October 14, 2020

County Honors Top Volunteers Through Montgomery Serves Awards

The 2020 Montgomery Serves Awards, Montgomery County’s highest honor for service and volunteerism, were announced this week in a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The ceremonies can be viewed at bit.ly/Watch2020MSA.

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center organizes the prestigious annual awards in partnership with the Fund for Montgomery. Andrea Roane, the retired long-time local news anchor, has served as the event’s master of ceremonies in its traditional format for many years and hosted the 2020 virtual presentation.

This year’s awardees were recognized in the following categories:

Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Awards honor community leaders, change agents and role models who have made extraordinary contributions to Montgomery County over the course of their lives. The awards were presented by County Executive Marc Elrich to:
  • Winston Anderson of Silver Spring. His work as a scientist, activist and as founder of the Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery has played a vital role in expanding cross-cultural communication and diversity in education, historical expression, the arts and the humanities.
  • Jenny Sue Dunner of Chevy Chase. She has championed the causes of neighborhood communities, built relationships between government entities and the residents they serve and led bipartisan efforts designed to improve the representation of County residents
  • Anita Neal Powell of Rockville. The founding president and CEO of the Lincoln Park Historical Foundation and the Leroy E. Neal African American Research Center has helped preserve and share the rich cultural heritage of Montgomery County’s historically Black communities and other areas in the State
Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards, honoring lifetime volunteer service by those age 60 and up, went to:
  • Robert Marques of Germantown. A dedicated volunteer with the Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Team and the Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Department, he has served on the CERT Go-Team, performed community outreach, instructed classes and worked with teens.
  • Wolfgang Mergner of Takoma Park. A long-time community activist developed the “Village of Takoma Park,” an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide an array of intergenerational support services to seniors and persons with disabilities who wish to live actively in the community.
Volunteer of the Year Awards, recognizing outstanding volunteer service performed during the previous calendar year in four categories, went to:
  • Volunteer of the Year John Frizzell of Rockville. President of Rockville Meals on Wheels, he volunteered more than 1,000 hours to the organization in 2019, providing the leadership skills, technical know-how and dedication needed to achieve its mission of providing meals to Rockville community members in need.
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year Nick Casertano of Gaithersburg. A junior at St. Anselm’s Abbey School in Washington, D.C., he developed and led an outreach program for the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, giving children an opportunity to use their imaginations while building STEM creations.
  • Volunteer Group of the Year Montgomery County Students for Change. Its 15 chapters at public and private high schools throughout the County provide an opportunity for students to tackle some of the most challenging issues of their generation. Those issues include gun violence prevention, climate reform, diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Business Volunteer of the Year GEICO. Based in Chevy Chase, its partnership with Shepherd’s Table—a Silver Spring nonprofit that serves those experiencing homelessness and other residents in need—includes reliable monthly meal services, passionate volunteer support for events and pro bono assistance with special projects.
More about the awards and the Volunteer Center—which helps individuals and groups find volunteer opportunities year-round, including now, can be found at www.montgomeryserves.org.