Annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is held annually. Volunteers who have logged 5 hours or more during the previous calendar year are treated to a recognition dinner in their honor.
2019 Volunteer of the Year: Denise Davis
When new staff begins, they often believe Denise, a volunteer, is a staff member. That is because she is here every day, devoting every spare hour she has volunteering her time to help. Since Denise began volunteering in 2014, she has donated 5,365 hours. She is a member of our Mod Squad behavior modification team, she works endlessly with the shy and more difficult behavior cases, often seeing the most fearful dogs come around with her trust and guidance. The list in the ways she helps is endless from answering phones, to laundry, to walking dogs, counseling adopters, organizing and of course, making sure Pearl always has a lunch buddy — you name it, she does it.
As giving as she is of her time, her commitment to volunteerism does not end there. She has a way with dogs that can only be described as innate and simply cannot be taught. Hour upon hour, she pours herself into our “tough” to adopt dogs and without her many of them would not have made the strides of improvement as they have. She is sassy and smart as a whip, and although we joke that patience is not her virtue, she always has an infinite amount for the animals she is helping.
She is the most dependable person we know and we literally could not imagine a day without her here. She is a staple of this organization and the staff, animals, and the Potter League have been made boundlessly better by her presence. Princess Denise, thank you for all you do and we are honored to name Denise Davis as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year!
2019 Junior Volunteer of the Year & Best Supportive Parent of the Year:
Melissa Benson & Sharon Benson
This mother and daughter team have been coming in weekly for the past 5 years. This young volunteer started when she was only 8 ½ years old. She’s now a teenager, for all those years, she and her mother have been coming to the shelter almost weekly! That’s a long time for a young child to remain as enthusiastic and willing to help as this young volunteer has. And we think that has everything to do with her mother, because without her mother, she wouldn’t even be a volunteer. And we would have to guess that her mother has set an example for her about what it means to be a good volunteer, because they both are great volunteers. So great that Melissa and Sharon often don’t wait to be asked to help, they reach out to us to see if there are any events coming up they can help with. They are quite the team!
We hit the jackpot when Melissa and Sharon became volunteers here at the Potter League. Melissa is only 13, and yet she has donated 366 hours to level 1 and 2 cats, and helping within the Humane Education department. She is always cheerful, mature, reliable, and never one to draw attention to herself. We think she is wonderful and will go far in her life and with her endeavors. It is with great honor that we bestowed the 2019 Junior Volunteer of the Year Award to Melissa Benson, and the 2019 Best Supportive Parent Volunteer of the Year Award to her mother, Sharon Benson.
2019 Lore Owens Award: Jessica Pohl
The Lore Owens Award was created to honor a well-loved volunteer after her passing in 1999, and it is to recognize an “unsung” hero at the Potter League. The Lore Owens Award was created to honor a well-loved volunteer after her passing in 1999, and it is to recognize an “unsung” hero at the Potter League. The award has more to do with personality than hours volunteered. In making the decision for the Lore Owens Award recipient, we are not looking for the conspicuous or flamboyant volunteer.
Every Monday, rain, shine, holidays, completely exhausted from shooting six weddings in one day, this superhero shows up to take every single animal’s photo in the building. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, birds, roosters, goats, peacocks. You name it —she photographed them. And as many of you may know, these photos are a very important part of getting the animals available for adoption seen. What you may not know is that our animal listings in the last year alone topped over a million views. She does all of this without fanfare, without an ounce of desire for any sort of credit. She does this because her heart is huge. Because she is made of goodness to her very core. Because she believes wholeheartedly in volunteerism and being a part of a community that gives back. And because she is some sort of cat-whispering ninja goddess. This year we were honored to present the 2019 Lore Owens Award to our dear friend, Jessica Pohl.
2019 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
The Volunteer Appreciation Celebration was held at the Potter League for Animals on February 1, 2020. The celebration was held in honor of all Potter League volunteers who logged 5+ hours or more during the 2019 calendar year.