The City of Oakland Park was honored to celebrate our Volunteer Corps and their significant contributions to making Oakland Park a better place to live, work, and play as we build our second century! About 150 volunteers contributed over 7,000 service hours through 146 opportunities, including food deliveries, neighborhood cleanups, recreational leagues, special events, tree giveaways, advisory board meetings, and more. Honorees were recognized at an Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, December 6th, at Funky Buddha Brewery and during the City Commission meeting immediately following.
The 2023 honorees included:
Volunteer of The Year: Owen Marr was instrumental in bringing together the City of Oakland Park Volunteer Corps and Lowe's Store #0754 and volunteered more than 75 hours of service on various projects, including researching grant information and cleaning streets and neighborhoods. He participated in numerous projects, including the Health, Wealth & Small Business Expo, National Good Neighbor Day, Youth Day, the Tree Giveaway, Kids to Parks Day, Food Delivery Program, Special Events, and projects in every part of the city.
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Billy Richemond is an exemplary volunteer at the City of Oakland Park, having contributed over 200 volunteer hours and passionately coaching various sports, including basketball, flag football, and soccer. He actively contributes to the set-up and breakdown of athletic programs, consistently offering a helping hand. In addition to his volunteer work, Billy is an outstanding student. His leadership and dedication to volunteer work make him an ideal role model for youth in Oakland Park.
Volunteer Team of the Year: Rickards Middle School Athletics has made great strides in giving back to the community, volunteering over 200 hours throughout the year. Rickards Athletics, led by Athletic Director Jordan Davis, adopted NE 9th Avenue through the city's adopt-a-street program and has participated in other projects, including neighborhood cleanups, the senior homebound food delivery program, and National Good Neighbor Day.
Volunteer Business Partner of the Year: Lowe's Store #0754 has supported the city Volunteer Corps in numerous ways, including providing materials and crafts to the aftercare program, assisting with a local Boy Scout Troop’s Eagle Scout project, donating buckets, gloves, and supplies for cleanups, and assisting with National Kids to Park Day, where kids learned about different plant species, gardening, and potting. The Lowe's team accumulated over 100 hours of volunteer time this year to enhance our community.
Volunteer Champion Medal: The Volunteer Champion Award is a recognition given to individuals who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment in their volunteer work, acknowledging the selfless efforts of volunteers who have made a significant impact in their community. By recognizing their contributions, the City hopes to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and make a positive difference. The Volunteer Champion Award is a testament that even small acts of kindness and generosity can have a significant impact on the lives of those around us. This year, the following people earned a Volunteer Champion Medal:
· Pat Crowley
· Jordan Davis
· Tammy Fey
· Tom Hardy
· Coby King
· Peter Malave
· Ray Rapaglia
· Ester Pedernera
· Rebeka Hernandez
· Hernan Borro
Congratulations to all the honorees! Thank you so much for everything you do to help the community and make Oakland Park such a wonderful hometown.