GRACE Celebrates Volunteers
As National Volunteer Week approaches, GRACE held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Event Wednesday, April 11, to celebrate the many contributions that volunteers have made throughout the past year as well as the past 25 years of GRACE. “Volunteering is part of our identity in North Texas – we value civic participation and embrace a spirit of community,” said GRACE Executive Director Shonda Schaefer. “Each year, I am reminded of the incredible contributions of our own volunteers.”
GRACE is an organization founded by community volunteers, and it is still staffed largely by volunteers. “We were honored to have our founding executive director, Tricia Wood, join us in acknowledging the historical role volunteers have had in establishing GRACE in our community,” said Schaefer. Nearly 2,500 volunteers donate their time to GRACE each year.
“I am exceedingly proud to lead an organization that involves many volunteers and even encourages clients to give back by volunteering their own time once they are able,” Schaefer said. “This continuum of good stewardship makes GRACE a true asset to our community.”
GRACE recognized 18 outstanding volunteers at the ceremony and announced the GRACE Volunteer of the Year, Kristine Elieson. Ms. Elieson is degreed in social work and has used her professional training and leadership skills at GRACE as a cross-divisional volunteer working at Donation Station, Senior Commodities, the Food Pantry, and as a Case Manager in Client Services. She encouraged her son, Jacob, to complete his Eagle project at GRACE which was resurfacing the roof of the gazebo at Transitional Housing. Additionally, Elieson serves as the Round Table Cub Scout Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America Lakeview. She is the mother of three children, is married to John Elieson and resides in Southlake.
“Kristine is passionate about everything we do as an organization, the clients we serve, and helping everyone in need throughout the community,” said Schaefer. “We are very proud to present the Volunteer of the Year award to her.”
Each outstanding volunteer received a 25th Year Commemorative Plaque, a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant and a State of Texas Proclamation from State Senator Jane Nelson.
OUTSTANDING EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE VOLUNTEER: Kaitlin Hoag
OUTSTANDING FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEER: Danny Hoyt
OUTSTANDING GRACE GARDENS VOLUNTEER: Becca Clarke
OUTSTANDING CLOTHING ROOM VOLUNTEER: Susan Miller
OUTSTANDING CLINIC VOLUNTEER: Charles Cook, M.D.
OUTSTANDING FRIENDS &FAMILY VOLUNTEER: Duff O’Dell
OUTSTANDING TRANSITIONAL HOUSING VOLUNTEER: Rob Rhoades
OUTSTANDING CHRISTMAS COTTAGE VOLUNTEER:Marsha French
OUTSTANDING FEED OUR KIDS VOLUNTEER: Sharon Cherry
OUTSTANDING DONATION STATION VOLUNTEER: Evelyn Downs
OUTSTANDING GRACEful BUYS VOLUNTEER: Tammy Dickstein
OUTSTANDING Style &GRACE VOLUNTEER: Lisa Fellers
OUTSTANDING YOUTH VOLUNTEER: TJ Schaefer
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL EVENTS YOUTH VOLUNTEER: Jonathan Reynolds
OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER GROUP: Women’s Division, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL EVENTS VOLUNTEER:Mike and Nicole Tesoriero
OUTSTANDING DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER: Lenie Hacker
OUTSTANDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS VOLUNTEER: Cory Halliburton
Pictured: Kristine Elison, GRACE Volunteer of the Year. Photo Credit: Skipping Stone Studio