Many Pine View volunteers gathered Feb. 13 to honor several students and adults who have volunteered to make a difference. The Sweetheart Volunteer Breakfast took place in the Multi-Purpose Room from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Pine View Association (PVA) members were invited to the event, where principal Dr. Stephen Covert announced the volunteers of the year.
“We hold this right around Valentine’s Day every year to thank all of our volunteers,” PVA president Camille Cline said. The room was set up to have several tables, each for a different volunteer group. With this setup, perspective parent volunteers could visit a table of interest to learn more about it. Volunteer groups included Pinnacle, Peramathon, School Store and more.
One student each from elementary, middle and high school was chosen to receive the Volunteer of the Year award, and one adult volunteer was recognized. This year, fifth-grader Sabrina Salinas was recognized as Elementary Volunteer of the Year. She has participated in several community service projects, and organized her own. She collected seven gallons of soda can tabs and Box Tops for Education. She also frequently volunteers with Southeast Guide Dogs and a program called Paws for Friendship.
“Sabrina is an outstanding role model for everyone in her community,” Covert said.
Eight-grader Sachit Gali won the Middle School Volunteer of the Year award. Gali is involved in many clubs focused on community service including Builders Club and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). He is the president of both SWAT and Student Council, where he organizes events and community service projects. He has worked on the Kiwanis Eliminate project, helping to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. He has also contributed to the Pine View community by working on anti-bullying programs on campus. “I love doing community service and getting the opportunity to help out my community,” Gali said.
The High School Volunteer of the Year is tenth-grader Halle Belden. Belden volunteers in a variety of ways, including with Mote Marine Laboratory, where she works as an intern. She is a program organizer for the Stow It — Don’t Throw It project, which is working to prevent marine debris and pollution and promote ocean conservation. She also helped organize the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, which educated people about different ocean conservation projects and environmental threats. In addition to this, she has worked with the Greening Forward program, a youth-led environmental organization. “Halle has brought these things back to our Pine View community through her work with sustainability programs on campus,” Covert said.
PVA member Laureen Martel was recognized with the Adult Volunteer of the Year Award. Martel is a PVA board member and devotes countless hours to helping Pine View run as smoothly as possible. She organizes sponsorships, works on creating the student directory, organized Pinnacle and always helps out with whatever is needed. “Pine View is so successful because of volunteers like Laureen,” Covert said.
The Volunteer Breakfast recognized all the volunteers that have helped Pine View in numerous ways, and also allowed others to explore the different volunteer opportunities in the Pine View community.