Volunteers Honored at 126th Annual Meeting
At its 126th Annual Meeting, Family Centers honored three volunteers whose contributions improved the lives of thousands of children and families across Fairfield County. The event was held Tuesday, Oct. 24 at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich.
Carl Goodnow, of Darien, was named the 2017 Helen Gratz Rockefeller Outstanding Volunteerism Award. The award is presented annually to a current or former member of Family Centers’ Board of Directors, and is the agency’s highest honor for volunteer work.
Since joining Family Centers’ Board of Directors in 2002, Goodnow has worked tirelessly to ensure that children and families living in lower Fairfield County have access to the services they need to realize their potential. He currently serves as the co-chair of Family Centers’ Thriving Families and Communities Committee, a Board-led group dedicated to enhancing the agency’s vocational counseling, supportive housing and self-sufficiency services. As the co-chair of Family Centers’ Facilities Committee, Goodnow has also been instrumental in keeping Family Centers’ many sites in good working order. He also is a member of Family Centers’ Governance Committee.
Gerhard Peter of Greenwich, was also named the 2017 Anne Firestone Ball Family Champion. Since the opening of Family Centers’ new Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in July 2016, Peter has been an outspoken advocate to help public housing residents and underserved populations access primary health, dental and mental health services. Over the past year, Peter has served as a driving force behind Family Centers Health Care’s outreach efforts, and has been responsible for increasing the patient volume at the center. As a founding member of the Family Centers Health Care Advisory Board, Peter has also offered critical strategic insight to insure the center’s long-term success.
Sadie Cox, a senior at Greenwich High School, was awarded the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award. Sponsored by JP Morgan, the award recognizes a student who has displayed a commitment to community service.
For several years, Cox has volunteered at Family Centers’ Grauer Preschool in Greenwich. During her time assisting teachers with classroom lessons or leading art projects, Cox has learned about the perils of the growing Achievement Gap across the country. As a result, she has developed a passion for furthering young children’s love of learning, and has educated her peers on how they can make a difference.
Family Centers’ Annual Meeting was a celebration of the organization’s 126th anniversary, and was attended by Family Centers’ Board of Directors, Senior Advisors, staff and supporters.
Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 200 professionals and 2,500 trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Departments of Public Health and Children and Families. Visit www.familycenters.org for additional information.