8 Central Florida Individual and Volunteer Groups You Need To Know About

United Way’s Inaugural Community Volunteer Excellence Awards Produces 8 Winners

With the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell serving as emcee, and the Sak Comedy Lab performers providing the entertainment, it was a great night for nominees and winners alike at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Enthusiastic supporters packed the house and responded with lots of applause and cheers for every name called out. United Way received 59 nominations for seven categories, but ended up with eight winners as one category was simply too close to call.

The winners are as follows:

Outstanding Corporate Group

Wells Fargo


John Pisan (center) accepts the award for Wells Fargo from Scott Maxwell (left) and John Moskos (Bank of America and United Way Board Chair)


Outstanding Faith/ Student/Civic Group

Crosspointe Church Winter Park Serve the City Outreach

Accepted by Brian Sullivan


Outstanding Professional Volunteer

Mary Carroll- Hope CommUnity Center

Mary Carroll shakes hands with award presenter John Moskos


Outstanding Youth Volunteer

Camilla Omar-Seminole County Public Library-East Branch


Camilla Omar and Heart of Florida United Way President Robert H. Brown

Outstanding National Service

Charles Pafites


78-year old RSVP volunteer Charles Pafites with Scott Maxwell and John Moskos


Our Outstanding Volunteer Manager

 Lynn Devanie- Hope CommUnity Center


Lynn Devanie walks to the stage to accept her award.

Above and Beyond (group)

 Disney Robotics


The Disney Robotics Group

Above & Beyond (individual)

Valerie Greene- Bcenter


Scott Maxwell escorts Valerie Greene to accept her award.


Here’s the thumbnail sketch of what made these groups and individuals winners.  Wells Fargo has made a significant financial and volunteer commitment to City Year Orlando, which is being credited for having a direct impact on student outcomes at Judson B. Walker Middle School. Crosspointe Church was honored for its phenomenal mentoring at the Beta Center. Mary Carroll is known as a fixture at Hope CommUnity Center and has performed nearly every job available there.  Camilla Omar‘s commitment to reading has helped to provide programs to hundreds of Seminole county kids. Last year alone, Charles Pafites performed 865 volunteer hours on the overnight shift at ORMC. Lynn Devanie doubled the number of Hope CommUnity Center volunteers to 500. Disney Robotics is mentoring and inspiring kids, particularly girls, to develop an interest in STEM careers. And stroke survivor Valerie Greene has spent 19 years volunteering as a stroke coach and advocate.



We’d also like to offer a special thanks to our judging panel:

Philip Harris

Florida Association for Volunteer

Resource Management

Dr. Gretchen Kerr

Northland Church

MaryAnn Russell

Council of Volunteer Management of Central Florida

Shelby Olson

Volunteer UCF

Marie Simmons

Publix SuperMarkets




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