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Airway Heights Corrections Center Celebrates Volunteers

June 16, 2016

By Ann Wise

Department of Corrections

group of 9 people posing

“Volunteer of the Year” Elroy McDermott (left-center) enjoys a meal of pizza with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at AHCC. (Tim Kelly , DOC Communications) See photo gallery...

AIRWAY HEIGHTS - Seventy volunteers were recognized at Airway Heights Corrections Center, AHCC at an appreciation event May 19 for their hard work and dedication over the past year.

Volunteers at AHCC logged nearly 8,500 hours of service in 2015, according to facility Superintendent James Key. Volunteers help provide religious and non-religious programs as well as assist with sustainability programs. They also participate in several family programs such as the Book and Craft Fair, Day with Dad and the holiday visit with Santa. Prison officials say approximately 200 people volunteered at AHCC last year

Volunteers and their guests were treated to a meal of pizza and a presentation of awards and prizes.

Presenters included Key as well as Associate Superintendents Kay Heinrich and Bill McDonell, Correctional Program Managers Mike Klemke and Terry Propeck, Recreation and Athletics Specialist Kraig Witt, Office Assistant Alicia Hull, Chaplain Joseph Luce. Belinda Stewart, Correctional Programs Administrator at the Department of Corrections (DOC) Headquarters spoke at the event about the impact volunteers have on offenders and how crucial volunteer service is in fulfilling the department’s mission and vision of improving public safety by working together for safe communities.

Chaplain Luce announced Elroy McDermott as the 2015 volunteer of the year award recipient. McDermott is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. McDermott has provided religious studies and guidance to AHCC offenders for 20 years. Ann Wise, AHCC Community Partnership Coordinator, recognized Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as Volunteer Groups of the Year for the work their programs do to change the lives and behavior of offenders. Key presented these awards to the volunteer recipients.

Two offenders also attended the ceremony and presented heartfelt speeches on the value and impact volunteers have had on their lives.

The event closed with the annual raffle, with many prizes generating cheers as the winning tickets were called. Feedback from volunteers was very positive. One noted, “It is a fun event that I look forward to each year.”

Several volunteers added that hearing directly from the offenders about their gratitude for the programs volunteers facilitate is the reason they continue volunteering.

The success of this program was due to the support and assistance of many people including custody and non-custody staff and administration. Funding for the event was provided by Superintendent James Key.

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