2011 Frances Young Unsung Community Heroes named
Sept. 30, 2011
Contact: Community Heroes Committee Chairman John Sentz,
(480) 545-5529, firstname.lastname@example.org
2011 Frances Young Unsung Community Heroes named
Three citizens whose deeds have benefited Scottsdale through volunteerism, random acts of kindness and mentoring have been named the 2011 Frances Young Unsung Community Heroes.
The award is named for Frances Young. For nearly a half century she mentored advised, assisted and championed numerous local organizations and causes — simply for the good of the community. Frances summed up her life by saying, "I’ve gained far more than I ever gave. That’s what I want everyone to know." Frances died in 2009 in her late 80s.
The honorees are:
Marguerite “Pam” Berges
Fifty years . . . five decades . . . a half century -- that’s how long Community Hero Marguerite “Pam” Berges has been volunteering at Scottsdale Healthcare as part of the hospital’s Auxiliary volunteer program. Pam has been there since the program’s 1961 founding, when she was just one of 25 charter members. Today, the program has grown to more than 1,400 active volunteers. Pam has served at the Osborn campus every Saturday for 50 years, donating 7,765 hours over the years helping patients, families and visitors. She has greeted all with her warm smile and her compassionate heart. Thanks to people like Pam, the Auxiliary enjoys plenty of accomplishments in which to be proud – people volunteering more than 5 million hours and providing more than $5 million in financial gifts and service since its founding. Because of health issues, Pam has recently had to resign her weekly shift. The hospital staff, patients and visitors are grateful for her years – and we mean years – of service. Her nominator has this to say, “Pam is a community heroine because of her steadfast example of sharing her compassionate heart with those in need without fanfare. We are humbled by this example and honored that she is a founding member of our Scottsdale Healthcare family.”
It started with a few crazy “chicks” who met through casual volunteering and ended up forming lasting friendships. One of those chicks, Amy Davison, saw the endless possibilities . . . and the endless community needs. So in 2003, Amy hatched Charity Chicks with a simple mission – getting a bunch of women who care together to “share the joy of giving.” Thanks to Amy’s leadership and inspiring enthusiasm, Charity Chicks takes on many “egg-ceptional” forms: participating in hands-on difference-making projects, donating dollars or in-kind items and networking with others to help make a bigger difference with shared resources. During the past 10 years, Amy’s “Chicks” have been involved with several organizations and activities that make a positive impact in the lives of others, including “Make a Difference,” Rotary eClub, Habitat for Humanity and the Cox Heights Neighborhood committee. In 2005, Charity Chicks raised more than $10,000 by hosting a golf tournament, poker night, garage sales, selling “Think Pink” bracelets and participating in the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk. Amy supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training by participating in a triathlon. She also mentored a team of first-time marathoners that raised more than $40,000. Charity Chicks has held fundraising events such as marathons, reading with kids at shelters, washing dogs, organizing a night glow golf tournament and a comedy show. “Amy’s tireless commitment helping others is contagious. You just can’t help but want to get involved!” says her nominator.
Matt Mays has volunteered his time for Scottsdale’s special needs community for six years. While a recreation leader and volunteer coordinator working with the developmentally disabled, he continues that job on his own time. For the past two years, Matt has energetically served as a volunteer coach and scene designer for Detour! Company Theater, a business that makes theater accessible to actors of all abilities. He’s painted guitars for the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Guitarmania auction and for the past five years, he has helped with Scottsdale Stars’ auction and fundraisers. Although he works for Arizona Special Olympics as part of his paying job, he also volunteers many additional hours. Matt’s volunteering benefits Scottsdale by helping people with special needs achieve inclusion in the community. When the public sees them at work, it breaks down the barrier between those with disabilities and the community at-large. Matt’s determination to change the public’s attitude about this population of people is relentless. Acceptance enables those with differences to gel with the community and build self-worth. “Matt is a Community Hero because he is selfless in his attempts to better the community in which he lives and works,” says his nominator.
“Through this program, we honor people who think of others before themselves,” said Mayor Jim Lane. “They are Scottsdale's Frances Young Unsung Community Heroes -- citizens who recognize they have a responsibility to their community . . . and take that job very seriously. They possess a selfless dedication to the betterment of others and the betterment of our community. We congratulate them!”
The city of Scottsdale, General Dynamics, Southwest Ambulance and Scottsdale Healthcare sponsor the program, along with partners Encore Creative, Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS, Scottsdale Leadership, Inc. and the Scottsdale Unified School District.