Ron Montgomery and Leonard (Steve) Vanderlinda were honored as the Volunteers of the Year at the 36th annual Pierce County Volunteer Recognition Brunch on Saturday, March 15.
For the past 30 years, Montgomery has faithfully worked with Pierce County Jail inmates two times per week for a total of 10,000 hours. He teaches basic life principles to men who have never had that kind of male instruction or role model in their lives. He leads bible studies, listens carefully to inmates’ struggles, and encourages them.
Vanderlinda has volunteered 11,000 hours of his time at the county jail for 25 years. He visits three times a week to conduct 55-minute classes/services and provide individual counseling with the inmates. He has lead bible studies with some of the more serious offenders.
More than 100 volunteers were honored, including:
Joyce Messer, who was awarded a Special Achievement Award for her 20 years of service to the Sheriff's Department Foothills Detachment. Messer assists with various administrative tasks and has been instrumental in compiling and copying reports that are submitted to the Pierce County Prosecutor for determination of charges and case clearing.
Carl Ritting, who also received a Special Achievement Award for his service to the Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) Advisory Board. Ritting joined the ADR Advisory Board at the age of 80 and in his three terms of service has served as the Chair of the Public Relations/Education and Advocacy Committee, the Planning and Allocations Committee, the Quality Improvement/Customer Service Committee, and as Second Officer for the Advisory Board.
The German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington received the Volunteer Group of the Year award, which is valued by the Department of Emergency Management. This 8-member group searches for lost people such as hikers and dementia patients and assists in the recovery of human remains.
Other volunteers were recognized for their work with Community Connections, Juvenile Court, Superior Court, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works and Utilities.
“The 82 individuals and seven groups honored gave a total of 27,557 hours of volunteer service to Pierce County government in 2013," said Scott Hall, Parks and Recreation superintendent who manages the volunteer recognition event for Pierce County.
To show their appreciation, the County Council and County Executive Pat McCarthy co-sponsored Resolution 2014-16 proclaiming the week of March 10-16 as "Volunteer Recognition Week" in Pierce County.
The brunch was co-hosted by Deputy Executive Kevin Phelps and County Councilmember Stan Flemming at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, where over 400 guests attended.
Scott Hall, Parks and Recreation superintendent