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Volunteer Profiles 7
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2015 Volunteer Awards Nominee Profiles

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Ronald "Doc" G. Wexler
Nominated by Bonnie C. Rogers

Ron Wexler’s father gave him the nickname "Doc" at about age seven because Ron frequently brought home injured baby animals in need of care. 

Doc founded his Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center (OWRC) more than two decades ago in Lusby. He is a state veterinary certified wildlife specialist and holder of many wildlife licenses. He is also a teacher to whom rehabilitators, veterinarians and students come to learn animal healing skills and expertise. 

Doc’s mission is to help the community with wildlife emergencies and to educate the public about our wildlife and environmental issues. Under Doc’s direction and expertise, OWRC has witnessed several top accomplishments in recent years. Four of the most recent ones include: 
  1. Completion of Maryland’s first wildlife clinic
  2. Launch of the "Eagle One" project that tracks nesting sites of bald eagles
  3. A new incubator room for infant mammals and birds
  4. New community education opportunities

Doc is the core supporter of his center, having deeded his property to it and endowed the Wexler Wildlife Foundation with $100,000. Doc is one man who makes the difference between life and death for creatures great and small and of all species.

Doc has been called the St. Francis of the wildlife world. That is his life.      
Art Wittig
Nominated by Barbara Stinnett

Art Wittig has a deep concern for the environment and for making every effort to leave this earth environmentally secure for future generations. 

Art worked in Calvert County Public Schools and was a proud NJROTC instructor. He is known for establishing a school recycling program and encouraging recycling by placing recognizable bins in strategic areas with good student access. 

As a volunteer on the Calvert County Fair Board, Art also established a recycling program so that the board could encourage sound environmental decisions at the fair and at events held at the fairgrounds. Working with local officials, he obtained recycle bins for placement at both indoor and outdoor activities. 

Pursuing his passion for the environment, Art established a "Blue Bird" trail by placing numerous bluebird nesting boxes around the perimeter of the fairground’s 40-acre site. He checks these regularly and records his findings.

We need more volunteers like Art, whose interest and time is devoted to training the next generations about the wonders and beauty of the world.
Gustave Wolf
Nominated by Phyllis Lester

Gus Wolf has volunteered in the Calvert County community for decades. With the Calvert County United Way Day of Caring Committee, he proved he is the type of person who does not stop until the job is completed, regardless as to how long it takes. 

With the Angel Tree Program, Gus ensured children of Calvert’s struggling families receive gifts during the holidays. As community coordinator of the program, he formalized the selection process of families by having churches, businesses and civic groups adopt them, making it easier to keep record of the children adopted as well as track down missing gifts.

Gus is also a coordinator at the Calvert Churches Community Food Pantry, where he volunteers in the trenches, picking up and handing out food. In his retirement, Gus could have chosen to go home and sit down. Instead, he continues to work hard to make Calvert County a better and more compassionate community. He does so without fanfare or the need or expectation of recognition. Today, he gets the recognition he deserves.

From left: Paul McBride, Chris Doherty and Bryan Rager
Woodchuck Program
Nominated by David F. Gormley, Jr., Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus

In 2008 the Knights of Columbus Council 7870 in North Beach began an outreach program to remove fallen trees from communities in and around the town. Upon achieving modest success, they decided to take it further and contacted the Ladies of Charity Food Pantry to find families that could use firewood to heat their homes.

The first year they provided wood for three families. The effort grew to supply more than a dozen low-income families and was appropriately dubbed the Woodchuck Program.

The members of the Woodchuck Program cut, load, deliver and stack the wood. They also take into account a recipient’s storage space and the size of logs needed, providing smaller pieces for the elderly to make it easier to carry into the house.

Gathering, splitting and transporting wood has built teamwork among the Knights and strengthened their fraternal bond. Members not only volunteer their time but their equipment as well. One Knight donated a wood splitter that is now a permanent fixture at "The Wood Sanctuary." Other members donate use of their own splitters or pickup trucks. All in all, it is a tree-mendous endeavor.

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