|The AUSA Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community.
The Volunteer Family of the Year Award is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Rubbermaid. The winning family enjoys a trip to Washington, DC, where they are recognized at the opening ceremony of the AUSA Annual Meeting. They also receive a cash prize courtesy of Rubbermaid and a gift basket filled with Rubbermaid products. The two runner-up families also receive gift baskets and every nominated family receives a certificate and an AUSA coin.
The 2003 AUSA Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year Awardees, Staff Sgt. Michael McClaran, his wife Sheila and daughter Kimberly are an outstanding example of the many Army families who are dedicated to improving the lives of their fellow military families and their communities through volunteer service. The McClarans, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, will receive their award and be honored before Army and civilian leaders and family members at the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting, Oct. 6-9, at the New Washington Convention Center.
In addition to receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Washington to participate in AUSA's Annual Meeting, the McClaran Family will receive a cash award and a gift basket filled with AUSA and Rubbermaid products, all courtesy of the Rubbermaid Group,
The McClarans are active members of both their Army and civilian communities. Staff Sgt. McClaran is a member of the 25th ID (L) Band, and he and Mrs. McClaran are active with the unit Family Readiness Group. Together, the McClarans have coordinated numerous fundraisers, family events, and programs for families of deployed soldiers. Both also have served as liaisons between Army installation management officials and residents and are heavily involved in the Hawaii Army Mayoral Program. Staff Sergeant and Mrs. McClaran also volunteer their time assisting local high school students through Project Graduation for Leilehua High School and the Teen Center Council. The project puts together an alcohol and drug free graduation celebration for graduating seniors. Mrs. McClaran has served as an Army Family Action Plan delegate, participated in "Make a Difference Day", assisted with local Girl Scout troops, and supported the Schofield Barracks Teen Center as a parent-volunteer.
It's not surprising that the McClaran's daughter Kimberly has followed her parent's example. As well as supporting her parents with FRG activities and the Hawaii Army Mayoral Program, Kimberley has her own volunteer interests. She is a member of the Schofield Barracks Chapel Catholic Choir and Aloha Community Chorus, and has been a member of the Hawaii State Student Council and President of the local AAFES Teen Board. Kimberly is an energetic fundraiser for her high school and has participated in Campus beautification projects and programs to help the homeless. Currently, she serves as a tour guide on the USS Missouri.
"Be it their personal pride, love and care for one another, generosity and love for the members of their community, or their everlasting patriotism and commitment to making the world a better place, the McClaran family is truly an exceptional Army family," Eileen McLaughin of AUSA Hawaii Chapter said in nominating the family for the award.
Two additional Army Families were also recognized for their outstanding volunteerism. Lt. Col. Thomas and Velia Fitzpatrick of Fort Gordon, Ga., and Staff Sgt. Timothy and Lisa Torey of Fort Meade, Md., will receive $500 savings bonds and AUSA and Rubbermaid gifts.
The Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community. It is open to Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve Component, Retiree and Army civilian families. All AUSA chapters had the opportunity to nominate up to three families to receive the award. Kudos should go to the Hawaii chapter for recognizing the extraordinary volunteer contribution made by the McClaran family and for wanting to make sure they were recognized for their many contributions.
Although the Award is only in its second year, it has clearly shown the degree to which volunteers enrich and strengthen the Army community. Like last year's Award recipients, Sergeant First Class and Mrs. Dedeaux and their daughters Sydney and Jade of Fort Knox, Ky., the McClaran family is an excellent example of the volunteer spirit celebrated through this award.