Congratulations to the winners of the 2014-2015 volunteer awards. They were all very much deserved.

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award
Dee Penven-Crew

Charles V. York, Jr Distinguished Service Award
Lynn Freeman

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award
Ann Boivin

Ed Bodell Rookie Of The Year Award
Sheila Denn

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award
Karyn Aberts
Heyward Grainger
Cliff Hamilton
Spencer Kodadek
Jamie Marlowe
Dara Page
Brenda Perry
Aliana Ramos
Carrie Santiago
Freyja Sindemark

2015 Volunteer Awards winners: Sheila Denn and Ann Boivin

2015 Wolfheimer Volunteer Award Winners: Heyward Grainger, Karyn Aberts and Freyja Sindemark

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award: Dee Penven-Crew

Presented by Patrick Torres.

I am honored to give out the Haskell Fitz-Simmons Distinguished Performer award this year. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet Haskell. But if what my mom always told me is true, that “you can learn a lot about a person from the company they keep,” then I know he was a  great man – for he kept great company, as evidenced by so many of you and inparticular, tonight’s recipient of this award.

I first met our awardee in the concession stand of the amphitheatre at the end of last summer – her second night in a row serving drinks and snacks to some very hungry folks. Then, I watched as she worked tirelessly to ensure the Costume Sale we had in October. I have seen her in the costume shop working hard to help us deliver a show on time. She was also one of the first applications I received to serve on our newly created Play Reading Committee. After that, I watched her rehearse tirelessly, perform gracefully, and fundraise like a champion to make Divas the success it was. I also saw her perform in two different shows in the community, and I can honestly say I am looking forward to the day we get to work together. And that is just what I have witnessed in one year, so imagine what she has accomplished for RLT in her over 30 years of service here.

It is my great pleasure to honor the deep impact you have on this theatre and to express RLT’s most heartfelt thank you to you – Dee Penven Crew.

Charles V. York, Jr Distinguished Service Award: Lynn Freeman

Presented by Charles Phaneuf.

The winner of this year’s York Award has a unique resume that stands out in RLT’s nearly 80 year history. To the best of my knowledge, she is the only person to have served with distinction as Board President for two years and also to have house managed two midnight performances – “The Rocky Horror Show” (to which she wore a fabulous feather boa) and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” The contrast between these two roles shows something that we all know and appreciate about Lynn – she is both willing to take on the biggest and most public roles and also when necessary to take on the most thankless and workmanlike responsibilities.

But this is just one of many things that we appreciate about Lynn. She is kind, generous, funny and selfless when it comes to Raleigh Little Theatre as well as her many friends and co-workers. I would be remiss not to mention the sheer number of hours she has dedicated through board service, house managing, strike meals, throwing appreciation events for the staff, hosting advisory board meetings, setting up the board and staff retreat, promoting RLT and making connections throughout the community, working on Divas, and the list goes on and on. And that’s just what I’ve seen in the last 3.5 years – there are volumes to which I cannot speak since Lynn has been on the board continuously since 1997.

I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know Lynn and her whole family early on in my time here at RLT and I can’t imagine where the theater would be today without her leadership. It’s my distinct honor and pleasure to recognize Lynn Freeman with the Charles V. York Theatre Service Award.

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award: Ann Boivin

Presented by Vicki Olson.

There’s a dog dish, blanket and there might as well be a sleeping bag in the costume shop these days because our next award winner practically lives there. She’s staff without pay, one of our most dedicated volunteers. But dedication is just the beginning. This theatre has benefited from her enormous talents as an artist.

For several years we have come to rely on her for most of our craft needs – from sculpting animal heads to most recently painting the front of Hedwig’s amazing cape. She tells us that Raleigh Little Theatre is her “happy place” and she has become one of our most loyal supporters. This very special award goes to Ann Boivin.

Ed Bodell Rookie Of The Year Award: Sheila Denn

Presented by Vicki Olson.

Jenny and I are so pleased to be able to present the Boddell Rookie of the Year Award to a volunteer in our costume shop. We are fortunate enough to get many newcomers to help us do the costuming for all the shows at RLT but not all of them immediately jump in as one of our “regulars”. We didn’t even have to beg. We have come to rely on her dependable support in getting shows done on time. Most recently she has taken on a project that keeps her working outside of her regular volunteer hours. She’s willing to learn new things and take on most any type of project. Sound good, huh? Well, she’s just a newcomer so I’m sure she’ll be a great volunteer for years to come. We’d like to present the Ed Boddell Rookie of the Year award to Sheila Denn

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Karyn Aberts

Presented by Todd Aberts.

This Wolfie goes to a volunteer who I have known longer than any other and am required to say nice things about on a near daily basis. She has become one of our regular stage managers now having stage managed multiple shows a year and has also branched out to make sure our new Artistic Director got his debut right and assistant direct Much Ado About Nothing. My last Wolfie goes to Karyn Aberts.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Heyward Grainger

Presented by Todd Aberts.

This award goes to a volunteer who I’ve gotten to know because has been excited to learn about many different areas of the theatre and has been willing to help out wherever he can. He has been an assistant stage manager, props run crew and light board operator and backstage help on the Cantey’s. My next Wolfie goes to Heyward Grainger.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Cliff Hamilton

Presented by Todd Aberts.

This award goes to an individual who I have gotten to know while he has volunteered in the scene shop to help build scenery and then continued the process on run crew for multiple shows every year, along with being an outgoing board member and will be missed; my first Wolfie goes to Cliff Hamilton.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Spencer Kodadek

Presented by Linda O’Day Young.

This recipient is a fine young man who has been taking classes both here and at our Apex location for half of his life. He is the kind of student that, even at an early age, has been a great role model. Fortunately he enjoyed that position and became a Teaching Assistant. According to Kathleen Rudolph, “I am blessed to have him as my right hand in the classroom. He is also the kind of person you want to have around to lighten the load, to bring humor to a situation and to offer technical support in a situation where I feel lost.”

I first met him when he joined the running crew for A Hundred Dresses in 2009. He handled this complicated show with ease and has been serving on backstage crews ever since– running the light or sound board, building or painting a set, serving as the ASM. There isn’t a week that goes by that he is not at RLT. I feel very fortunate to have him on our team. He brings experience and a sense of calmness to what could very well be a hectic situation.

This Al Wolfheimer Award goes to Spencer Kodadek.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Jamie Marlowe

Presented by Todd Aberts.

This award goes to another volunteer who I have gotten to know while working in the scene shop and being on run crews. He has shown up multiple times to give an extra hand for our final push to completing a set and has been willing to fill in multiple different run crew areas from deck, lights and follow spots. It is my pleasure to present my next Wolfie to Jamie Marlowe. He is out of town for work and couldn’t join us this evening but will get this upon his return.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Dara Page

Presented by Vicki Olson.

You’ve all heard of a busman’s holiday. Our next recipient seems to really enjoy coming into the costume shop to do what she does everyday. We’re very happy to have her do so and have gained much support in return. For the last two years she, along with her husband and Jenny, has worked at Anamazement and has donated the proceeds to the theatre. Currently she and her husband are doing most of the armor for our upcoming production of Spamalot. And, as fate would have it, she is partly responsible for our finding our new TD, Duncan, because she introduced Jenny to Duncan’s girlfriend who was donating leather scraps to the costume shop. We like to show our thanks to Dara Page by presenting her with the Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Service Award.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Brenda Perry

Presented by Cathy Gurley.

If there were a Miss Congeniality Award for the Cantey’s this next volunteer would surely be a nominee. With quiet dedication she has supported nearly every show in my memory with RLT. As the person who takes the calls when patrons are unhappy with their experience, I breathe a sigh of relief when I see her name on the usher or house manager sign up list. She represents the essence of The RLT Spirit in her love for theatre and support of our community. For these reasons, and in hopes that it might win me one of her warm hugs, I would like to award this Wolfie to Brenda Perry.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Aliana Ramos

Presented by Patrick Torres.

I could not be more excited to present this Wolfie Award to one of the most generous, charismatic, and kind people I have worked with this year – Aliana Ramos. Aliana jumps into her work here at RLT with both feet. This year she has worked as a dresser on several shows, and Vicki considers her leadership skills to be invaluable as a volunteer. She is also inspiring. Inspiring because she is not afraid to take risks.

Aliana stepped out of her comfort zone and showed up to audition for Much Ado About Nothing. She walked into that audition and announced, “I don’t know how you are going to select a cast from all these talented people, I would just be happy to be in the ensemble.” That was it. Done. I cast her in the ensemble at that moment. Little did she know the ensemble is the glue that holds every show together – or that I was going to make her dance and sing! On Stage and off, she makes the most of every situation, and always brings 100% of herself to her work with an infectious smile. Thank you for all you do, Aliana Ramos.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Carrie Santiago

Presented by Kiron Rakkar.

For her selfless dedication to RLT and particularly to Divas! I would like to recognize this next recipient with a Wolfie. A star of the stage as well as back stage we count ourselves lucky that she came through our theatre’s doors. Often seen taking photos of events and shows, a Diva herself and choreographer extraordinaire, Divas! could not go on without her. We would like to show our heartfelt appreciation for her service by giving this Wolfie to Carrie Santiago.

While we reward for her for all the hard work Carrie is off jet setting in Michigan. I’ll see that she receives the award.

Al Wolfheimer Volunteer Award: Freyja Sindemark

Presented by Kathleen Rudolph.

This Wolfie goes to someone very dear to my heart. I first met her several years ago when her son auditioned for a play I was directing in Apex. She always arrived with a huge smile and a funny story. We had a lot in common, both of us having a unique sense of humor.

One day Linda and I asked her if she would like to join our Youth Parent Committee. She said yes and has been volunteering madly ever since. She has distributed posters, provided meals and snacks to casts, helped create costumes, ushered and said yes on any occasion we have asked for her help… and always with the biggest smile.

Linda: And on a personal note, during my recovery from surgery she would often drop by with flowers, a meal and always her endless supply of almonds. This Wolfie goes to Freyja Sindemark.