Northeast Tarrant

Southlake recognizes volunteers’ service

Cassidy Chaplowe gave 112 hours of her life to others in 2013.

The 16-year-old volunteered her time with Southlake’s Camp Mania during the summer — 40 hours a week for three straight weeks.

“I really wanted to help out in the community,” the Carroll sophomore said. “The Southlake community is like a giant family and I felt really at home with the kids, and watching them was like babysitting.”

The city honored Chaplowe and 37 other volunteers at its Volunteer Appreciation reception and awards ceremony April 7 at the Southlake Hilton.

The city awarded Chaplowe a gold-level national Presidential Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 100 hours. Ten residents won silver awards, for which teens had to volunteer 75 hours and adults 250. The city awarded 27 bronze awards for teens who had 50 volunteer hours and adults 100.

Volunteers received certificates, pins and a signed letter from President Barack Obama.

City volunteers donated 22,000 hours of service in 2013, which saved the city about half a million dollars.

The ballroom was filled with volunteers of all ages who contributed to various parts of the city, from Chaplowe’s camp activity, to library helpers and uniformed public safety volunteers.

The mayor and City Council expressed their appreciation to those in attendance.

“It’s nice to look around the room today and see all age groups getting involved,” councilwoman Laura Hill said. “I really do know all the hours you give and give willingly to make Southlake the community it is today.”

The city also recognized its Key Volunteer Liaison of the Year, a city employee who coordinates work between the city and volunteer brigade.

Renni Burt, the fire department’s community initiatives officer, took home the award but was more content recognizing the volunteers.

“I love my people,” she said. “They just want to serve.”

Volunteer coordinator Catherine Huckaby said Burt’s ability to become everyone’s friend helped her earn the award.

“She has everybody on speed dial,” Huckaby said. “It’s not work to her.”

Chaplowe said her volunteer career is not over.

“Just the fact you know you’re helping so many people,” she said. “It was one of the best times of my life.”