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Warpness, Mbonu honored by VOA for their work on behalf of the Center of Hope

The Volunteers of America-Northern Rockies handed out staff awards November 18th to a number of Riverton residents for their work at the Center of Hope. Named the organization’s Volunteer of the Year was Helen Warpness. “I was pretty surprised and pleased,” Warpness said. “It’s nice to see the awards to the local staff, they really stepped up (after the tragic shooting), helped wherever they needed to help, did maintenance, worked with clients at the hotel or wherever they had been placed.” Warpness said that over that entire ordeal, only one staff member chose not to come back to work. “That’s pretty impressive they were able to put that tragedy behind them and come back to work.” The honors presented were: *Outstanding Volunteer Award * *Helen Warpness* was honored for her outstanding service to the Volunteers of America. Helen has been VOA board member since July of 2013 when VOA merged with the Fremont County Alcohol Crisis Center. “Helen also served as a member of the FCACS Board for over a decade, working tirelessly as an advocate in the Riverton and Lander communities for those without a voice and often a warm, safe place to sleep. Helen’s advocacy during those years undoubtedly saved countless lives,” said President and CEO Jeff Holsinger. Warpness has attended every board of directors meetings and retreat in person “because she feels so strongly about the importance of ‘being present’ in the room with her colleagues to give a voice to her community and be an advocate for the organization,” Holsinger said. In addition to her other duties, Warpness had been the Chair of the Fremont County Leadership Council, a community group in Fremont County serving as VOA’s “boots on the ground” in raising both visibility and funding for the Center of Hope. [image: Inline image 1] *Shelley Mbonu received the VOA's Outstanding Leadership Award from President and CEO Jeff Holsinger and Board Chairman Robert Miller.* *Outstanding Leadership Award * *Shelley Mbonu * "Shelley has strong leadership skills that helps motivate her staff at all times and during all situations. Shelley is a strong leader who demonstrates a strong work ethic and is a leader who is not afraid to jump in and help out staff and work in the trenches. Shelley embodies the mission and value of the organization and I look forward to seeing Shelley’s continued growth." - Kelly Buckingham *Outstanding Staff Awards* *Barbara Beebe * "Barb has shown great dedication and determination to provide quality service to all clients that we serve. She is a natural leader that has worked in different positions within VOA." - Shelley Mbonu *Rebecca Alexander * "Along with her duties as a Clinical Assistant, she will often go out of her way to assist clients with needs such as getting ID’s, setting up a bank account or point them in the right direction with court related documents. She goes out of her way to assist and make tasks easier for anyone she can." - Shelley Mbonu *Tiffany Velarde * "Due to her love for the mission and the clients, she applied for and was promoted to the PATH grant coordinator. Tiffany works hard to advocate for the clients she serves and strives to meet them in their own state of brokenness." - Shelley Mbonu In addition to the staff awards, the Center of Hope’s *Salley Haid* received a five-year pin for her service to the Center. *Feature Photo: Riverton's Helen Warpness was presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Award a the Volunteers of America - Northern Rockies staff presentation on Nov. 18th. Warpness was honored for her dedication and work on behalf of the Center of Hope. Ron Warpness / Pitchengine Communities. * #county10 #news