The Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association hosted an appreciation luncheon Nov. 13 to thank its volunteers, without whom the not-for-profit center could not be in business, said Dawn Galia, the center's exeuctive director.
"The volunteers are the heart of the organization," she said. "A lot of people don't realize how small our staff is. We have more than 50,000 people a year come through our doors and our staff is two full-time employees and a few part-timers. We couldn't hold the events that we have here without our volunteers."
Christine Kazor, president of the Center Place board of directors, agreed.
"Our volunteers are the heart and soul of what we do here," she said.
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The Center Place Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon drew about 30 of the center's nearly 70 volunteers (see list below). Count among them Marie Wood and JoAnn Shea, who, as they put it, share three grandchildren; Shea's daughter married Wood's son, Albert Noriega.
It was Shea who encouraged Wood to volunteer at Center Place, which she did "just this year" after living in Brandon since 1956.
"Raising five children, having a business of our own, then working after the divorce, I wasn't able to volunteer," Wood said. "There weren't enough hours in the day."
Now there are, Wood said, and she couldn't be more happier with her time spent at Center Place, both making new friends and making a difference in the community.
"It's fun," Wood said. "You have a feeling you don't get when you're employed. You do it out of your heart and not just out of necessity."
Shea said she asked Wood to help out at Center Place because she knew she would fit into the volunteer work ethic there.
"She is dependable," Wood said, "and she's very active and interested."
For information about becoming a volunteer, call Center Place at 813-685-8888. Volunteers are needed, too, at the Pat's Corner gift shop at Center Place.
2012 Center Place Volunteers
Melinda Albritton Agnes Alfieri Marianne Baily Pat Boyle Nancy Brooker Linda Chion Kenney Sherry Cohalla Kathy Colins Tammy Cuscaden Becky Deady Peggy Demarias Doreen Donovan Marjorie Dorman Anne Drewry Terry Fink Diane Gill Marie Gilmore Vinu Goldberg Judy Gran Diana Hagemann Jean Hayhurst Barbara Herig Tammy Holmberg Kathy Johns Dana Johnson Susan Joseph Christine Kazor Nancy Kelley Margaret Krumm Patty Kyle Denise Mack Brigitte Mailahn Kelle March Connie Marshall Sue Mason Kay Moncada Judy Moore Harita Nair Janine Nickerson Erica Noriega Cheryl Oman Lulu Pavlishin Bonnie Phillips Debbie Ploor Robin Satterwhite Susan Saunders Barbara Schwabe Nanci Serrao Alamattie Devi Sharma JoAnn Shea Doris Sidoti Janice Smith Kathleen Spight Anne St. John Carole Stanton Debbie Strach Peggs Stuart Heather Stump-Ochalek Maggie Tagliarini Flora Temoin Roxanne Tobaison Carolyn Toebes Sally Uravich Jennifer Warren Nancy Wimble Marie Wood Pat Worthington Claudia Yake Source: Center Place
The list below is of this year's volunteers at the Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in Brandon. About half of the volunteers showed up for the Center Place Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 13.