Volunteers receive recognition at ceremony
Sirena Martin, third from left, receives a Volunteer of the Quarter award during a Nov. 6 ceremony at Riley’s Conference Center. Also pictured are, from left to right, Fort Riley Command Sgt. Maj. Miguel Rivera; Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley; Col. Michael Pappal, 1st ABCT commander; and 1st ABCT Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Kiefer. Photo by Calun Reece, POST.
Story by: Calun Reece
1ST INF. DIV. POST
"It is the best feeling in the world to be able to recognize our volunteers," said Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley.
Participants, Family and friends gathered for the Volunteer of the Quarter ceremony Nov. 6 at Riley's Conference Center.
More than 70 volunteers were recognized from the past quarter, and about 11,000 hours of volunteer service were accrued during that time.
Twin sisters Sirena and Shealyn Martin, seventh-graders, Freshman Success Academy, Junction City High School, each received the Volunteer of the Quarter award.
"(I feel) really awesome," Sirena said. "I didn't know I was going to go up there in front of all those people."
"I didn't know what (the ceremony) was going to be about, until I knew that we were going up to be recognized," Shealyn added. "I was nervous."
Shealyn and her sister, Sirena, found out they were receiving the award the day before the ceremony.
Sirena served in several roles including as an altar server and lector for the Catholic community, a Religious Education assistant, JROTC member and as a Vacation Bible School volunteer.
"It takes a lot of patience and care to help create an enjoyable VBS experience for about 15 3- to 4-year-olds," said Roxanne Martinez, director, Religious Education. "It is exciting to see (Sirena) as active in the community as she is."
Martinez selected the sisters as nominees for the quarterly event.
Sirena's sister, Shealyn, also served as a VBS volunteer, an altar server and lector for the Catholic community, a Religious Education assistant and a summer school volunteer.
"This last summer, (Shealyn) helped in a class of first- through third-graders (by) helping them to do a computer project learning about animals and extinction," Martinez said. "This is a service that requires patience and talent in working with young children."
Michael Brookhart, seventh-grader, Fort Riley Middle School, also was a youth selected by Martinez for the Volunteer of the Quarter award.
"I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn't realize that I would have to walk up in front of a bunch of people, so I was sort of nervous," he said.
Brookhart contributed volunteer hours towards VBS, as an altar server, assisting with Judge Advocate General functions, and he is a member of the Catholic Youth Group at Fort Riley.
"He lives his Catholic faith through his actions, especially his service and kindness to all," Martinez said. "We have a lot of teens that really do a lot of volunteering, and it's important to recognize them, you know."