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Diakonia’s second annual Help and Hope Awards Celebration

(Nov. 7, 2014) Diakonia hosted its second annual Help and Hope Awards Celebration, Friday, Oct. 24, at The Restaurant at Lighthouse Sound to raise money for the organization and to honor its volunteers.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the help of our volunteers,” said Special Events Chair Debbi Anderson.

The evening consisted of a cocktail party and silent auction. About 130 guests attended and more than $15,000 was raised for Diakonia, a residence in West Ocean City, which provides emergency and transitional housing, food services, counseling and assistance to its guests.

During the event, two awards were presented to those who contribute their time and services to Diakonia.

“Each year we select individuals who volunteer and they receive the Help Award,” Anderson said.

This year, the Help Award was presented to two couples, Rita and Buzz Taylor and Sandra and Bill Venable.

“It’s certainly an honor,” Rita Taylor said. “Anything we do for Diakonia we do it from our heart.”

“They have done everything [from] volunteering [in] the thrift shop to special events,” Anderson said.

“I am very honored, but very humble because so many people deserve it,” Sandra Venable said. Sandra has volunteered with Diakonia for about 10 years. Her volunteer services have included answering phones at the Diakonia home, serving on the board and working on the special events committee. Bill Venable picks up donation items for the thrift shop and works with the golf tournament.

The Hope Award was also presented during the celebration, which honors a business or community partner who volunteers. This year, Dr. William Allen, DDS, received the award. Dr. Allen volunteers his time to give back a smile to those at Diakonia, Anderson said. He has taken on clients from Diakonia who have needed dental work. Dr. Allen has been working with the organization for seven years, dedicating his time to improve the smiles of many people.

“It was quite an honor,” Dr. Allen said. “I didn’t know if I wanted the publicity.”

Anderson thanked the community for its continued support of Diakonia.

“We know we are not the only ones asking,” she said. “We appreciate the support of our community.”

For more information about Diakonia, visit www.diakoniaoc.org or call 410-213-0923.


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