Sage Awards full of hope

House of Hope was well-represented at the inaugural Sage Awards, held Feb. 27, 2016, at the Kane Center.

The Council on Aging of Martin County developed the awards to celebrate the wisdom and worth of local senior citizens who offer their experience, professional skills and compassionate hearts to make our world a better place.

From left: Communications director Diane Tomasik with Sage Awards nominee Ed Goulding and his wife, Carol.

From left: Communications director Diane Tomasik with Sage Awards nominee Ed Goulding and his wife, Carol.

House of Hope’s nominee for the award was volunteer Ed Goulding, a longtime food pantry volunteer and team leader.  Here are highlights of his wide-ranging community service, noted on his nomination form:

House of Hope: Ed has volunteered more than 1,000 hours over the past five years in House of Hope’s Stuart food pantry. He is the team leader each Wednesday, responsible for directing fellow volunteers in the distribution of donated food. This operation is much like running a supermarket – volunteers open and mark food cartons, stock shelves, accept donations, and provide courteous service to a broad cross-section of people in need. Each month, House of Hope’s food pantry touches the lives of about 5,000 Martin County residents in need, including seniors, veterans, working adults, children, the homeless. Ed also is passing the torch to his two granddaughters, ages 10 and 12. On their vacations, the girls stock shelves and help clients exactly as the adult volunteers do. These girls are learning lessons of charity, citizenship and community service by example — an example set by their grandfather.

American Red Cross: Ed has earned the Red Cross award for 40 years of service, volunteering before and after retirement at chapters in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. He now serves on the disaster response team for the Martin County chapter.

Blood donor: In retirement, Ed has continued his life-long commitment to donating blood. To date, Ed has given 36 gallons of blood. Ed began by giving whole blood. Now he’s become a white blood cell donor, particularly helpful for cancer patients whose white cells are destroyed by chemotherapy. The process, called aphaeresis, is more time-consuming but enables a larger donation. Ed’s goal is to become a 50-gallon donor.

Mary’s Shelter of the Treasure Coast: Ed volunteers as a driver for the shelter’s residents, most of whom don’t own cars. Mary’s Shelter serves pregnant women who lack housing and family support.

Many other Sage Award nominees had a House of Hope connection:

Mary Armbrust: Nominated by the American Red Cross, Martin County, Mary is also an active House of Hope volunteer.

Sisters Mary Dooley and Katherine Kinnally: These leaders, who retired from Hope Rural School and formed the KinDoo Family Center, are strong partners of House of Hope in Indiantown.

Polly Forestier: Nominated for her service with Civitan and Palm City Presbyterian Church, Polly is also a House of Hope volunteer.

Barrett Jones: House of Hope appreciates Barrett’s nomination by his friend and neighbor, Bill Clifford. Barrett is a longtime board member at House of Hope, a treasured supporter and stalwart advocate for the agency.

Betty Lahti: Nominated by her community of Sandhill Cove, Betty is a generous friend to many charities throughout the Treasure Coast, including House of Hope.

Father Noel McGrath: The pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church is a House of Hope board member. He advocates for House of Hope, and parishioners regularly conduct food drives for the House of Hope food pantry.

Terry Rieger: The owner of Diamonds by Terry donates her custom-made jewelry to add spark and sparkle to dozens of fund-raising events, including the Hearts for Hope Fashion Show & Luncheon.

Anne Schafer: This founder of the Woman’s Power Lunch is also a great friend of House of Hope. Notable amid this support is the annual Christmas Kidz party, which brings joy to children of House of Hope and Hibiscus Children’s Center. Anne was the winner in the Community Service category!

Jerry Shapiro: Nominated by the Jewish War Veterans Post 549, this gentleman — recently deceased — had been a supporter and advocate for House of Hope.

For more information, visit the Council on Aging site’s page for Sage Award categories, nominees and winners.