their service over the past 12 months.

"In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps and called on every American to make a lifelong commitment to volunteer service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals and families who have answered that call," said Meeche White, CEO of the National Ability Center, in a press release.

Three of their volunteers qualified for the award. Kochanek racked up 400 hours of service to earn a Gold Award. Recipients also received t-shirts and certificates of recognition.

Kochanek stumbled on the volunteer work, but has enjoyed every minute.

"My mom threw it out there last summer and I just fell in love with it," she said.

Among other things she volunteers as an instructor for the swimming program, helps belay on the climbing wall and also decorated the NAC’s award winning float in last year’s Fourth of July parade.

"Instead of washing your laundry, you’re washing your soul. I always feel better when I volunteer," she said.

Jayci Robb, a senior at Park City High School, volunteered 250 hours and also earned a Gold Award.

She performs a myriad of tasks around the office including assisting with the computers and writing membership letters.

"It’s lots of fun," Robb said.

She offered the greatest reward from volunteer work is seeing the expressions of gratitude on people’s faces.

Her volunteer work at the NAC began through a desire to give back.

"I just wanted to get involved in the community and wanted to help out," she said.

Mackenzie Howard, a fourth-grader at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, earned a Silver Award for performing 90 hours of community service at the NAC.

Like Robb she helps around the office and has helped with mailing brochures. She encourages others to volunteer their time because, "it can help other people and it’s fun."

All three of the recipients put in a considerable amount of work into helping with "Red, White and Snow," an annual fundraiser hosted by the NAC.

The Chief Financial Officer, Marla Howard, commended the girls on their consistent volunteer work.

"It’s nice to have people you can count on," she said.

One of the reasons Howard encourages students to volunteer is because sometimes the exposure gets them closer to a career goal.

"It gives them a chance to see other occupations. We’ve had kids that come out here and change their majors," she said.

Volunteer Coordinator, Francie Kochanek, says volunteer work gives individuals an opportunity to be part of something bigger.

"We couldn’t run our programs without them," she said, noting that more than 400 people volunteer for the NAC each year. For more information on volunteering for the organization call: (435) 649-3991.


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