Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On September 29, 2016 over 160 EDS Volunteers, First Response Agency Representatives, Salvation Army officers and staff joined together for our Annual EDS Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

The EDS facility was transformed from a working warehouse into an elegant dining room. Jeannie Malnati, Chicago Advisory Board, EDS Committee member, served as Mistress of Ceremony for the evening. Malnati Pizza and EDS partnered to provide a tasty reception, far exceeding expectations, as well as a pizza, pasta dinner that was enjoyed by everyone.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Theo Coleman, from the Adele and Robert Stern Red Shield Center in Englewood, who shared his powerful personal transformation in word and song.

A formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Cook County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and The Salvation Army took place.

(Left) Ernest Brown, Executive Director, Cook County Homeland Security & Emergency
(Right) Lt. Colonel Charles Smith, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division

The evening focused on celebrating our volunteers and the contributions they made during 2016. The program provided opportunity for First Response Agency Representatives to personally share their deep appreciation to our EDS Volunteers.

A highlight of the evening was the awarding of the Major Bergie Strand 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s award recipient is James Ward from the Adele and Robert Stern Red Shield Center. James has demonstrated a continuous willing spirit to volunteer with Metro EDS since 2005. Embracing a spirit of joy, love, and humility, he serves others. James is available three nights a week to respond to major fires in the greater Chicago area. During 2016 James responded to seven fires including a south side location where three children lost their lives. On that evening, in addition to the familiar response services found at the canteen window, James could be found at the street corner providing comfort to members of a grieving community.

James truly represents the very best of our EDS ministry.

We’re thankful for all of our volunteers.  they fulfill the demands that would be impossible to accomplish by staff alone.

For all the volunteers who contribute their time and effort one time a year or often, EDS thanks you.

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