HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --– The Department of Corrections recognized the contributions of 32 volunteers during the agency's annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 22, celebrating those who give their time and talents to help meet prison inmates' educational, health and spiritual needs.
"Our volunteers truly epitomize the notion of 'proactive compassion,' donating thousands of hours of their own time specifically to impact the lives of our inmates," Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. "As an organization, we laud them for their efforts and the positive impact they have on our facilities."
Wetzel served as keynote speaker at this year's banquet, held at the department's Elizabethtown Training Academy. He spoke about the important services that volunteers provide to inmates and how they offer inmates guidance and hope.
The 32 volunteers honored at this year's banquet were:
- F. Ruth Prest, who volunteers with Canine Partners for Life and with inmates who train service dogs at SCI Albion, Erie County.
- Rosemary Cosby, who leads Protestant worship services for inmates at SCI Cambridge Springs, Crawford County.
- Linda Koser, who serves as the coordinator of the Hounds of Prison Education Program that rescues and retrains homeless dogs at SCI Camp Hill, Cumberland County.
- Osie H., who shares a message of recovery with inmates at SCI Chester, Delaware County.
- Sandra C. Dyer, who leads a Christian ministry program at SCI Coal Township, Northumberland County.
- Joseph Gaboda Sr., who leads weekly Jehovah's Witnesses Bible studies at SCI Cresson, Cambria County.
- Ernestine L. Smith, who leads Protestant worship at SCI Dallas, Luzerne County.
- Joseph Y., who conducts Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings for inmates at SCI Fayette, Fayette County.
- Denim J. McDemus, who serves through Yokefellowship Prison Ministry at SCI Frackville, Schuylkill County.
- Rodney and Rita Hartle, who lead spiritual retreats at SCI Forest, Forest County.
- Eva and Curtis Kratz, who lead a 12-step Christian recovery program at SCI Graterford, Montgomery County.
- Sue H., who leads Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings for inmates at SCI Greene, Greene County.
- James R. Reddinger, who leads and coordinates Bible studies for inmates at SCI Greensburg, Westmoreland County.
- David Nice, who leads Catholic Bible studies for inmates at SCI Houtzdale, Clearfield County.
- Daryl J. Peachey, who serves through Yokefellowship Prison Ministry at SCI Huntingdon, Huntingdon County.
- Gerald Macy, who leads and coordinates studies for Jehovah's Witnesses inmates at SCI Laurel Highlands, Somerset County.
- Rev. Rick Newman, who serves through Yokefellowship Prison Ministry at SCI Mahanoy, Schuylkill County.
- Peter and Darlene Squillo, who lead Bible studies for inmates at SCI Mercer, Mercer County.
- Richard Hess, who serves through Yokefellowship Prison Ministry at SCI Muncy, Lycoming County.
- Isack Wanjohi, who leads Bible studies for inmates at SCI Pine Grove, Indiana County.
- Dr. Carole Ginchereau, who provides college-level courses to inmates at SCI Pittsburgh, Allegheny County.
- Greg and Laura Martell, who lead weekly Bible studies for inmates at the Quehanna Boot Camp, Clearfield County.
- William S. Birch, who leads Bible studies through the Gideons, International for inmates at SCI Retreat, Luzerne County.
- John D., who leads AA and NA meetings for inmates at SCI Rockview, Centre County.
- Fredric Eichelman II, who serves through Yokefellowship Prison Ministry at SCI Smithfield, Huntingdon County.
- Lowell Beal, who leads weekly Jehovah's Witnesses Bible studies at SCI Somerset, Somerset County.
- James Conway, who leads weekly Catholic seminars for inmates at SCI Waymart, Wayne County.
- Gene Zeller, who mentors to inmates at the Wernersville Community Corrections Center, Berks County.
Volunteers were presented with an attaché bag, provided by Pennsylvania Correctional Industries, and a framed letter signed by Governor Tom Corbett and Secretary Wetzel.
Media contact: Susan McNaughton, 717-975-4879
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Corrections