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United Way honors volunteers

United Way for Jackson and George Counties recently held its 23rd Annual Volunteers Are Important People (VIP) Award Luncheon at LaFont Inn in Pascagoula. During the event, Harry McDonald was named the 2010 United Way Humanitarian award winner.

McDonald, a dedicated Boy Scouts volunteer and Scoutmaster of Troop 220 in Moss Point, devoted more than 400,000 hours in community service projects at Camp Tiak during his career of working with the scouts. He is the recipient of the Silver Beaver award, Pine Burr award, Scoutmaster of the Year award and a member of the Order of the Arrow. Under McDonald’s leadership, nearly 80 young men have become Eagle Scouts. McDonald was speechless when announced as the 2010 United Way Humanitarian award recipient – the highest honor bestowed on an individual by United Way’s board of directors.

Debbie Braudis was named Female Volunteer of the Year. Braudis is a volunteer with Jackson County CASA and devoted over 1,500 hours of volunteer service to children involved with CASA and mentoring new CASA volunteers in 2009. She was nominated by Jackson County CASA.

Wayne McMahon was named Male Volunteer of the Year. McMahon is a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club in Gautier, Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Gautier High School and the Baptist Student Union at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He was nominated by Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth for Christ.

Timothy Wilson was named Youth Volunteer of the Year. Wilson is a volunteer at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab, working at Ocean Springs Middle School’s Outdoor Nature Center and the Sandhill Crane Refuge. Wilson also volunteers his time to help his fellow scouts with their Eagle Scout projects.  Wilson’s Scoutmaster, Carl “Boo” Galle described him as, “a hard-working, trustworthy young man who is always ready to help when needed.” The USM Gulf Coast Research Lab and Galle co-nominated Wilson for the award.

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