By Taylor Zanazzi
National Volunteer Appreciation Week is this week, and here in Pinal County, we have no shortage of civic-minded people who do just that! From the all-volunteer Compassion Queen Creek to the Food Bank at Christ the Victor, to the various HOA boards and civic commissions, our community stands out as a place where volunteerism thrives.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Pinal County recently hosted its First Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception at the Historic Courthouse in Florence. The Reception took place April 10th and was attended by all five of the County Supervisors, who came to show support for all the citizens who so generously donate their time to serve on county commissions, boards, and authorities. Attendees traveled from as far away as Maricopa, Casa Grande, and the Copper Corridor to be recognized for their spirit of civic-mindedness. There are many citizen groups that help the County carry out its various administrative tasks, from Transportation to Air Quality and Parks. These boards and commissions are comprised of volunteers who serve without pay, attending meetings for the purpose of carrying out essential County functions such as hearing zoning appeals, advising on open space, and overseeing retirement pensions.
Among the Boards and Commissions whose members were recognized were the Air Quality Control Hearing Board, the Agriculture Extension Board, the Open Space, and Trails Advisory Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Water Augmentation Authority, to name only a few.
Each of the five County Supervisors gave a word of appreciation. Supervisor Pete Rios said that “volunteers remind us of how important it is to be the change you wish to see in the world,” and Supervisor Mike Goodman said that he learned long ago as a young man the importance of being recognized and appreciated, adding that he wished he could “give a big hug to each and every one of you.”
Among local San Tan Valley residents present were Susan Ricks, Neal Carter, And Glenn Hinton, who serve on the Plan San Tan Committee, a board which is tasked with liaising with the community and developing ideas for implementation of the County’s Greater San Tan Area Plan, enacted by the Board of Supervisors last October. Neal Carter was especially enthusiastic about the event: “I’m excited to see so many people here! It’s great to be recognized, of course, but even more so, it’s really heartwarming to see so many people who step out to be involved in local governance. What a great testament to our great county!”