MillVols receive Governor's award for service

In less than two years, the Millville Volunteers – a volunteer organization made up of approximately 30 members from various Millville-area communities – have made quite a name for themselves.

On Oct. 28, the group will receive the 2010 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for Sussex County in community service, along with five other groups from the area.

“Six groups are being awarded in Sussex County, which is actually the largest out of all three counties,” said Carrie Hart, a volunteer services administrator for the State Office of Volunteers.

“The nominations are reviewed by the panel of commissioners from the Governor’s Commission of Community and Volunteer Service,” she explained. “They are chosen based on several criteria, such as length of service, breadth of service, things like that.”

Upon hearing the news, the town, its staff and volunteers were elated.

“It’s a very prestigious award,” said Millville Volunteers member Steve Micciche. “Obviously, they recognize the work we’re doing. A lot of us are doing it just because we like doing it. Having the state recognize us makes us feel good.”

Millville Town Manager Debbie Botchie nominated the group for the award, citing their dedication, with the donation of more than 2,000 hours of community service since the group’s inception in January of last year.

“These volunteers have become the ears and ears for their town and neighborhoods, ensuring the safety of the town’s streets,” wrote Botchie in her nomination letter.

The MillVols were one of approximately 20 volunteer organizations that were nominated for the award.

“They’ve been a wonderful support this past year both with the volunteer fair that they held in Sussex County as well as many other events down there. We are very happy they have been chosen,” said Hart, who was not part of the selection commission.

The MillVols run an active Neighborhood Watch program, in which volunteers patrol neighborhoods and local business locations to keep an eye out for anything that may seem out of place. They are also active in helping with the Special Olympics, as well as helping out at town hall.

“Besides Neighborhood Watch, the volunteer group also provides clerical work to the town. We have three ladies who come in on a regular basis, and they do a lot of the filing and copying and other work that Debbie assigns them around the office and we’re grateful for that,” said Mayor Don Minyon.

“We have a small maintenance crew for any little things that has to be done around town hall,” he added. “A lot of people helped us decorate for Christmas last year — get up the trees and decorations.”

The MillVols receive CPR and emergency management training each year. The group is also able to participate in additional training programs, such as Dementia and Safe Return training and emergency planning classes through DEMA.

The group is always looking to increase its number of volunteers, and Micciche said any willing volunteers are welcome, no matter where they live.

“Obviously, we can use some more help. Anybody looking to help out in the community, you don’t have to live in Millville,” he said.

“I’m really proud of these guys. We’re only a year and a half old, and we won the governor’s award on the number of hours we logged. They do so much, so many hours of volunteer work,” said Minyon.

“We’re very proud, and we feel very fortunate that they chose us for it,” added Micciche.

For more information about the Millville Volunteers, call town hall at (302) 539-0449.