Volunteer of the Year Awards
Volunteers are the cornerstone of our organization and are vital to raising awareness in the communities in which they live and work. Each year, the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) honors individuals for their commitment to outstanding volunteerism and making a difference for families living with Lewy body dementia. The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes one outstanding volunteer for their valuable and selfless commitment to innovation, dedication, contribution to the building of LBD awareness, and enhancement of the efficiency of the LBDA.
We need your help! Nominate someone you admire for their service to LBDA’s mission and help us recognize the efforts of hardworking individuals who stand out as an example of exceptional dedication to the countless LBD families we serve!
Eligibility and Nomination Details
- Write a brief narrative describing the efforts and contributions of the nominee
- The nominee must have participated in at least one LBDA volunteer activity in that calendar year
- The nominee must be 18 years or older
- Previous award winners are not eligible.
- Nominate someone (maybe yourself!)
- The Volunteer of the Year will be chosen by LBDA’s Board of Directors in December each year.
- Upon acceptance of the award, recipient will receive an award and public recognition through the Lewy Body Dementia Association’s Web site. Stories will also be shared publicly and may be used in future newsletters and outgoing media including press releases and e-mail communications.
- Nominee has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the building of LBD awareness
- Nominee exemplifies an ethic of selfless commitment to innovation
- Nominee has helped improve efficiency of the LBDA
Past Award Recipients
Lewy Body Dementia Association’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year is Joy Walker. Joy is a writer, hospice worker and bereavement counselor and worked as a professional care-manager for her father. In 2011, she published a memoir both about being her Father's live-in caregiver and about her experiences cleaning out the family home, filled with 40 years of living, memories, and hoarded material!
She maintains a popular blog, about caregiving, end of life issues, Lewy Body Dementia, and living with a chronic illness. It was voted one of Healthline.com's 25 Most Popular Dementia/Caregiving Blogs of 2012 and 2013, and was a finalist in SeniorHomes.com’s Best Individual Health Blogs of 2013. She has also guest blogged for http://www.practicalalzheimer's.com/, a popular UK dementia website and Autumn Grove, a Texas-based memory care facility, and will be a regular guest-blogger for MySilverAge.com in the coming year.
She is passionate about the stress and struggle of being a caregiver and finding ways in which caregivers can be better supported. To that end she facilitates two LBD support groups and volunteers as a Lewy Buddy, LBDA’s telephone support volunteer. She also volunteers as a Bereavement counselor for Providence hospice of Seattle and helps co-facilitate several Grief Support groups. Joy is currently finishing her second book, a collection of memoir essays and advice for caregivers and is extremely excited and honored to be chosen as LBDA Volunteer of the Year!
The 2012 Volunteer of the Year is Jason M. Rubin of Boston, Mass. Jason, a successful writer and novelist, wrote a touching blog post about his mother’s illness on the tenth anniversary of her death from Lewy body dementia (LBD), which caught the attention of staff at the Lewy Body Dementia Association. He was soon invited to share his LBD story on LBDA’s website, and he began to volunteer with the organization.
For the past three years, Jason has donated his time and writing talents to LBDA. He served on LBDA’s Communications task force and provided the organization with much needed copywriting for brochures and fundraising pieces. Last year, Jason helped to organize a trio recital as part of a highly successful fundraising event. He has also added to LBDA’s volunteer brigade by recruiting a friend and colleague to assist LBDA with design services for print materials.
An award-winning copywriter with 27 years of professional writing experience, Jason has been a senior writer at Libretto Inc. in Boston since September 2000. Jason recently published his first novel, The Grave and the Gay. Thank you, Jason, for your continued service to LBDA!
The 2011 Volunteer of the Year goes to Norma Loeb, whose service to others is more than just a volunteer activity — it's a way of life. Loeb was selected as the recipient of the 2011 LBDA Volunteer of the Year Award. She is one of seven nominees recognized for her outstanding commitment to serving LBD families throughout the year. Throughout her five years of volunteer service with LBDA, Norma’s capacity to help others has gone above and beyond the call of duty. She is recognized for her participation as an LBD support group facilitator for two groups in the New York City metro area. In addition to her work as a support group facilitator, Norma serves as a key resource for advancing LBDA’s visibility in the media through her professional network and savvy media expertise. Norma has been instrumental in coordinating volunteers as LBD families and caregivers organized to promote LBD Awareness Month on major television networks such as CBS and NBC.
Norma’s spirit of compassion is a light of hope for many LBD families. Her dedication to improving the lives of those affected by LBD is infectious, as new volunteers are drawn to our organization after working with Norma. On behalf of LBDA and all of the families we serve, we extend our warmest appreciation to Norma Loeb for her tireless commitment to support and advancing LBD awareness. We look forward to her continued engagement in our mission. Thank you, Norma!
LBDA is pleased to recognize Irene Selak as the 2010 Volunteer of the Year. This achievement will come as no surprise to many members of LBDA’s discussion forums, where Irene serves as moderator. In addition to her work welcoming new members of the online LBD community, she serves as a primary contact for telephonic and electronic support on LBDA’s Caregiver Helpline. She first came to LBDA through an LBD support group while serving as a caregiver for husband, Jim. As she became an active participant in the LBDA forums, her natural desire to help others became evident through the information and resources she providing to other forum users. Read more about Irene’s volunteer service here . Thank you, Irene, for your stellar example of Sharing Experience!
The LBDA congratulates Ms. Ronnie Genser who has been awarded the 2009 LBDA Volunteer of the Year award. Ms. Genser’s tireless efforts have helped so many families throughout the United States and Canada. Ms. Genser volunteers as the Lewy Body Dementia Association’s Support Group Coordinator for LBDA’s national support group network. Through her leadership and expertise, the network has grown from just six support groups to 68 support groups which are now in 26 states as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. Read more about Ms. Genser and her work with the LBDA here.Thank you, Ronnie!
LBDA is proud to name Victoria Ruff as our 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Victoria hails from Boston, MA, where she cared for her mother who passed away from LBD. She joined LBDA in 2006 and currently sits on the Outreach Committee. She has made the LBDA Chat Room a valuable resource for caregivers and others affected by LBD to meet online in real-time. Victoria leads an LBD support group and has helped to bring information and resources on Lewy body dementias to local facilities. Most recently, Victoria designed and led a project which reached out to hundreds of doctors and facilities across the United States, inviting physicians to self-report to LBDA if they treat Lewy body dementias. Thank you, Victoria, for your outstanding work!
Helen Whitworth from Mesa, Arizona is the LBDA Volunteer of the Year for 2007. Helen joined LBDA in 2005 when she began exhibiting at medical conferences. In 2006, she took over writing volunteer job descriptions, supervising new volunteer applications, and developed a new volunteer orientation process. Under her supervision our volunteer ranks have nearly doubled and we are now more effectively engaging volunteers in our mission across the country. Helen continues to exhibit at medical conferences to help spread the word about LBD to physicians, and is currently the Outreach and Education Committee Chair. Thank you, Helen, for all that you do!
2006 Volunteer of the Year Carol Caughran from Tamarac (Ft. Lauderdale), Florida is the 2006 LBDA volunteer of the year. In September 2005 Carol started the first LBD monthly support group in the US, and in January 2006 held a LBD caregiver's symposium in Coral Springs, FL. The symposium included two professional speakers and a caregiver panel. Carol arranged for the event to be filmed and it is now an excellent resource for professional and home caregivers (available on DVD and VHS). Thank you, Carol!
Gourete Broderick from Toronto, Ontario, Canada was selected as the first LBDA volunteer of the year for her dedication to raising awareness of LBD throughout Canada, the US and beyond. Gourete (a.k.a. "Courage") conducted an international e-mail campaign to professionals and has mailed LBD brochures to hundreds of organizations throughout Canada. Thank you, Gourete!