Clatsop County Government depends greatly on the selfless dedication of volunteer citizens who devoted over 20,000 hours of time to numerous committees and programs last year alone which the county values at over $463,000. Each year the County Commissioners devote time to recognizing those volunteers and emphasizing their importance during a regular commission meeting. Commission Chair Peter Huhtala said that Wednesday's event has become his favorite meeting of the year.
Out of the 494 people who do volunteer one person is selected to be named Individual Volunteer of The Year and this year the honor went to Debbie Morrow, who was honored for her more than 20 years of advocacy for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill, and service on the boards of a variety of organizations including Women's Resource Center, Coast Rehabilitation Services and Clatsop County Human Services Advisory Council. Morrow was nominated by Public Health Director Margo Lalich, Juvenile Director Janet Evans and Prevention Specialist Jill Quackenbush. Outstanding Advisory Board Members is John Mersereau, who served for 30 years with the Southwest Coastal Citizens Advisory Council, also known as the Arch Cape Design Review Committee. He was nominated by Commissioner Debra Birkby.
The Outstanding Volunteer Group is CADY (Caring Adults Developing Youth) Mentoring Group, which links adult mentors with at-risk youth to provide support, guidance and leadership. CADY was nominated by Juvenile Probation Counselor Laura Parker.
Individuals who work within groups were also recognized and those included:
Bruce Buckmaster – Clatsop County Jail Alcoholics Anonymous Group. Nominated by Clatsop County Sheriff's Office Senior Deputy Dave Hillard.
Kevin Miller – Reserve Deputy Sheriff, Underwater Recovery Team, High Angle Rescue Team. Nominated by Clatsop County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Matt Phillips.
Sally Freeman – Classy Canines. Nominated by 4-H and Extension Service Program Coordinator Sandra Carlson.
Carly Scheik – Victim's Assistance Program. Nominated by Victim's Services Coordinator Ben Bradshaw.
Gerald Theirs – CADY Mentoring Program. Nominated by student Terrance Sanders.
Andy Whalen – CADY Mentoring Program. Nominated by student Christopher Avery.