There’s something refreshing about a luncheon that is a) free and b) features attendees who are genuinely surprised to meet so many photographers who want a photo of them.
That’s exactly the type of humble individuals who attended the Goodwill Manasota Ambassador Recognition Luncheon on April 28 at Michael’s On East.
After some mingling, attendees took their seats for an opening address by Veronica Brandon Miller, Goodwill Manasota’s vice president of foundation.
“You are in for a treat,” says Brandon Miller. “We get to recognize 50 people in 12 minutes — Just kidding. We do encourage those that are receiving an award to bask in the glory only after you sprint on stage in light speed.”
Goodwill staff kept it fun as they recognized the top ambassadors from the various Sarasota and Bradenton locations. The first awards given out were various levels of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, signed by past President Barack Obama.
Recipients — including both individuals and companies/organizations — included:
Bronze Presidential Volunteer Service Award: Adams & Reese; Silver Presidential Volunteer Service Award: Fred Lopez; Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award: Children’s World, Mary LeMay and Ben Knisley.
Three Youth Ambassadors also received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, including Brianna Moss, Drew Taylor and Faith Holliday, and the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Jo Rita Stevens.
Stella McDaniel was awarded Volunteer of the Year.
Other honorees included Lisa and Stanley Eding, Julie and MarcAnthoy Roman, Canada Med Services, Sandy Conrad, Thomas Wiltsie, Jennifer Matteo, Rosenda Calloway, Jane Nutter Johnson, Joann Fabec, Margi Dawson, Karen Cadou, Janet Arena, Jacqueline Moore, Lisa Berger, Fawley Bryant Architecture, Nick Altier, Peter Crowley, Meals on Wheels Plus, Dr. Richard Wharton, Dr. Lou Bertha Wharton,Joseph Wharton, Laurel Corriveau, Trish McConnell, Cindy Christo Brown and Stella McDaniel.