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Salvation Army celebrates volunteers

6/20/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army Summit County Area Services
WEST AKRON — The Salvation Army hosted its annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner with presentations of awards for outstanding volunteer efforts in May. Nearly 250 guests gathered at Tangier to celebrate 26,530 hours of service provided within Summit County by volunteers in 2012.

“So many of our programs could not function without the incredible support and generosity of this community,” said Volunteer Coordinator J.J. Dunham. “We are glad to have a chance to spend a few minutes to recognize these many hours of service happening each and every day to help those in need.”

The culmination of the program was a presentation by Major David Dunham to Bob Ray, who received the “Doing the Most Good” Award, which is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond that which has been asked of them. Dunham read from letters written by Ray’s children recounting childhoods filled with service to others. “Dad is just a good man who is doing what comes naturally for him,” said his son Robert Ray.

“Growing up, we always had an open-door policy in our house,” added daughter Gina Ray. “Anyone was welcomed. There were a few times my father invited entire families to stay with us because they had nowhere else to go and needed help. He never asked about the circumstances of why they were homeless.  It didn’t matter. He never could stand seeing people in need and would go out of his way to help.”

Ray is shown above, at center, with Majors David and Tina Dunham, Summit County Area Services coordinators for the Salvation Army.

Additional awards were presented to:

  • Volunteer of the Year Award (Barberton Corps) — Sharon Ray;
  • Volunteer of the Year Award (Akron Corps) — J.B. Barker;
  • Distinguished Volunteer Award — Doug Combs, Ray Pfeister and Total to Care;
  • Volunteer Bell Ringer of the Year — Caitlyn Jarvis;
  • Friends of the Army Award — Don Sitts Auto Sales;
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year Award — Logan Stack;
  • Group Service Award — Norton High School Key Club, Barberton High School Key Club and Rotary Club of Akron;
  • Day of Service Award — Hudson Presbyterian Church; and
  • Helping Hands Award — Jean Hamed, Barbara Hunsicker, Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer, Lesley Katzenmeyer and John Steiner.
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