Three people were honored for their service at Bellevue City Hall Monday night as Volunteers of the Year.
According to Volunteer Coordinator Shelly Shellabarger, the thousands of volunteers provide service to the Bellevue community every day in various city programs and civic and nonprofit organizations.
According to a statement prepared by Shellabarger, in 2011, 5,836 people volunteered in 48 programs across 10 departments, serving over 125,000 hours at an estimated value of nearly $3 million dollars for City of Bellevue programs alone. Even more volunteers serve hundreds of organizations that serve Bellevue residents.
The City of Bellevue Volunteer of the Year Award is designed to recognize volunteers who have not only made a significant contribution to the community, but have also gone above and beyond the call of duty, shown leadership, innovation, creativity, collaboration and partnering, Shellabarger said in her prepared statement.
She provided the following information about the three honorees:
Bellevue City Volunteer of the Year
For ten years Hon Cheung Fung has served as a dedicated Environmental Stewardship volunteer to both the Parks and Utilities Departments. He attends every tour all summer long, from May-September, works diligently monitoring streams as a Salmon Watcher (rain or shine) and supports every .
Hon helps show community members that they can be involved and play a role in the community at any age. He does not let his age, or his difficulty hearing stand in the way of helping teach children paddling skills or point out interesting wildlife to families on his tours. He also helps communicate and interpret naturalist ideas to many of the non- or limited English speaking, patrons.
Whether he is on his knees planting trees at our Arbor Day-Earth Day Celebration, or pointing out a Great Blue Heron on the Canoe the Slough tours, Hon is giving it his all. He shows his love of nature and for his new country through his actions. He demonstrates that anyone can be a volunteer and contribute to the community.
Hon was nominated by Alex DySard, Park Ranger, and seconded by Laurie Devereaux, StreamTeam Program Administrator.
Bellevue Community Volunteer of the Year
Eastside Pathways, through the collective impact approach, seeks to unite the efforts of all of the stakeholders supporting youth in this community – service providers, schools, government, funders, faith-based organizations, parent and community organizations and more – behind a shared vision and framework.
From its very inception, Tracy Maury Meloy has been a dedicated supporter of Eastside Pathways. In fact, her presentation to the sparked the conversation that became Eastside Pathways. She became a founding board member of Eastside Pathways when it launched in June 2011 and has been central to guiding some 100 people from over 50 organizations to work together to survey the community, evaluate existing services and create a set of goal statements for the effort.
Among many other activities, Tracy leads workgroups which define indicators and metrics for established goal areas, has created and managed the web presence, serves as board secretary and led the successful completion of the Bellevue Community Solutions Action Plan.
Thanks to her leadership, Eastside Pathways has moved from a concept to an active, productive contributor to the success of Bellevue’s children. Eastside Pathways now has 32 active partner organizations, a functioning board and by-laws, strong relationships with the school district and city and a foundation of agreed goals and objectives that will allow the collective impact framework to become a permanent part of Bellevue’s civic infrastructure.
Tracy was nominated by Bill Henningsgaard, Eastside Pathways Board Chairman.
Bellevue Youth Volunteer of the Year
Chirag Ved has been volunteering for various organizations, assisting them in their service and fundraising projects, since he was in 7th grade. Since then, volunteering has been an integral part of this life. Recognizing the importance of volunteering early in life, he conceived the idea of a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote volunteering among youth in our community. His hope was to get them started early and make community service a way of life for Bellevue’s youth.
Chirag wrote a detailed business plan, reached out to potential partners, nonprofits and schools in the community, and wrote detailed specifications to build the website. The key goal was to make it easy for nonprofits to register on the website and post all their volunteering projects online. With the same ease, volunteers would be able to register on the website and search for volunteering projects of their interest and request to register for these volunteering projects online.
All the starting capital to build the website—Linking Opportunity.Org—came from his savings from his internships and summer jobs. He did all this, while he was a high school student with an extremely rigorous course schedule.
Linking Opportunity has already made an impact in the community. Chirag has partnered with more than 30 nonprofit organizations who post their volunteering projects on the website. Scores of students from Bellevue and nearby schools have registered for volunteer projects on the website. As the work load increased, Chirag brought on board 3 other students to help him out so that he could continue to provide the best possible experience to all the users. Today, Linking Opportunity and www.linkingopportunity.org are already ranked top in Google and Bing search engines.
Additionally, Chirag received the “Wolverine Guard Award” for his community service, served as a Youth Board member with the Indian Association of Western Washington (IAWW), served as a Bank Of America Student Leader, through which he volunteered at The Atlantic Street Center as a Program Assistant, assisting with the logistics at their summer academy, and has been actively involved with the Bellevue Youth Court and the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club. Chirag has completed more than 600 hours of community service in the last 3 years.
Chirag was nominated by Haresh Ved, Linking Opportunity Registered Agent and parent.