Parks + Rec celebrates its volunteers with Annual Banquet

Published on April 19, 2024


Jackson County Parks + Rec celebrated its more than 500 volunteers during the Annual Volunteer Banquet April 18, at the Adams Pointe Conference Center.

During the Beach Party themed event, ten awards were presented to very deserving recipients.

While welcoming guests, Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman said, “Like the ocean waves, you ebb and flow. You expertly navigate the waters and bring the essentials to turn what could be an empty beach into a fun and engaging experience for our park patrons.”

“By donating your time and talent, you, our Partners, and Volunteers, consistently turned Jackson County Parks + Rec into ‘The Place to Be’ through 2023 for more than 1.5 million visitors! So, tonight, we pay tribute and express our great appreciation to all of you who made an indelible footprint in the sand this past year. This evening is an opportunity for us to personally thank you and to tell you just how much you mean to us. Because of your un“WAVE”ring enthusiasm, and sincere desire to engage our visitors through historic interpretation, park and trail improvements, special recreation, golf, special events and outdoor education, Jackson County Parks + Rec is truly the party that no one wants to miss!”

“Your contribution is deeper than the ocean. On behalf of the entire Department, we are so incredibly grateful for your gift of giving back. Thanks to you, Jackson County Parks + Rec is Paradise Found,” she said.

According to County Executive Frank White, Jr., volunteers put in more than 35,000 hours during 2023 and saved the county more than a half-million dollars.

“That means that each of you not only helped your Jackson County Government to be more efficient, but you also brought incredible joy to so many people who love their parks,” he said. “We are proud to serve 1.5 million visitors each year offering an amazing variety of attractions and events. To do that, we need you, our incredible volunteers. Thank you for playing such an important role in serving the residents of Jackson County.”

Award Winners:

  • Trish Brown – Missouri Town Volunteer Award
  • Eve Brackenbury – Fort Osage Volunteer Award
  • Bea Webb – Special Population Volunteer Award
  • Brad Holmes – Golf Course Volunteer Award
  • Garrett Studer and Kenneth Pfaff – Operations Youth Volunteer Award
  • Jim Hinds – Outdoor Education Volunteer Award
  • Sierra Club – Natural Resources Volunteer Award
  • U.S. Army Captain Philip Wuerdeman – Ranger Division Volunteer Award
  • 1139th Military Police Company, Mo. National Guard – Partner Award
  • Monica’s School of Dance – Showcase Award

Become a Jackson County Parks + Rec Volunteer

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