Valley volunteers garner honors at annual breakfast
The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley recently honored several area residents during the group’s 2017 Breakfast for Champions’ awards at Coca-Cola Park, Allentown.
Parkland area residents honored at the April 4 ceremony were Mia Bobenko of Orefield, who volunteers at The Gress Mountain Ranch; and Kris and Ian Buss of Breinigsville, who volunteer with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley.
Kathryn Gress with The Gress Mountain Ranch told The Press why she nominated Bobenko for the Sandy Kelly/UPS Youth Volunteer Scholarship Award, sponsored by UPS.
“From the day I met Mia, I knew she was special,” Gress said. “Mia is an all-around girl, my right- and left-hand lady for the Gress Mountain Ranch.”
Gress said she wanted to do something with the Volunteer Center to acknowledge all Bobenko’s grand efforts and commitment to the home for abused and neglected animals.
“Mia is the best definition of a ‘volunteer’ on all levels,” Gress stated. “We are very proud of Mia at The Gress Mountain Ranch.”
Bobenko also spoke with The Press about being nominated and her award.
“It feels rather amazing to have been nominated and to receive this award,” Bobenko said, adding volunteering is an amazing and fulfilling opportunity.
Lisa Kappes, assistant executive director with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley explained why she nominated Kris and Ian Buss for the Family Volunteer Award sponsored by Louise Wright.
Kappes said the mother and son team of Kris and Ian Buss have gone above and beyond for the foundation for five years.
“Kris and Ian have been counselors each year for Camp Smile,” Kappes said. “Two years ago, Kris was promoted to head counselor of the whole camp.
“She helps with the organization of all the campers and counselor applications and medical forms.”
Kappes said Ian has been an amazing counselor, who works enthusiastically with the kids and is the favorite of many.
“He is always willing to run extra errands and do anything needed,” Kappes said. “I am so happy they won the Louise Wright Family Volunteer Award.”
Kris and Ian Buss spoke about winning the award.
“We feel honored and truly blessed to work with the organization,” Kris Buss stated. “We are lucky to be a part of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley family and all it does for the community.”
Ian Buss said it feels nice to be picked out of so many volunteers and be recognized for doing something we truly love.
The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley is committed to educating, motivating and coordinating programs and services in promotion of engaging volunteers in the community.
Karen Daly Smith, chief executive officer with Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley told The Press this was the 24th year having the Breakfast for Champions.
“The Breakfast for Champions is an opportunity for the nonprofits in the Lehigh Valley to recognize their volunteers,” she said. “Awards are done by nomination and we have different judges for each group.”
To learn more about the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley, visit volunteerlv.org.