In announcing the award, Faye Stone of the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service said, “With so many deserving volunteers in competition for this award, the process for selecting the top 20 volunteers in the state was challenging.” Selection is based on the nominee’s volunteer efforts, accomplishments, and impact in the community, and reflects a meaningful commitment of time and service.
Saylor began the Park and Recreation volunteer effort in 2004 with just 100 residents who were willing to pick up trash in local parks. The volunteer program has now grown to more than 16,000 people doing work ranging from planting flowers to serving at special Park and Rec events to being recreation center ambassadors. The volunteer work is meant to supplement the efforts of full-time Park and Recreation employees. Volunteers spent 100,000 hours doing County projects. That time is valued at over $2 million according to the Points of Light Foundation. The newest programs are:
• Rec Buddies: Support Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department staff in providing quality recreation and leisure services to the community including afterschool programs, grounds maintenance and special events.
• Park Partners: Support staff with the implementation of a broad range of beautification and maintenance projects in our Parks and Greenways.
• Park Ambassadors: Volunteers in this position act as a department’s ambassador to the patrons in the parks and on our greenways providing the highest level of customer service to park patrons.
“With the significant budget and staff reductions Park and Recreation is facing this year, our volunteers are more important than ever,” says Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges. “Lori has brought our volunteer program to a level that is the envy of other park and recreation organizations around the country.”
Saylor will receive her honor at the Governor’s Mansion on November 16.