Volunteer of the Year 2000 Peg and Gary GriffinPresented by Judie Kean
I am very honored tonight to present the GWTC 2000 Volunteer Award. As you all know, many races and events are held throughout the year in Tallahassee. In order for those events to flow smoothly, volunteers make the events a reality. When writing the nomination for this year’s award, I sought to first have a clear definition of a volunteer. “Voluntary” is to “…act of one’s own accord or brought about by one’s own free choice.” Basically, it is simply an act of kindness brought forth through a person’s internal goodness. It appears that people who volunteer usually are the same shinning lights time after time who devote a great amount of time and energy toward making projects work, and bringing something special to many people.
It is hard to mention one name without the other for this year’s GWTC 2000 the volunteer award. Therefore, I believe the award should be shared equally by both people who truly demonstrate the “art” of volunteerism, not just this year, but year after year. Peg and Gary Griffin have donated long hours for many events throughout the years, and have generously given of their many talents.
As a new year begins each January, these two individuals have already been working diligently since the previous June/July in preparation for the Tallahassee Marathon. There is always the ongoing desire of both people to make this event a memorable one for all participants. As part of this desire, new course layouts are always looked upon in order to find the “perfect” course, and new ideas are worked upon in order to enhance the race and give the runners a special feeling of fulfillment and enjoyment.
After the Marathon, perhaps one of the largest fund-raisers in Tallahassee is the “Relay for Life”. I really do not know how long Gary and Peg have been involved in the event, nor do I know the actual amount of money raised over the years, but I do know that the time and effort is a huge undertaking! Of course, work for this event actually began last May, when the event concluded and continues throughout the entire year. There are always those last minute problems that can creep into any event, but both Peg and Gary solve these problems with easy professional care.
I believe that one of the most wonderful ingredients of the volunteerism spirit that both Peg and Gary represent is the ongoing service to their fellow person and community. Gary routinely provides time to chat with all regarding special “new trails”, new “running thoughts” regarding long distance running, or simple gestures of “…gee, wasn’t that a great time by [“name”]. Peg will routinely offer support, and “words of wisdom” ranging from normal running information, to “…no problem, I’ll take care of your dog while you run the race!
I personally had a chance to work with both Peg and Gary while recently working as a race director. They were diligent in providing help from marking the course, working with pre-race registrations, setting up the finish area, and providing the runner database for the event. Thank goodness for their wonderful spirit and kindness!
There is no doubt that there are many stories to tell regarding the gift of volunteerism that Peg and Gary have given over many years. I only offer a small snapshot of their many hours and contributions! It is time to thank you both for your constant ongoing service which has freely been given to this track club, community, and our fellow persons! Congratulations to both Peg and Gary on this award, it is long overdue!