For contributions of time that could rival that of the Energizer Bunny, volunteers at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library were recognized on Tuesday, May 10 at the library's annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon funded by the Friends of the Library. "Powered by Volunteers" was the theme of this year's event and an acknowledgement of the group's time and energy was top order of the day.
"I'm in awe every year when I come to this event," said Executive Director Jason Kuhl who welcomed the crowd and presented the volunteer service awards. "We appreciate everything you do and all the hours you contribute to the library."
In 2015, 508 volunteers contributed 28,347 hours of service to the library. Thirty four volunteers received special recognition for achieving Hours of Service milestones beginning at 500 hours and topping off at 14,500 hours of service. Years of service were also recognized and spanned from 3 years to 30 years of service. Volunteers work in all areas of the library including Kids' World, the Senior Center, Genealogy, ESL, Friends of the Library and the bookmobile.
The top honor of the day went to George Galvan who was named Volunteer of the Year. This is a one-time award that is given to the volunteer who has contributed the greatest number of hours during the previous year but has not previously received the award. George earned Volunteer of the Year for contributing 335 hours of service to the library in 2015 serving as the primary leader of the library's Current Events Discussion, a group of more than 40 people who gather weekly to reflect on the events in the world around them.
"No matter what the topic of the day is, there is always someone in the group who knows a great deal about the subject," says Galvan, a former music coordinator and retired principal of Robert Frost Elementary School in Prospect Heights. "It's a very friendly and respectful group. We exchange ideas and leave as friends. I love being a part of that"
"For me as a former teacher, when someone in the group says 'I learned a lot today' that is the greatest compliment."