University City

Meck, Union volunteers honored

Three Charlotte-area people have been awarded the Governor’s Medallion Award, the highest level of recognition for volunteers in North Carolina.

They were among dozens of people recognized this week during the state’s observance of National Volunteer Week.

Mecklenburg County’s Colin Pinkney, a volunteer with Communities in Schools at Olympic High School, received the Governor’s Medallion, along with Teresa and Jeff Weis of Union County. They help with United Family Services as rape crisis companions.

Pinkney formed the Young Male Book Club in 2009 at Olympic, as a way of helping encourage minority at-risk male students to stay in school. Members read books with inspirational themes. Pinkney’s club has a 100 percent graduation rate for seniors.

Teresa and Jeff Weis staff the 24-hour rape crisis hotline in Union County and help victims and family members at the hospital.

The N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service also has honored a number of other people with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

Honored from Mecklenburg County:

Liz Batsche ... serves as a volunteer with Hospitality House of Charlotte, as Young Professionals group developer, marketing/fundraiser committee member, and volunteer baker.

Ed Terry ... a volunteer with Crisis Assistance Ministry, who has helped a number of people avoid eviction and utility disconnection at their residences.

Elevation Church ... this Matthews-based church’s members have been active with Crisis Assistance Ministry, preparing and serving meals and supporting the furniture bank warehouse.

Bank of America ... A team of volunteers contributed more than 3,000 hours to the Charlotte community in a six-month period last year, including 1,153.5 hours at Classroom Central. They also spent nearly 1,000 hours helping with the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Honored from Union County:

The Fagala family ... John, Jill, Kelli, Micah and Caroline Fagala volunteer with the Union County Community Shelter and conducted two major fund raising events. Kelli, a sixth-grader, played a key role in those two events.

Destiny Sarno ... a volunteer with the American Red Cross chapter in Union County. At age 11, she has worked with the Heroes annual campaign and speaks to other young people, educating them on the role of the Red Cross.