Brunswick Residents Receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

10.30.2017

Dozens turned out Tuesday to celebrate four Brunswick County individuals and groups who received recognition from the Governor’s Office for their volunteer efforts.

William “Buzz” McManus; 4-H Volunteers Benje Jones, Amanda Barnhill, Agnes Taylor and Dawn Britt; and the Fort Johnston-Southport Museum & Visitor’s Center Volunteers all received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. The Members of Mike’s Garage Band received the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award is given each year to individuals and groups in North Carolina that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. The Governor’s Medallion Award is given each year to 20-25 volunteers, selected by a statewide panel.

Buzz McManus volunteers with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, serving as the Volunteer Manager for the BCSO Detention Center, where he is responsible for recruiting, training and scheduling volunteers. He also serves as a Citizens Patrol VOICE Volunteer, is a certified traffic control officer, and serves as the BCSO’s Evidence Technician assisting the Evidence Custodian. In 2016, McManus single-handedly volunteered more than 1,100 hours in these roles.

4-H Club Leaders Benje Jones, Amanda Barnhill, Agnes Taylor and Dawn Britt guide, mentor and advise the youth in their clubs, creating an environment that allows the youth to make decisions about the activities and future of the club. This year, their efforts allowed two new 4-H clubs to form in Brunswick County: one additional club was formed for youth interested in shooting sports, and one additional club was formed specifically for younger members, to help the clubs meet the needs, attention spans and learning speeds of youth at different ages.

The Fort Johnston-Southport Museum & Visitor’s Center Volunteers greet guests at the Museum and Visitor’s Center, provide orientation for visitors, assist with museum exhibits and foster an understanding and appreciation for the rich heritage of Southport. In many instances, Volunteer Coordinator Sharon Venis wrote, the volunteers are the first people visitors meet as they come in to Southport. Venis credited the volunteers’ warmth, enthusiasm, knowledge and love for Southport with helping in large part to make Southport the popular tourist destination it has become.

Mike’s Garage Band, made up of St. James residents Mike Haase, John Staryak, Chuck Krambuhl, Tony DeFilippis, Mike Horgan, Dave Holly, Dave Reed and Katherine Weeks, puts on concerts throughout the year to raise money for Brunswick County organizations. Since the band’s formation in 2012, the group has raised more than $750,000, benefiting Pretty in Pink, Matthew’s Ministry, the Interchurch Fellowship Food Pantry, Southport/Oak Island Kiwanis Club, New Hope Clinic, Communities In Schools, St. James Military Appreciation Day Fund, American Legion Post 543, Operation at Ease, Brunswick Family Assistance, the Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw, and Sea Biscuit Wildlife Rescue, among many others. After a Southport teen was hit and critically injured by a drunk driver during the July Fourth festival, the group held a concert and raised $18,000 to help with the teen’s medical bills. The band takes no money for its expenses, so that all the donations from a concert can go to area non-profits. In nominating the group, community members spoke of the group’s dedication and commitment to Brunswick County and its residents.