Sara Ballard passes away;
Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties mourns death of executive director
The Board of Directors and staff of the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties are deeply saddened to announce that Sara Ballard, the organization’s executive director, passed away at Providence Saint Peter Hospital in Olympia this morning. Her parents were able to be with her.
On behalf of the entire community, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Ballard family and all Sara’s friends.
Sara was 36 years old. She was hospitalized over the weekend after suffering a stroke caused by a blood clot in her lung.
“Sara was a passionate and enthusiastic advocate for people from all walks of life. She believed that by working together we can make our communities a better place,” said Board of Directors president Russ Carstensen. “She will be deeply missed.”
Sara grew up in Michigan and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Alma College in Alma. She joined the Volunteer Center as executive director in March of 2008. Before moving to Olympia, she was the senior manager at the Volunteer Center at United Way of Snohomish County in Everett, Washington.
Sara also served as the associate director of the Volunteer Centers of Michigan in Lansing, program manager for the Michigan Health Council, special projects and event coordinator for the Michigan House of Representatives, and donor recruitment representative for the American Red Cross. She was a certified Volunteer Administrator, a graduate of the 2005 Michigan Nonprofit Association Emerging Leader course, and a graduate of Leadership Thurston County in 2009. She was president of the Volunteer Centers of Washington, a state association of the sixteen Volunteer Centers serving the residents of Washington State.
On their next furlough day, many state workers won’t just be taking a day off. They’ll be giving a Day of Service.
The Thurston County Steering Committee of the Combined Fund Drive, teaming with the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties, is organizing a Day of Service cleanup event in downtown Olympia on August 6. They will be removing trash, digging weeds, and more to make downtown sparkle in the summer sun. All state employees – and all other interested volunteers – are invited to participate.
The idea first came from Valerie Pollet of the Medicaid Purchasing Administration at the Department of Social & Health Services. She said, “If this is affecting me and my coworkers in the pocketbook, and affecting the clients we serve, I wanted to do something to give back to the community. One thing led to another and this is the result.”
“The state employees involved are demonstrating that their commitment to public service remains strong even during difficult budget times,” said Sara Ballard, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties. “The idea came from state employees, and the Volunteer Center is proud to help bring this project to life.”
Volunteers for the downtown cleanup should meet at the Heritage Park fountain, on 4th Avenue and Sylvester Street, at 9 AM. Participants are asked to bring their own gloves and plastic trash bags, and basic cleaning tools such as brooms if they can. For more information or to RSVP, call the Volunteer Center at 741-2622 or visit their website at www.volunteer.ws.
After the event, everyone is invited to come socialize and celebrate. From 2-5 PM, the Fish Bowl Brew Pub is offering half price pints of beer for participants.
Are you single and looking to meet others with similar interests? Do you like to volunteer? Do you like to raise money for a good cause?
Then come to the Heritage Room at 604 Water St. in Downtown Olympia on Friday, June 18th for a night of fun and philanthropy. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on service project, learn more about local volunteer opportunities and mingle with other singles.
Do you carry a video camera with you 24/7? Are you looking for a way to showcase your favorite volunteer organization? The Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties is calling all would-be filmmakers who are passionate about service to enter the Movies About Change Contest!
We're looking for inspirational stories about every day people making a difference in their community. Whether it's helping the homeless, mentoring children or cleaning up the environment, we want motivational examples of volunteer efforts going on in Lewis, Mason or Thurston County. Videos should inspire volunteerism, highlight a nonprofit and their work, or educate about a community need in those counties.
Cash or prizes will be awarded to top entries which will be selected by a panel of judges. Some winning videos may be selected to screen at the Voluntonies Award Show on May 21st, 2010. Submissions must be entirely original work whether amateur or professional, and should make a clear statement about the impact of an organization, project or volunteer in the community.
Entries will be accepted under the following categories: Education Poverty Alleviation Community Renewal Transformative Stories of Inspiration and Volunteerism Entries must be received on a flash drive by May 5th, 2010 through one of the following means:
Video should be in MP4, MPEG, MPG, WMV, AVI, or MOV format. Entrants may submit the Contest Entry Form and a Flash Drive containing one video per Flash Drive in a clearly marked envelop with entrants first and last name.
The Volunteer Center is celebrating our new expansion office in downtown Olympia on Saturday, April 24th by participating in one of the town's biggest local traditions - the Procession of the Species and the Spring Arts Walk!
Drop by our new location at 317 4th Ave. E., Olympia, WA 98501 on Saturday, April 24th, from noon to 7 p.m. and check out our new office which will be on the Arts Walk map, and see art created by Komachin Middle School students!
Lunch will also be served for guests from noon to 2 p.m. or you can stop by from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for appetizers and beverages. Explore new ways to serve! Visit us at http://volunteer.ws/ or call (360) 741-2622 to find ways to change the place where you live!