Meet our wonderful "Volunteer of the Year" Winners, L-R: Jeff Emmeluth, Jenna Huseinovic, Debbie Butler, Shelly & Mark Jones, Rosemary Smith, Mary Zottoli, and David Huber (Not pictured: MaryJo Christian).
Hibiscus Children's Center had the privilege of honoring its wonderful volunteers at a special luncheon held on April 25th at the River Walk Center in Ft. Pierce. During this special time, it was the perfect opportunity to say thank you to these incredible volunteers who make a difference every day in children’s lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts – every single volunteer is important. Following a lovely lunch, the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the awards program; however, every volunteer deserves to be recognized and profusely thanked for their dedication.
Hibiscus Children’s Center is delighted to share our Volunteer of the Year winners:
Hibiscus Village Volunteer – David Huber: David began volunteering in early 2016 at the Village where he wasted no time in getting to know the staff members and teens. His background is in business and he utilizes his professional skills to help mentor the teen boys weekly, encouraging them to do well in school and helping to motivate them for their future and potential job opportunities. He is a great listener and always has a smile on his face! David serves at the Village holiday parties and has also donated many items to the Village.
Hibiscus Shelter Volunteers - Mark & Shelly Jones: This awesome couple have been volunteering for over two years at the Hibiscus Shelter on a weekly basis. They are willing to do whatever is asked of them including cleaning, organizing the attic, playing with the children, and more. Their kind and loving hearts are evident as they truly embrace helping the children and they also donate to assist with the daily Shelter operations.
Hibiscus Treasure House Volunteer – MaryJo Christian: MaryJo has been a volunteer for nearly two years at the Hibiscus Thrift Store where she has made connections with each of the staff, as well as the customers. Our frequent shoppers enjoy seeing her and she is welcoming to the new shoppers. Mary Jo is more than willing to extend her shifts whenever the extra help is needed. MaryJo willingly takes on additional duties to help others and we are so grateful for her dedication.
Hibiscus Student Intern Volunteer – Jenna Huseinovic
Jenna attends Palm Beach Atlantic University and is working on her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. She is an intern at the Hibiscus Shelter and has been a wonderful addition to the Mental Health Services team. Jenna is always available to assist clinical staff and help the children who are having a difficult time. She also teaches children with special needs how to play the guitar, piano and introduction to music. Jenna has been a great asset to the Hibiscus children and staff.
Hibiscus Indian River County Volunteer – Rosemary Smith
Rosemary, or “Ro” as her friends call her, is known for getting the job done! Ro has been an instrumental member of the Indian River Guild since 2012 and has served as Secretary. Ro's leadership is greatly appreciated as she is currently serving her second term as Guild President, and will be Vice President during our upcoming fiscal year. She has chaired several successful fundraisers for the youth living at the Village and has volunteered on several fundraising committees. Ro is known for her warmth and smile and all agree that her compassion and commitment to helping our youth is exemplary and inspirational.
Hibiscus Martin County Volunteer – Mary Zottoli
Since 2004, you can find Mary zipping around town to pick up auction items for Hibiscus’ fundraisers, chairing golf tournaments and helping on several event committees to raise critical funds for the children. Mary also shops for school supplies, sheets, and blankets for the children. As an active Guild member, she has hosted meetings, served as the Secretary/Treasurer for five years, and is a mentor to new members. Mary and her husband, Danny, have chaired a golf tournament in their community for many years and have raised thousands of dollars. She is truly a wonderful volunteer and ambassador for the children.
Hibiscus St. Lucie County Volunteer – Jeff Emmeluth
Jeff shares his volunteer leadership skills with Hibiscus as the current President of the St. Lucie County Outreach Committee and a member of the Hibiscus Governing Board. As an avid golfer, Jeff has been instrumental as a co-chair of several Hibiscus golf tournament fundraisers and has helped on the St. Lucie County Wine and Dine event. Jeff is a great advocate for Hibiscus in our community as well.
Community Partner – Debbie Butler
Debbie is a passionate children’s advocate and a tremendous community volunteer. As President of Guardians For New Futures, a local non-profit, she led the campaign to build the Sanctuary4Kids Emergency Shelter in Port St. Lucie and donated the house to Hibiscus Children’s Center. She secured the funding and in-kind donations for this beautiful six-bedroom home that welcomes children who have been removed from their abusive home and need a temporary place to stay. Debbie is a dynamic leader and dedicated volunteer who always goes the extra mile for the benefit of the children.
Thank you all for your incredible dedication and commitment to our children and youth!