This is the fourth installment of the spotlight on the 2019 “With Heart In Hand” volunteer award recipients.

Gettysburg Area Middle School (GAMS) eighth grade civics teachers, Carol Kessel, Alisha Sanders and Katie Thomas, nominated by Emily Knowles-Kellett, received the Adult Group Award. They have worked for years to create conditions where every eighth grade student would have the opportunity to do meaningful service in the community, allowing them to broaden their perspective, connect with their community, and recognize their own potential as difference-makers. Working with the school administration and the advisers of the PRIDE Character Education program, these teachers set the wheels in motion in 2015 to create the “PRIDE in Action” civic engagement program. Using the service-learning model of ‘preparation, action and reflection” the Civics teachers have opened doors for their students for strengthened connections with learning, socio-emotional development, and networks of support. The teachers worked during their break-time, after-school time, weekends, and summer vacation with school administrators and community partners to develop practices, policies, and expand relationships with nonprofits. Their cumulative out-of-workday hours on behalf of service-learning program is more than 100 hours. GAMS has benefited in many ways from the combined efforts of the teachers. The school has expanded and strengthened its relationships with community nonprofits. Teachers in other subject areas have become more familiar with service-learning as a teaching tool. Thanks to the dedication of the Carol, Alisha and Katie, the students are more aware of community needs, the nonprofits that address them, and ways they can help.

Ski Liberty Ski Patrol, nominated by Kathy A. Megyeri, also received the Adult Group Award. The Patrol is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization with 120 members serving the skiing and riding public. Their primary objectives are to promote safe skiing and riding and to give emergency care to injured skiers/riders. The Liberty Ski Patrol is affiliated with the National Ski Patrol System (NSPS) which is comprised of over 27,000 members and serves over 600 ski areas within the United States and around the world. The Patrol members do more than just serve Ski Liberty Resort. These 120 members often serve as vital members of first responders and adjuncts to the fire department of Carroll Valley. On more than one occasion, members have provided necessary first aid to residents, visitors, and tourists in our area. For example, when two patrollers were coming on duty two years ago, at the intersection of Route 116 and Sanders Road, a speeding motorist crossed the road and hit a motorcyclist and his passenger broadside. The patrollers immediately left their cars and administered first aid to both the cyclist and his passenger, whereby 9-1-1 was called and a helicopter transported both the hospital. Thanks to the patrollers’ quick action, permanent health issues were not a result. Each year the patrol volunteers must participate in training and be certified to keep their skills are up to date. Training includes outdoor emergency care, mountain operations, lift evacuation, ski skills and toboggan training. Ski Liberty visitors and Carroll Valley residents are fortunate to have these dedicated men and women volunteering their time and expertise to ensure the safety and health of the skiers and the public.

Stay tuned for next installment of the 2019 With Heart In Hand Spotlight. Great things happen when we Live United.

Vickie Corbett is the executive director of United Way of Adams County.

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