Fairbanks honors its volunteers during annual dinner

Fairbanks honored its top volunteers of 2017 during a special recognition dinner Jan. 24 at The Willows in Indianapolis.

Woody Wethington was named Volunteer of the Year. Wethington became a patient at Fairbanks in August 2016 and began volunteering as soon as he hit the required 90 days of continuous sobriety. In addition to being a regular presence in Fairbanks’ gym and coffee shop, he also sponsors other men in their recovery, has trained to be a recovery coach and raised about $700 for Fairbanks when he ran a 5K in the last CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.

“While every single volunteer is nothing short of amazing, watching Woody persevere through his life’s challenges and be such a strong man of faith is why we honored him as Volunteer of the Year,” said Kathleen Gill, Fairbanks’ alumni relations officer.

“Winning this award means more to me than I can possibly put into words,” Wethington said. “There are so many great people that dedicate time to Fairbanks and helping others. When you help others and see them smile – really make a difference in someone’s life – the reward is an unexplainable feeling.”

Wethington noted how someone recently told him he was a ray of light to him and his recovery.

“I was taken aback at that moment, and I realized how powerful being of service is,” he said. “Volunteering gives you the chance to impact lives and possibly save a life. What a gift!

“This is what keeps me engaged and coming back. I am honored to be a small part of this recovery world, and beyond grateful for those that have showed me the way. If not for those before me, I’d be lost.”

Also honored are volunteers who demonstrate one of Fairbanks’ core values through their volunteerism. The 2017 recipients are:

Courage – Sarah Mandabach
Trust – David Givens
Hope – John Anderson
Wisdom – Ray Burris

In fiscal year 2017, Fairbanks had 267 volunteers who contributed 10,266 hours. At the equivalent of $10 per hour, that saved the organization $102,665.

The Fairbanks departments utilizing volunteers were:

  • Fresh Start Café (coffee shop) – 3,024 volunteer hours
  • Gift shop – 2,299 volunteer hours
  • Support groups – 2,229 volunteer hours
  • Access center – 692 volunteer hours
  • Medical office – 501 volunteer hours
  • Staff assistants – 392 volunteer hours
  • Panel – 68 volunteer hours

Those in attendance at the dinner represented over 364 years of sobriety.