BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The spirit of volunteerism was applauded in Biloxi Tuesday night.
The city held its 36th Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony, honoring some of the people who help make the city great by helping others.
Fifteen individuals and groups were distinguished in fields ranging from education to health to sports.
This year’s Distinguished Volunteer was Pete Broussard, who gives his time to numerous organizations including the Boy Scouts, St. Vincent dePaul and Knights of Columbus. Broussard also worked with the American Cancer Society, his church’s food pantry and visits the elderly, the sick and shut-ins.
Broussard said it was his parents who instilled the value of volunteering in him. That value was the common thread that bound all the honorees.
“You can change a life with the smallest thing,” said Robin Santana, one of the nominees. “Someone can take your help, whether it’s helping someone to see or building homes or anything that you get out in the community and do. It’s just an infectious kind of thing.”
Santana is volunteering this year for the Ohr-O’Keefe Museums of Art, teaching children how to work with pottery. She said when you make a connection with a kid, it’s special.
“You tingle from head to toe,” she said. “It makes you feel good as a volunteer to be out there just teaching them something new, brightening their day.”
The full list of awards can be found below.
- 1. DISTINGUISHED VOLUNTEER, Pete Broussard
- 2. COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER, Daniel Kazumura
- 3. YOUTH VOLUNTEER, Avery Norwood
- 4. HEALTH VOLUNTEER, Biloxi Healthcare Support, Inc.
- 5. ARTS & HISTORY VOLUNTEER, David Delk
- 6. SPORTS VOLUNTEER, Anthony T. Blackston
- 7. EDUCATION VOLUNTEER, Johnny McKinney
- 8. ADULT GROUP VOLUNTEER, Hard Rock Biloxi’s Culture Club
- 9. YOUTH VOLUNTEER GROUP, St. Patrick High School Robotics Team Tempest
- 10. CITY OF BILOXI EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER, Bill Raymond
- 11. BUSINESS VOLUNTEER, Beau Rivage Resort Employees
- 12. NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, Trilife Foundation Inc.
- 13. MILITARY VOLUNTEER, Michael Padgett
- 14. MILITARY GROUP VOLUNTEER, Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 652_
- 15. SR. CITIZEN VOLUNTEER, Fidel Garza