Dare County Master Gardener Milestone Awards
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The Dare County Master Gardeners celebrated their milestone awards with a delicious dinner at the beautiful Pier House in Kitty Hawk. It was a special evening to celebrate and recognize our volunteers who work so hard throughout the year serving the Outer Banks.
The Milestone Awards were presented as follows.
With 250 hours of volunteer service: Melodie Badger, Crystal Hall, Tony Ippolito, Marc LeBlanc, Harvey Murray, Lynn Murray, Mary Robertson, and Sara Zimmerman.
With 500 hours of volunteer service: Mike Digrassie, Dona Fiedler, Patricia Fields, Wayne Krout, Louise Norko, and Gail Reynolds.
With 1,000 hours of volunteer service: James Braun, Mary Lou Digrassie, Ruth Engdahl, Bill Ghirardi, and Jo Voigt.
With 2,000 hours of volunteer service: Bob Holloway and Karen Schindel.
With 4,000 hours of volunteer service: Barbara Koeblin and Kaye Lyerly.
With 6,000 hours of volunteer service: Chris Stadther. Chris chairs the Speakers Bureau and plays an integral role in bringing the Library Garden Series to the Kill Devil Hills library as well as facilitating other speaking engagements throughout the county. Chris is extremely knowledgeable regarding the conditions, challenges and unique environment of the Outer Banks and she presents valuable research-based information on how to navigate those issues and adapt to them. We are grateful for Chris’s dedication and service.
With 5 years of service: Melodie Badger and Wayne Krout.
With 10 years of service: James Braun, Bill Ghirardi, and Robert Hopkins.
With 20 years of service: Kaye Lyerly, Valerie Morell, Dave Schindel, and Karen Schindel.
Julia Morris was awarded Emeritus Status for her years as a Master Gardener. We are thankful for Julia’s time and service to our group.
Our Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer award recipient for 2023 is Louise Norko. Louise leads the Community Outreach Committee and manages numerous events that serve our community such as Kids Fest, Artrageous, Dowdy Park Family Fun Night, the Dare County Parks and Recreation kids garden club scavenger hunt, and the Art & Science of Garden Journaling. Louise is skilled at communication and organizing schedules, ensuring effective participation. Under Louise’s direction this year, the Outreach team grew exponentially, both in volunteer participation and in the number of events the Dare Master Gardeners participated in. Many thanks to Louise for her time and dedication.
The Volunteer of the year award recipient for 2023 is Linda Foster. Linda is the President of the Dare Master Garden Volunteer Association and is a great role model for serving others. She is always present at events, ensuring everything runs smoothly and making everyone feel welcome. She even organized over 60 volunteers for the Coastal Gardening Festival. As the President of the Board of Directors, she oversees committees and the budget and presides over meetings. Linda has been a Master Gardener for many years and is always involved in current activities. Linda has put numerous hours into being President. She is a friendly professional who leads by example, encouraging others to become Master Gardener volunteers. We appreciate Linda and her hard work and time.