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Howard County’s “Volunteer of the Year” awards announced

Howard County’s “Volunteer of the Year” awards announced

April 13, 2018

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County honored outstanding volunteers last night in a ceremony that recognized the generosity and achievements of two individuals, one non-profit organization or governmental agency, and one for-profit or community group. The winners were selected from eight nominations. The annual event also included the announcement of Howard County’s Volunteer of the Year and other special award recipients. 

“Our volunteers are the backbone of our great county and many of the services we offer wouldn’t be possible without the work and dedication of these individuals,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “It is an honor to join the County Council and Volunteer Center Serving Howard County in recognizing the extraordinary individuals and organizations who generously give their time and talent to help improve the lives of others.”

Council Chairperson Mary Kay Sigaty added, "Those who chose to share their time, talent and knowledge as volunteers are essential to our community.  They provide extraordinary service and I thank them for their passion and dedication." 

Award winners will have an engraved brick installed in the “Pathway to Excellence” at the county’s Troy Park at Elkridge. The pathway is to be part of Troy Park’s future development.

This year’s award winners were: 

Volunteer of the Year: Mary Lasky
Dedicated to strengthening the community through her volunteer service, Mary Lasky is recognized for her qualities of leadership, energy and expertise as showcased through her work with the Community Emergency Response Network (CERN) since its beginning in 2002 and the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, to name a couple. During her tenure as president of CERN, Mary worked hard to bring together the public and private sector in an effort to maximize county preparedness in the event of an emergency. Just two years after joining the Grassroots’ Board of Directors, Mary was elected president. As her nominator wrote, “Mary ensured the continuity and stability of Grassroots at a time of significant change and growth.” 

Non-Profit Volunteer Organization of the Year: Lambda Gamma Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
For over three decades, the Sorors of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc’s Lambda Gamma Zeta Chapter have focused their numerous outreach programs largely on scholarship, service and sisterhood. Founded as a community conscious and action-oriented program, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has invested in their local community through initiatives such as “Breakfast on the Go,” where over 1500 SAT takers were able to receive a quick but nutritious meal, and “A Pretty and Polished Affair,” where more than 150 students were given the opportunity to receive formal attire for prom, at no cost to them. Additionally, since its inception in 1981, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has provided more than $20,000 in scholarships to aspiring collegians in the county. The organization is recognized for its commitment to making an impact and moving the community forward. 

Community Volunteer Group of the Year: The Loan Closet of Howard County’s Volunteers
A clearing house for donated medical equipment, the Loan Closet is able to function because of its dedicated volunteers, in particular Dennis Fabel, Kathy Pelch, and Sandy Reading. Without these outstanding volunteers, the Loan Closet would struggle to keep up with increasing demand. Kathy and Sandy began volunteering in 2016, both providing critical clerical support for the organization. Dennis began volunteering in 2017, also providing critical support in the way of taking in donations and cleaning equipment. Serving nearly 5,000 people and handling more than 8,900 items, the work that these volunteers do is absolutely crucial to the success of this organization. 

Unsung Hero: Monica Fabbri
Jumping immediately into action after the devastating 2016 flooding, Monica Fabbri is recognized for her selfless dedication to ensuring continued care for the residents of Ellicott City’s West End. Monica worked tirelessly to bring this community together, providing food, tables and chairs for weekly meals designed to facilitate communication and support among the residents. She was quickly appointed to serve on the non-profit One EC Recovery Project, and as her nominator wrote, Monica was “the heart and soul of the organization.” Her commitment to this group of Howard County residents is apparent, as she remains a committed advocate for the flood recovery efforts.