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Congratulations to the winners of the 2012-2013 volunteer awards. They were all very much deserved.

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award
Heather Shinpaugh

Charles V. York, Jr Distinguished Service Award
Liz Kodadek

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award
John Maruca

Ed Bodell Rookie Of The Year Award
Ann Boivin

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award
Ward Bowen
Bonita McPherren
Bunny Safron
Kinsey Watson

Ed Bodell Rookie Of The Year Award winner, Ann Boivin

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award winner, Heather Shinpaugh

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award winner, John Maruca

Charles V. York, Jr Distinguished Service Award winner, Liz Kodadek

Ann Boivin, Bonita McPherren, Kinsey Watson, Bunny Safron, James Ilsley

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award: Heather Shinpaugh

Presented by Charles Phaneuf.

Unlike other awards that recognize excellence in performance or volunteerism, this recognizes an individual that does both.

This year, we have selected someone who has made a major impact in so many different ways. She volunteered backstage throughout the season as a dresser and an ASM. She appeared on stage in two productions. And, she was one of two Divas to break the all-time fundraising record this last November. Above all, she is a pleasure to work with, and a wonderful ambassador for RLT.

It is my pleasure to award the first ever Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award to Heather Shinpaugh.

Charles V. York, Jr Distinguished Service Award: Liz Kodadek

Presented by Lynn Freeman, Board President

The Theatre Service Award is presented to a volunteer at the theatre in any position. Recipients have been instrumental in the theatre’s success and have given much time and energy to the theatre.

Since 1959, Raleigh Little Theatre has given its annual theatre service award to truly exceptional volunteers. Recipients have always numbered among those RLT family members whose contributions of time and energy span many areas and many years. They are the backbone of the organization and without people like them this theatre would not exist.

This is the highest volunteer award at RLT.

This year’s recipient is relatively new to RLT, volunteering first on the Youth Parent Committee and now involved on both stages and in both programs. I first met the recipient about three years ago. I knew I was in the presence of an individual who commits all when volunteering, from raising a family and opening all possible doors to the growth and development of her children, to her outgoing efforts to know every patron who walks through the door at RLT. She has made such an impression on patrons attending the Youth Shows, that they remember her and the last time they saw her!

I was the House Manager Coordinator for a few years, and when we were trying to develop some new volunteers, it was this individual who really showed me how to do it, and then she took over! She continuously volunteers to help when no one else can. She now serves on the Raleigh Little Theatre Board of Directors and will serve as Treasurer next year. She is energetic, devoted, reliable, thoughtful, persistent and kind (even if she is from Chicago and she can flat out give me some mouth). She is a great Ambassador for RLT.

This year’s Charles V. York, Jr. Theatre Service Award goes to Liz Kodadek.

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award: John Maruca

Presented by Todd Aberts.

The recipient of the Miller award this year is someone who is one of the most cheerful people I know. He seems like he is always here even when he doesn’t need to be. I will randomly hear the shop door open sometime around 5pm and look out from my office and see him coming thru. Aside from his talents, which he generously gives, if we are in need of small pieces of equipment he will often say I’ll go get that. He loves to teach and has taught both adults and kids. He is active on adult and youth shows alike, often putting in enough hours it should be a part time job.

I am happy to give this years Miller to last year’s rookie, Mr. John Maruca.

Ed Bodell Rookie Of The Year Award: Ann Boivin

Presented by Vicki Olson.

This newcomer to the costume shop may be called a rookie but she has become a VERY valuable player in the costume shop. Her talents as a craftsman and her dedication and determination in not only finishing the job but in doing impressive work deserves special recognition. Costume crafts is an area of costuming to which few are drawn, so her involvement and skills are truly appreciated. Costume crafts played a big part in the costuming of Brementown Musicians, Once on This Island and now Animal Farm. I don’t think we could have done all the animal heads and hats for these shows without her. We are thrilled to present the Ed Boddell Rookie of the Year Award to Ann Boivin.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Ward Bowen

Presented by Todd Aberts.

I am here tonight to honor someone who likes to put the “technique” in technician. He has a great curiosity and asks questions constantly, sometimes sending me back to my textbooks for answers. He is always learning and is happy to share what he learns with us, whether he is backstage, in the booth or in the shop with me, sometimes being the only one. He is someone I am happy to watch a show with, have a beer with and call a friend.

One of this years Wolfie’s goes to Mr. Ward Bowen.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Bonita McPherren

Presented by Vicki Olson.

Raleigh Little Theatre has always been blessed with great volunteers in the costume shop. Each show our volunteers rally to help Jenny and me to cross the finish line – even when that finish line seems so far away and so impossible to reach. With that kind of support it is a pleasure to come to work each day. Not only do we get the work done but we have a great time doing it!

This year Jenny and I would like to recognize the contributions of a relative newcomer to our group. She’s not only new to our theatre but she’s new to Raleigh. She arrives at the costume shop early and stays for what most of us would call a full workday. And she has quickly made us dependent upon her help each show. Not only does she have a lot of energy, but her positive spirit energizes the rest of us in the shop. We would like to present the Al D.Wolfheimer Volunteer Award to Bonita McPherren.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Bunny Safron

Presented by Thomas Mauney.

In celebrating Al Wolfheimer, who for more years than any of us can count had poured his heart, soul, time and considerable talents into the welfare of this theatre, I find it most appropriate that this next acknowledgement reflects some of the distinctive qualities we had come to find so enduring in the man himself.

In an early 1980’s N&O Tar Heel of the Week profile, Guy Munger observed that Wolf “had undoubtedly stepped on a few toes and bruised some egos with his full speed-ahead approach to problem solving”, and while the same can at times be said of our next recipient, she does it with such charm, that you simply don’t care.

Her presence at RLT can too be felt everywhere and at any time, always when you need it and most importantly when you didn’t even realize that you did.

Whether onstage or off, sitting on committees, sitting on the board or sitting in a booth; manning a table for auditions, for concessions, for marketing and PR or just manning the phones….. from pickles to producing, a very large part of this theatre’s heart and an invaluable friend to its staff….our Bunny.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Kinsey Watson

This next recipient has been a familiar face at RLT since 2011. She has been a student, a teaching assistant, a cast member, a light and sound board operator, a videographer and my production assistant on two shows. As Production Assistant, she went above and beyond and was absolutely vital to the success of the shows.

On our summer production of Animal Farm, she is working with John Maruca providing the Teens Backstage students with sound workshops. She will also be assisting on Sound and Video Design for the show.

She is creative, eager to learn, supportive and a true source of positive energy. The knowledge and confidence she brings to every task infuses the atmosphere with a welcomed sense of calm. It is not very often that a young person is awarded both a Youth Award and a Volunteer Award in the same year but this young person has earned that honor. She has also earned my respect, my admiration and my thanks.

This Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award goes to Kinsey Watson