Carrollton Volunteer Award Winners
Seventeen nominations were received in five different categories for the fifth annual Carrollton Volunteer Awards: Neighborhood Leadership, Outstanding Community Organization, Volunteer of the Year, and Youth Volunteer of the Year facilitated by the City’s Neighborhood Partnership Office, as well as the Jimmy Porter Award facilitated by the Parks & Recreation Department.
These awards are designed to recognize individuals, organizations, and leaders who have gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional community service to the City of Carrollton and its residents.
“The City of Carrollton is indebted to the many volunteers whose dedicated service provides assistance to all of our residents and visitors,” Community Services Manager Brian Passwaters said. “The Neighborhood Advisory Commission recognizes the volunteers and organizations who have contributed their time and efforts in making Carrollton a better, happier community to live in and to visit.”
Neighborhood Leadership Award Winner
Paula McDonald was nominated for her work with the Flamingos of Carrollton group and has dedicated more than 200 hours of community service and involvement in outreach programs. McDonald donated resources to those negatively impacted by the pandemic. She initiated food drives, Operation Shop Small, and cookie deliveries to Carrollton Fire Rescue and the Carrollton Police Department. She has shown dedication and hard work in her neighborhood association, organizations, and the community.
Outstanding Community Organization Award Winners
The Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club has served the City of Carrollton for more than 60 years and partners on various projects with Metrocrest Services, donating over $36,000 to Metrocrest Services to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. The Rotary also supports veterans and local veteran support groups, mentors youth, and volunteers with youth through various clubs at Newman Smith High School, Bea’s Kids, and the Family Place. In partnership with the City of Carrollton, the club’s donations built an all-inclusive playground adjacent to Rosemeade Recreation Center.
Inspiring Lives Inc., a non-profit volunteer organization, has only been active for a year but has done much for the Carrollton community. Members of the organization come from various cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Individuals from Inspiring Lives Inc. teamed with CVS Pharmacy to bring flu shots to the Sandy Lake area and hosted a Halloween Food Drive that partnered with several groups in the Carrollton community. The group, along with Metrocrest Services, Dreamers Academy, First Baptist Church at the Fields, and more, gave away backpacks and information for assistance with rent and bills. Inspiring Lives also hosted the Martin Luther King, Jr. Trailblazer event and brought families together to celebrate MLK Day with a brass band from New Orleans, food, dance, and more in Downtown Carrollton.
Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
Dennis Mattson has been nominated for his volunteer work with Metrocrest Services Food Pantry and Home Delivered Meals for Local Seniors Program, along with managing the Metrocrest Services Warehouse. Mattson’s hard work and knowledge base have enhanced and improved the volunteer experience within Metrocrest Services by engaging with the people he assists. Mattson has an ability to solve difficult problems and has a steadfast desire to serve the public. He has completed more than 1200 volunteer hours in 2020 alone by working three to four days a week for six to eight hours each day.
Youth Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
Sarah Shepherd is a dedicated, hardworking, and intelligent CFBISD student who has volunteered for the Metrocrest Services Food Pantry, the American Red Cross, and her school district this past year. Shepherd organized and led the Leaders Save Lives blood drive program during the pandemic in association with the American Red Cross. She is passionate about healthcare and a student in R. L. Turner High School’s Biomedical Academy. Shepherd has also served as President of the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Executive Committees, Vice-President of the Senior Executive Committee, and was captain of her varsity, junior varsity, and freshman basketball teams.
Jimmy Porter Award Winner
Ken Kovach dedicated himself to coaching youth soccer for 31 years and was a beloved resident of Carrollton for almost 40 years. Kovach fell in love with the sport of soccer in 1990 when he began coaching his 5-year-old son’s first team, the Killer Bees. He continued to coach other children after his son moved on to other activities. His coaching and love of the game had a positive impact on the players he coached. Wanting to help players reach their full potential, Kovach obtained the U.S. Soccer Association’s D License accreditation. Kovach was a dedicated coach of multiple teams, found success in a few local tournaments, and shaped young players into athletes. In addition to coaching, Kovach also served on the CFBSA Board as a League Director for many years. Kovach lost his battle with COVID-19 in February, but his memory lives on in all who knew him. The knowledge he shared and his passion for the game will be greatly missed.
“Youth sports volunteers play a vital role in mentoring children in the community,” Parks Manager Kim Bybee said. “The values they instill through their selfless contributions of time and talent help kids become leaders for generations to come.”
For more information on how you can get involved with the City’s volunteer needs, visit cityofcarrollton.com/volunteer.