Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2015

Contact Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or (cell) 402-450-7318, or russ.reno@nebraska.gov; Anita Haumont, Volunteer Coordinator & Recreational Specialist, (office) 402-759-3164

YRTC-G Recognizes Volunteers for Years of Service

Geneva – Twenty-five volunteers and 11 organizations were recently honored for contributing more than 2,000 hours of their time in 2014 to the youth at the Geneva Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center.

“While we are justifiably proud of the work of staff in meeting the needs of our youth, the contributions of the community and the many volunteers are invaluable to our success,” said Facility Administrator Dan Scarborough. “We rely on our volunteers to provide the community connections that help to establish the link that our youth will carry with them long after they have left our care.”

Volunteer Coordinator Anita Haumont said in acknowledging the volunteers’ 2,027 hours of commitment the past year to the youth, “You all have the potential to turn a life around. Thank you for helping the young people at YRTC through their daily struggles and time of uncertainty.

“Over the years, one thing I can attest to is consistently hearing, time and time again, how meaningful your involvement is and the deep appreciation for all that you do,” she said. “I have been told by these young people how it holds extra meaning that you choose to do this and expect nothing in return. This is a hard concept for many to grasp.”

Among those honored were five volunteers who reached five years of service in such areas as chapel services, substitute teaching, religious counseling, mentoring, and equine program. Other recipients included Mary Ann Najmon who has assisted with Catholic services for 43 years, Frank Heinisch and Sharon Kennel who have served for 34 and 33 years respectively, both on the Community Advisory Board and Chapel Board. Three others have volunteered for 29-31 years, four for 15 years or more, and another four for 10 years or more.

Also recognized were volunteers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska-Kearney in the Student Mentor Program and Big Brother’s/Big Sister’s Program.

Others who contributed during 2014 included Christian Heritage, Lancaster County Transitional Specialists, Federated Women’s Club, Church Women United of Omaha, City Union Ushers Ministry, Ricky Simmons of Simmons & Associates, Heritage Crossings, Rialto II Theatre, and Geneva United Methodist Church.

“You are making a difference in the lives of our youth,” Haumont told the 90 people in attendance. “You never know when a mere smile, kind words, a little praise or simply listening can turn someone’s life around, and we have seen it happen here. Thank you for the contribution of your time to these youth.”

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A high-resolution (5MG) photograph of volunteers who were recognized is available athttp://dhhs.ne.gov/PublishingImages/YRTCGVolunteerAwards.JPG

The caption for the photo:  Among those recognized for years of volunteer service to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva were (left) Ruth Erb, Frank Heinisch, Sharon Kennel, Donna Best, Sharon Jacobs, Jack Jacobs and Will Swartzendruber. Second row (left) Jacki Wilkins, YRTC volunteer coordinator Anita Haumont, Mina Nutter, Pat Vauck, Breanna Johnson and Holly Ahmann.