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The Salvation Army recently honored many of its faithful volunteers and community supporters at its annual Volunteer and Civic Appreciation Luncheon. The event, held this year at Monarch Country Club, recognized the contributions of volunteers, donors and collaborators from Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.
Lt. Colonels Ken and Dawn Luyk from the Salvation Army Florida Division were special guests and assisted Captains Samuel and Christine Kim as they awarded plaques to the top individuals or businesses in each category.
Jo Babineau, Gerry Fribourg, June Stires and Rosemarie Lane received awards for their volunteerism in the Army’s social services offices in the three counties.
Otto Sereluca, Cathy Daum, Patricia Pfanders and Diana Hachmuth were honored for their service in the Army’s weekly soup kitchen.
Tom Crump, Walter Rohan, Lori Baird, Roy Brooks and Rosa Cruz received awards for being the top volunteers at the Army’s thrift stores in Martin and St. Lucie counties.
Doreen Wilson was recognized as the top volunteer in this year’s Angel Tree program. Gold’s Gym of Stuart, The Grace Place, the St. Lucie County Courthouse and American Legion Post 318 of Port St. Lucie also received awards for their sponsorship of the program.
In the category of Red Kettles, the top individuals to receive awards were Kip Gardner, Norm Brinsley, Mimi Kiriluk, Kathy Span and Kimberly Rafoss. Groups receiving awards for bell ringing were Simply the Best Realty, Hobe Sound First United Methodist Church, St. Lucie West Lion’s Club, Port St. Lucie Rotary Club and the Okeechobee Kiwanis Club.
Andy Elliot, Ken and Cindy Canda, Mike Taylor, Emery Elek and Tim Fork were honored for their work after Hurricane Irma as part of the Disaster Team, serving over 7,000 meals locally and in Ft. Lauderdale and the Keys.
Kenny Marks of Palm City received the Volunteer of the Year award for serving 1,141 hours in 2017 in the Army's thrift store, soup kitchen and food distributions.
Florida Power and Light and the Treasure Coast Food Bank were recognized for their continued collaboration with the Army in its efforts to provide assistance to local families in need.
The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary received special recognition for its continued support of Compassion House, the Army's shelter for homeless women and children. The group, comprised of 52 women, raised over $55,000 in 2017 for Compassion House and volunteered a total of 4,276 hours.
Bill and Estelle Turney of Port St. Lucie were honored with the William Booth Award for their financial and personal commitment to Adam's Place, a jail diversion and veteran's shelter for men under development in Ft. Pierce. The couple has spearheaded the drive for this much-needed facility and provided the initial gift used to solicit challenge gift matches.
The Salvation Army of Martin County Women's Auxiliary recently held its popular fundraiser at the historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Stuart. Supporters enjoyed a performance of "Broadway Babies Are Back" and raised more than $3,500 for Compassion House, the Salvation Army's transitional shelter for homeless women and children.
About Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary
Led by Mary Helen Keim and 18 other dedicated women, the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary of Martin County was founded in 2000 to support local programs and services, according to its website at salvationarmyflorida.org. Over the years, these dedicated women have raised more than $800,000 to help the Salvation Army serve the people of Martin County.
Members worked tirelessly for nearly 12 years to purchase, remodel and open its building at 821 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to house a chapel for worship, administrative and social service offices, and Compassion House, the transitional shelter for homeless women and children.
Today, auxiliary members continue to support Compassion House and all of its many programs through fundraising efforts and volunteer time. Meetings are generally the third Tuesday of the month, September through May, at 11:30 a.m. Anyone can join. For more information, contact Membership Chair Mimi Kiriluk at 772-225-2018.
The Christmas tree in the newly renovated lobby of Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club was beautifully adorned with decorations, and the philanthropic spirit of the residents and staff of Piper’s Landing was clearly visible under the tree. It became the gathering spot for 150 toys, including seven bikes, and nearly $1,500 in monetary donations for local children in need during the holiday season.
The collection of toys and other gifts is a tradition that began 14 years ago at Piper’s Landing to support the Salvation Army’s local Angel Tree Program, which helps to light up the lives of more than 1,400 children in need in Martin County.
In 2003, resident Jeanne Lambdin introduced Piper’s Landing to the Angel Tree program, an initiative created to fulfill the individual requests of Martin County families in need during the holidays. The program got its name because the local children identify their gift wishes on greeting cards that feature pictures of angels. The cards are then hung on Christmas trees to allow supporters to choose one or more children to help.
“It is incredibly fulfilling to watch our residents come together in support of such a meaningful and cheerful program to help children in our community,” said Lambdin. “Watching the gifts pile up under our Piper’s tree was heartwarming, and knowing how much joy these presents bring to children captures the spirit of what the holiday season is all about. My heartfelt thanks at all the Piper’s members who contributed. What a wonderful community we have here!”
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program has shared the thrill of opening the perfect gift with millions of needy children and teens since the late 1900s. This year the program is responsible for fulfilling the wishes of more than 500 families in Martin County by providing children with a minimum of two toys and an outfit.
Piper’s Landing Yacht & Country Club is a private, luxury gated community in Palm City. With only 302 residences nestled among 600 acres, Piper’s Landing is known for its lush, spacious grounds including an award winning championship golf course, secluded waterfront, Har-Tru® tennis courts and nature preserves. Its yacht basin has become renowned for the rare combination of superb access to the St. Lucie River and Atlantic Ocean, yet has been naturally protected for hundreds of years. For more information, visit www.piperslanding.com.