In an area like the Key Peninsula, the work of the 30 volunteers honored at the Citizen of the Year banquet has an impact on every man, woman and child who lives here. That is the view of Dick Hassan, a first-time nominee for the citizen award. He brought 120 orchid corsages to the banquet and gave one to each woman who attended, including an 8-year-old Girl Scout.

Presenting flowers has long been a trademark of Hassan, who was nominated for his work and financial contributions toward the repair of a retaining wall at Volunteer Park. “It was a surprise that people thought to put me in that category,” Hassan says. “I felt blessed to be a part or even to be invited.” He believes the awards ceremony is an absolute necessity in order to honor the volunteer workers of the Key Peninsula.

Phil Bauer, who was selected as the 2006 Citizen of the Year, says, “It is good to honor people. The KP is unique. There are so many nonprofits, 501-C3s and churches all out here to help people on Key Peninsula.” (See related story about Bauer, page 7.)

Bauer compliments the many local volunteers, saying, “There comes a time in your life when you can do it.” It is his view that the plaque belongs to all of them. His first words, as he received his plaque, were, “I’d like to share this with the other volunteers not nominated and deserve it, and with all the other nominees.”

The keynote address by Terry Bouck, superintendent of the Peninsula School District, emphasized the volunteer workers of the many community groups and school organizations that make the Peninsula unique. He said two words come to mind that apply to our volunteers: impossible and energized. “Impossible isn’t in your vocabulary,” he said. “And energized means bringing to action. You’re bringing it (that action) around every day.”

Bouck was presented with the Lions Club Certificate of Appreciation. President Marvin Keizur told him, “The Key Pen could not function without your efforts.” Another salute was given Bouck from Master of Ceremonies Hugh McMillan with regard to the technology used for the presentation. “A first — first time we ever had a presentation in PowerPoint (software),” McMillan said.

In closing, Keizur expressed the sentiment in the Lions Club logo, “Together We Are Greater.”  He announced to the nominees, “You are all winners.”

The unique spirit of KP volunteers was alive and well at the banquet, according to co-chair Patricia Medveckus. Two of the nominees from the KP Community Services did the dishes that night. Ruth Bramhall, former Citizen of the Year, sold 600 raffle tickets. Two Scout troops and the KP Youth Council worked the setup and cleanup details. LuLu’s Homeport provided a bartending team, and Hassan sent eight orchids back to Blondie’s restaurant crew in appreciation for their help with the dinner.

Hassan shared the view that all the nominees were winners. He is known as the inventor of a game that celebrates success and winning. He called the game “T” ball. It is a game for very young children where hitting the ball creates a sense of winning, and working together with a team can win a whole game. It is a similar situation for volunteers who do many separate tasks but together contribute to the success of the whole community. “Everyone has a job to do, but all of them working together make a mountain,” Hassan says.

Longbranch Mercantile will rise again
Coffee with a healthy twist: Ravensara marks eight-year anniversary