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County Parks Department honors volunteers

As part of National Volunteer Week, the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department recognized volunteers for their extraordinary service and dedication at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on Thursday, April 14.

Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer began the program by expressing her heartfelt gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who contributed 5,312 hours of donated time to the St. Charles County regional parks system in 2015.

“Our dedicated volunteers are not only individuals who have a passion for outdoor recreation and nature, but many are a part of organizations, businesses and Scout groups. The estimated value of our volunteer hours in 2015 was equivalent to $116,000 worth of labor donated,” Yahn-Kramer said.

Among the 80 attendees were several organizations and individuals who were recognized with 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Awards in several categories. Carl Turek of O’Fallon received the Outstanding Individual Volunteer Award; Debbie and Virginia Polkinghorne received the Outstanding Family Volunteer Award; Craig Morton was presented with the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award; Willows Way was honored with the Outstanding Group/Organization Volunteer Award; and Enterprise Holdings received the Outstanding Corporate/Business Volunteer Award.

Bobb Holden and Patti Hawkins, Tim Wiegard, Diana Gores, Wendy Davis and the St. Charles County Police K-9 Unit were presented with Special Recognition Awards.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities assist the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department with a variety of tasks throughout the year, including helping to beautify and manage natural resources in the park; maintaining and building the regional trails system; assisting with educational programs and special events; and assisting with demonstrations, re-enactments and interpretations at the Towne Park homestead and County Heritage Museum.

Those interested in volunteering in 2016 are urged to call (636) 949-7535, or visit www.stccparks.org for more information.

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