2017: Mario D’Ambrosio
Mario has worked at C&S since 2012 and is a Selector at the C&S distribution center in Chester, New York. Throughout the past 12 months, Mario volunteered 1,000 hours for the all-volunteer fire department in Matamoras, PA, a community of 2,500 residents, where he lives.
Mario says,“I had no experience in the firefighting field and was up for something new. Matamoras Fire Department sent me for training and now I am an interior firefighter. It’s dangerous, but I like to help people.” Chief Thomas Long of the Matamoras Fire Department noted “Mario goes above and beyond for the department. He has also filled the position of Fire Safety Officer.” In that role, Mario focuses on community outreach and visits local schools to educate children about fire safety and prevention.
2016: Matt Dean
In 2016, Matt Dean volunteered 1,000 hours for the Hillsboro (NH) Youth Athletic Association, a nonprofit organization that organizes sports programs for youth. He coaches kids year-round, ages 5 to 15, in three sports: soccer, softball, and basketball. Matt also serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. In the fall, Matt was honored at an event hosted by Volunteer NH, a nonprofit organization which recognizes people who donate their time and energy in service to others. Matt received a “Spirit of New Hampshire” award for his dedication to young people as a coach and mentor.
2015: Dean D'Errico
Dean is a Driver at the C&S distribution center in Plant City, Florida, where he also lives. What Dean has done is remarkable. With his family, and in addition to working full-time, he has established a nonprofit organization called “Many Hands.” Many Hands provides free or low-cost repairs to the homes and vehicles of low-income families, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and survivors of domestic abuse. The organization partners with local businesses and groups to create awareness and to provide discounted services when the project is beyond the scope of Dean and the other dedicated volunteers at Many Hands.
2014: Cheryl Meehan
In celebration of National Volunteer Week in April, C&S Wholesale Grocers is pleased to announce that Cheryl Meehan is the company’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Cheryl, a C&S teammate since 2002, is a Senior Systems Administrator in the Information Technology department at the company’s corporate headquarters.
Cheryl has donated her time to Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention as a volunteer with the organization’s on-call crisis hotline. Her commitment helps women who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to find safety, to begin healing and to receive services that may include emergency shelter. Over a twelve month period, Cheryl volunteered 457 hours, including fifty hours of training.
“I volunteered because I knew that I could make an impact on the lives of men, women, teens, children or senior citizens, who were experiencing trauma or abuse,” said Cheryl. “When the phone rang – sometimes during the middle of the night – my role was to listen and try to provide the caller with the information they needed to find support. In some cases I would share information about services available to them through MCVP, or other providers. In others, we’d develop a safety plan - to go to the hospital, to the police, or to an emergency shelter.”
Cheryl Meehan became a candidate for the C&S Volunteer of the Year award by submitting a C&S Dollars for Doers application. A panel of company associates rated each application for spirit of volunteerism, leadership, and the desire to make a difference in people’s lives. Through the Dollars for Doers program, nonprofit organizations benefit twice: once from the C&S associates' contribution of time, and again from a C&S matching contribution of $1 per hour volunteered, to a maximum of $1,000.
C&S has honored one person as Volunteer of the Year since 2005. Please join us in congratulating Cheryl.
2013: Russell Hurd
The 2013 Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Russ Hurd. Russ, a C&S associate since 2007, is a Perishable Quality Control Manager in our North East, Maryland food distribution center.
Russ volunteers more than 1,000 hours each year with Harford Community College in Maryland. Russ and his wife, Kim, partnered with the College to create the Heather L. Hurd 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, established in memory of their daughter, Heather, who was killed in a traffic accident in 2008 by a tractor-trailer driver who was distracted while texting.
Russ has also lobbied for legislation to prevent distracted driving, and was a panelist at the Florida Distracted Driving Summit last November. With his wife, Kim, Russ was instrumental in passing Heather’s Law in Maryland in 2010 that bans the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and he has been a leading advocate against distracted driving across the country.
Russ became a candidate for the C&S Volunteer of the Year award by submitting a C&S Dollars for Doers application. A panel of company associates rated each application for the spirit of volunteerism, leadership, and the desire to make a difference in people’s lives. Through the Dollars for Doers program, nonprofit organizations benefit twice: once from the C&S associate’s contribution of time, and again from a C&S matching contribution of $1 per hour volunteered, to a maximum of $1,000.
2012: Christopher Sleeper
The C&S 2012 Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Christopher Sleeper. Chris, a C&S associate since 2007, drives a truck and is based out of the company’s Upper Marlboro, Maryland distribution center.
When he’s not behind the wheel delivering groceries for C&S, Chris Sleeper drives the truck for the St. Leonard Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad where he has been volunteering for more than 16 years. The recipient of many awards for his lifesaving work, Chris is devoted to helping people. He says with quiet humility, “I believe there is no greater reward as a volunteer firefighter and EMT than to be able to help another person in their time of need.” He currently serves as the Vice President to the organization which responds to over 2,000 fire and emergency medical service calls each year.
As a further inspiration, Chris, who was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago, recently wore his full firefighting gear when climbing 69 flights of stairs in the 2012 Firefighters Stair Climb to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Chris became a candidate for the C&S Volunteer of the Year award by submitting a C&S Dollars for Doers application. A panel of company associates rated each application for spirit of volunteerism, leadership and the desire to make a difference in people's lives. Through the Dollars for Doers program, nonprofit organizations benefit twice, once from the C&S associates's contribution of time, and again from a C&S matching contribution of $1 per hour volunteered, to a maximum of $1,000.
2011: Dawna Cardenas
The C&S 2011 Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Dawna Cardenas. Dawna, a C&S associate since 2006, works as a Demand Planner in our Headquarter offices in Keene.
For the past six years, Dawna has dedicated thousands of hours of her time to the American Cancer Society (ACS), specifically to the Relay for Life in Keene. As the Chair of the event's planning committee, Dawna works year-round coordinating every detail of this 18-hour overnight fundraiser, from promotion, logistics, and entertainment to her the part of the evening she finds most moving: lighting remembrance luminaria honoring loved ones lost to cancer. Dawna's commitment to the ACS comes from the loss of her beloved grandmother during her teen years, "Volunteering for the ACS gives me a way to help fight back and find a cure for cancer. When you're really committed to a cause you find the time to give."
2010: Maria Precht
The 2010 Volunteer of the Year was Maria Precht, a Human Resources Supervisor in Upper Marlboro, Md. Maria volunteers as Vice President of the Junior League of Annapolis Finance Committee. To raise awareness about childhood obesity, Maria teaches healthy eating choices to kids in her community. She has prepared and served meals for area homeless people, provided assistance with transitional housing options and offered skills-based job readiness training.
2009: Lemuel Rodriguez
For 2009, the C&S 2009 Volunteer of the Year honor was awarded to Lemuel Rodriguez. Lem, a C&S associate since 2007 works in the company's food distribution center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, auditing outgoing product selections.
Lem devoted 1,000 hours to the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of the Lehigh Valley. He volunteered his time to mentor low-income youth in South Bethlehem, PA as an assistant boxing coach and trainer. He recently participated in producing an anti-gang DVD to help keep local families and neighborhoods safe.
2008: Don LaChance
Don LaChance, 2008 C&S Volunteer of the Year, is an example of what it means to give back to the community by investing in others.
A volunteer for fifteen years, Don serves as the Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 355 in Newington, CT. He devoted over 200 hours to support scouts in their efforts to build character and integrity, helping to prepare them to become exceptional adults. Thanks to Don, these young men will enter adulthood with a positive role model and a clear vision of what their futures can be.
2007: Ron Stoddard
Keeping kids fed, clothed and out of trouble is a big assignment in any big city, but it’s especially challenging in parts of Buffalo, New York. That’s why Ron Stoddard's volunteerism is so important. In 2006, Ron devoted over 250 hours to the T.J. Dulski Community Center in Buffalo, helping pick up groceries from the local food bank and pack Pantry Bags for families at risk of hunger.
Linda Hansen, director of youth and family services at the center, says that Ron is “highly respected by the kids and a great role model. Everything he does has a positive ripple effect in the community.”
2006: Nichole Ellis
Energetic, involved, and tireless. Three words that sum up what makes Nichole Ellis so effective, both on the job, and in her community. Nichole devotes over 200 hours a year delivering food for the New Day Tabernacle Food Pantry to local families, the elderly and homebound people.
“So many people are hungry these days through no fault of their own,” said Nichole. “I wanted to do something to help them.” The C&S panel that selected Nichole as Volunteer of the Year commended her leadership, initiative and desire to “make a difference in people’s lives.” And she does make a difference for so many people --- not just because of the food she brings, but also because of her warmth and kindness.
2005: Lisa Bassick
Lisa Bassick is passionate about the problem of child abuse, and believes that more needs to be done to prevent it from occurring. She decided to be part of the solution by volunteering with Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (PCAV) as a facilitator for the organization’s Family Nurturing classes. After her training, she worked with families at risk, teaching them how to communicate better and grow closer to each other.
Lisa applied for a C&S Dollars for Doers grant for PCAV and was also named C&S 2005 Volunteer of the Year. In 2005, she was honored with a national “Point of Light” award given by the Points of Light Foundation to individuals who make a difference in their communities.