Audrey Baker honored as 2014 Volunteer of the Year for Mission Trails Regional Park

Congratulations to Audrey Baker for receiving the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award presented at the annual Volunteer Awards program and dinner hosted by the MTRP Foundation and held at the MTRP Visitor Center on Saturday evening, February 7. The award was presented by Senior Ranger Andy Quinn. Audrey has been a key volunteer at MTRP since 2009 and a Trail Guide since 2010. She can frequently be seen on the trails as a Trail Guide, hiking with friend, or talking to a visitor from behind the desk of the Visitor Center. She often has a laptop tucked under her arm as she gathers information for her monthly article in the Mission Times Courier. She is also a contributor of articles for the MTRP quarterly newsletter and an author of articles in the Trail Talk Newsletter distributed to all the Trail Guides. As the 2014 Volunteer of the Year, Audrey logged over 250 hours volunteering at Mission Trails and another 400 plus hours researching and writing her articles.

Nancy Acevedo, Vice President of the MTRP Foundation, thanked the volunteers on behalf of all the MTRP Foundation Board members for their dedication and never ending support for Mission Trails. "Your countless volunteer hours are the glue that allows everything in the park to flourish. As a former employee of the City of San Diego, serving as Deputy Director for the Open Space Division, I was involved in the development of Mission Trails from day one. When we first opened the park I was given just one Ranger. It was definitely the volunteers who played a key role and contributed to the success of MTRP."

In addition to awarding 2014 Volunteer of the Year, key volunteers were recognized in a number of categories:

Visitor Center - Gary Jensen
Gift Shop - Tom Thompson
Trail Restoration - Robert Graham
Park Patrol - Caron Shake
Park Beautification - Doug Fenske
Trail Guide - Millie Basden
Habitat Restoration - Terry Gaughen

Each of the individuals mentioned above received certificates of appreciation from the MTRP Foundation and Councilmember Scott Sherman, and a $100 VISA Gift Card from the MTRP Foundation.

Special recognition was also given to Kumeyaay Lake Campground Hosts John and Debbie Gates for their on-going efforts to help maintain the campground, and to volunteer Linda Hassakis for developing and maintaining the MTRP facebook and Twitter accounts.

David Lee, the Center Director for the MTRP Visitor Center also presented plaques to the volunteers who have been involved in MTRP for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.Those who have been volunteering for 20 years were: Linda Kramer, George Varga, Cathy Perry, Bill White, Dolores Sniegowski, and Tom Walters.

Thank you to O'Hungry's Restaurant for donating the entrees and vegetables for our dinner and to Windmill Farms, Cheers Deli, Einstein Bagel, Rita's Frozen Italian Ice, Lightspeed Outdoors, The Birch Aquarium, Living Coast Discovery Center, The Original Golden Bagel, and the MTRP Gift Shop for contributing their respective door prizes!

Audrey Baker displaying her certificate and gift card with Senior Ranger Andy Quinn.
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