Others Will Carry On
Each October, the Virginia Department of Social Services Office on Volunteerism and Community presents the annual Robert E. Wone Award for Exemplary Service.
Last year, congratulations went to Candice Nunnally, the third winner of the award that was:
“Established in memory of Mr. Wone, the award will recognize an exemplary AmeriCorps member who has exhibited the same dedication to community service and civic engagement as did Mr. Wone, who served on the Governor’s Commission on Community and National Service.
He was a tireless activist and volunteer who advanced the interests of many charitable organizations. He provided many hours of pro bono legal service to help others and was instrumental in establishing the Virginia Service Foundation.”
Recently, the fourth winner was announced, and the recipient brings a story of inspiration, redemption and giving back to the community.
From the release:
“Charles Fitzgerald was presented with the fourth annual Robert E. Wone Award for Exemplary Service. Established in memory of Wone, a former member of the Governor’s Commission on Community and National Service and Northern Virginia resident, the award recognizes an AmeriCorps member who exhibits outstanding community service.
Fitzgerald joined Embrace Richmond as an AmeriCorps member in the fall of 2008. Upon entering his term of service, he had not worked in more than twenty-five years. Two years prior to joining AmeriCorps, Fitzgerald entered the Healing Place in Richmond. After more than 33 years of substance abuse, he reclaimed his life at age 49. Fitzgerald served as a peer mentor for two terms at the Healing Place and realized that he had a real gift for helping others find freedom from addiction.
“This award inspires me to continue to do the work I do and just enjoy my life as an AmeriCorps member. I am going into my third term with AmeriCorps and I am looking forward to my coming year,” said Fitzgerald. “I was totally surprised that I won this award, because I don’t look to be recognized for the work I do. Some of the people I work with don’t even know who I am.” As for advice for the new members inducted, Fitzgerald said “When things look like they are going the worst, just look for the sunshine – it will get better and the work you do will pay off in the end.”
Like Wone, Fitzgerald is a tireless activist and volunteer who actively advances the interest of many charitable organizations through his willingness to speak and share his story on behalf of all the agencies that touched his life.”
The nomination letter for Charles Fitzgerald follows as well as some pictures from the ceremony.
Our thanks to Cathy Walker for providing us with the photos and some news regarding the first winner of the Wone Service Award, Cheryl Jennings. Cheryl helped present this year’s award to Charles and since winning in it herself 2007, she has gone on to work at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s AmeriCorps Program as a program leader.
Congratulations to all. Please keep up the good work and by your many efforts you have added weight to the final words of a dearly departed friend, “Others will carry on.”
Nomination Letter for Charles Fitzgerald