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Upwards of 1,100 Flagler Volunteers Are Recognized For Indispensable Help During Irma

| December 3, 2017

volunteers recognized

Flagler Volunteer Services Executive Director Suzy Gamblain and Volunteer Coordinator Judy Mazzella received an award from Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey. (Flagler County)

Nothing highlights the vital role of volunteers in a community like suffering the ravages of two hurricanes within 11 months of one another, and that volunteer spirit was celebrated during a social held at Cattleman’s Hall.

An invitation was sent to all local volunteers praising them for their service to the county. “If YOU volunteered before, during or after Irma & Matthew, YOU made a difference in the recovery of Flagler County,” it states.

More than 1,130 volunteers were documented to have lent a hand during the Hurricane Irma emergency. “We know there’s a lot more than that,” said Suzie Gamblain, who leads the organization. They helped at the Emergency Operations Center’s call center, in all hurricane shelters, at the special assistance centers set up in the aftermath of the storm, they helped clean up people’s homes, tarp roofs and do innumerable other jobs, for nothing in return.

While the event was hosted by the non-profit Flagler Volunteer Services, Gamblain and Volunteer Coordinator Judy Mazzella, they were surprised when Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey presented each of them with an award from the county.

“You are always willing to help us, and you always have a smile on your face,” Coffey said. “And your efforts are not just during hurricane season – they are year around.”

Coffey thanked all of the many volunteers in attendance for their service to fellow residents during hurricanes Matthew and Irma.

“This is a team sport,” the administrator said of the efforts required to keep all Flagler County residents safe during natural disasters. “We couldn’t do it without you.”

Coffey said visiting The Giving Store – a Flagler Volunteer Services program that allows children who would otherwise be unable to purchase gifts for their families to select holiday presents for their parents and siblings free of charge – brings tears to his eyes.

Flagler Volunteer Services reports that more than 478 Flagler County children were able to experience “the joy of giving” last year.

For more information about The Giving Store and other Flagler Volunteer Services programs, go to

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