Governor’s Volunteer Service Award winners from Dare recognized for service to community
Each year, the governor of North Carolina recognizes individuals and groups of people who have made a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. Nominations are submitted to the governor’s office for the various types of volunteers (senior, youth, faith-based, family, group and business) as well as for various categories that are based upon the area of service a nominee volunteers within (animal, environmental, preservation, youth, disaster, etc.) Once county award coordinators across the state have submitted their top 10 volunteer nominations for their individual county, these recommendations are reviewed by the commission and awards are given out in each of the counties.
Dare County’s individual winners of the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award are:
– Dan Otte with the Dare County Center,
– Kenny Roughton with the Dare County Center,
– Jake Overton with the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department,
– Sabrina Flowers with the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department,
– Patty Privott with Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church,
– Marsha Brown with the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and
– Jennifer Nieman with Dare County Friends of Youth.
– Two group award winners are the Elizabeth II Volunteer Crew and the Dare County Youth Orchestra.
Any individual, group or business from the public, nonprofit or private sector can be nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. To nominate an individual or a group of people who have given substantial amounts of their time and talent to help others in the community, submit an application for the 2021 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award when nominations open later this year.
Dan Otte is an all-around volunteer with the Dare County Center. He serves on the center’s advisory board, assists with the annual toy drive, answers phones in the front office, is instrumental in obtaining sponsorships for the annual Dare to Scare 5K and Sweet Treat Fun Run and volunteers with the DCC’s Home Visiting Program. “Dan is always smiling, and he is extremely friendly and outgoing. He is always willing to take on any task, and whatever he is asked to do is done quickly and efficiently. He is an incredible asset to the DCC,” stated Dare County.
Kenny Roughton has been a volunteer with the Dare County Center for several years. He delivers Meals on Wheels each week, takes photos at all of the events that take place at the center and volunteers as an assistant on short- and long-distance trips sponsored by the center. “He has made a huge difference with all that he does, and he has made an especially significant impact on the Meals on Wheels recipients who look forward to seeing him each week,” stated Dare County. “Kenny has a special way of communicating with even the toughest characters. He is genuinely kind, soft-spoken and big-hearted. No matter what is asked of him or what is needed, he is always willing to lend a hand and help out!”
According to his nominator, Jake Overton has been a lifesaver for the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department. He has always stepped up when the department is in need of a coach. He coaches year round, including T-ball in the spring, football in the fall and basketball in the winter. During the summer months, he coaches baseball for the Kitty Hawk baseball league. “In addition to all of his coaching duties, Jake also helps out with the maintenance of the athletic fields at First Flight High School,” stated Dare County. “Jake is a true mentor to all of the young people who he coaches, and he is a first-class person.”
Sabrina Flowers has been a dedicated basketball, softball and volleyball coach for many years. She brings her skills as a former coach and athlete from Manteo High School to the youth on Roanoke Island and the mainland. “Her enthusiasm for sports rubs off on all of the youth she coaches,” stated Dare County. “Sabrina is an excellent teacher of the fundamentals of any sport that she coaches, and she runs great practices, keeping the players moving and busy the entire time. She is a devoted volunteer who was also instrumental in helping to start the youth volleyball program on Roanoke Island last season.”
Patty Privott is a volunteer for Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, where she wears a multitude of hats and gives at least 6-12 hours of her time each week. She handles the Alter Guild for the church, which consists of organizing a list of and overseeing the worship committee volunteers. She also sets up communion once a month, as well as for all special holidays and occasions, and is part of the kitchen committee and responsible for ordering all of the needed supplies. She makes sure that the kitchen stays clean and organized, and she ensures that everything is in order. She is also a leader of one of the care ministry teams that serves the needs of church members who have had surgery, had a baby, are injured or otherwise in need of assistance and also decorates for all of the events that take place at the church, and she organizes food for almost every church event. According to her nominator, Patty “does everything with a smile and a kind heart, and does it truly out of the goodness of her heart and soul.”
Marsha Brown is a volunteer with the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council. According to her nominator, she is a selfless, caring and loving person who goes out of her way to help veterans in any way she can. Several years ago, Marsha and her husband Billy started the Dare County Veteran’s Discount Card Program, and during the past year she spent countless hours each week making sure that veterans throughout Dare County who did not yet have a card were provided with one. As a member of the Veterans Advisory Council, she has arranged for participation at local events, greeting veterans who stop by the council’s booth and thanking them for their service. She also writes a column for The Coastland Times that honors servicemen and servicewomen and provides them with useful information. In addition, she raises money for a scholarship that was created in the name of her late husband and helps to provide local students with continuing education. She is also willing to come to the aid of veterans who are in need or short on funds by helping them to find solutions to the issues they are facing.
Jennifer Nieman is a volunteer mentor with the Dare County Friends of Youth program. She has been matched with her mentee for two years and strives to make every meeting with her special no matter what they have planned for the day. She goes above and beyond what the program asks of her, spending and average of eight hours each month with her mentee. One-on-one time spent together during the past year has included going to lunch and chatting, working on school projects, going for walks, going craft projects together and swimming. Jennifer also attended important events in her mentee’s life including her basketball games and school plays. “At Friends of Youth group activities, Jennifer is always willing to lend a hand to program staff and to do whatever needs to be done, which includes helping out with other children, and she always does so with a smile on her face,” stated Dare County. “Jennifer is excellent at keeping in contact with her mentee’s mom, which is a key component to maintaining a successful mentoring relationship.”
Dare County Youth Orchestra
The Dare County Youth Orchestra (DCYO) provides low-cost stringed instrument instruction for students from elementary through high school. At a time when fine arts instruction budgets are being cut, the DCYO has partnered with Dare County Schools to provide students with instructors and instruments to develop musical skills, which allows them to grow their understanding of music and to develop a life-long appreciation for the fine arts. The program is open to all students regardless of their financial background. Approximately 125 students are annually served in schools throughout the district, from Duck to Hatteras. In addition to school-based performances, all county performances are organized so that students at all levels can perform together. President Donna Trivette and the DCYO board of directors are dedicated to developing string programs in the schools of Dare County.
Elizabeth II Volunteer Crew
The Elizabeth II Volunteer Crew works to help maintain the historic sailing ship that is an integral part of the Roanoke Island Festival Park (RIFP) experience. In 2019, the 33 active volunteer crew members logged a total of 1,769 volunteer hours. Crew members commit to spending every second weekend of the month for 11 months caring for the ship and performing various tasks that are assigned by Captain Robbie Putnam, a RIFP staff member. They also volunteer on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year and are willing to be called upon any day of the week if needed. The crew is also assigned seasonal tasks to help keep the replica of the 16th century sailing ship in tip-top shape. These tasks include maintaining the rigging and the sails, completing dockside sail training and safety drills, making needed repairs, painting and other maintenance. Throughout the year, volunteers help keep the ship clean, install holiday lights and decorations, help out with special exhibits, and perform a wide array of other behind-the-scenes jobs that make visiting the ship a memorable experience for visitors.