The Association of Community Services of Howard County (ACS) will present the 43rd Annual Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Awards from noon–2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, at the Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville.
The Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Awards honor volunteers and staff in Howard County for exceptional service to their community. Each year a selection committee reviews nominations and selects winners in four categories. This year’s honorees include the following.
- Catherine Hyde, Volunteer of the Year: Catherine Hyde, of PFLAG Columbia-Howard County, is an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. She will be recognized for her commitment to help families and to train local agencies on how to support these at-risk children and their families. Several years ago, when Hyde could find no local resources, she set out to build a network so that “no family would be as alone and afraid as we were that first year when we could no longer deny that our child was transgender.”
- Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center, Volunteer Team of the Year: The Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center (MCRC), which has been in Howard County for more than 20 years, is the only organization that provides free mediation and other conflict resolution services directly to the Howard County community. The volunteers at MCRC meet the human services needs of being a listening ear to those that don’t feel heard; creating a safe space for individuals, families, or groups to have difficult conversations about the conflicts they share so as to hopefully reach greater understanding.
- Cheryl Rowe, Employee of the Year: After volunteering with church organizations on her own to help the homeless in Howard County for more than 10 years, Rowe began working as a volunteer with the Howard County Department of Corrections and in 2013 was hired to assist in the county’s new reentry initiative. She works tirelessly at all hours of the day and has learned how to navigate many systems including Social Services and Housing and Work Development. Her colleagues say, “If Cheryl finds one closed door, she finds another one and she keeps looking for doors until she finds an open one.”
- Leadership Howard County, Employee Team of the Year: Leadership Howard County, which was launched in 1986, created a program to build effective local leaders, and informs and engages participants in a variety of issues, trends and topics including human services, quality of life, education, health care and more. Graduates of the program are encouraged to serve on nonprofit boards, government commissions and various volunteer organizations in their communities.
To purchase tickets, and for more information, visit acshoco.org or call 410-715-9545.