Twenty-four individuals and groups will be honored with the 2017 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Award on Oct. 25 at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, 1131 N. Dupont Highway.

The people and organizations engaged in diverse activities including mentoring children, rescuing wildlife, helping seniors and veterans and protecting the environment.

“The thousands of volunteers across our state make connections and forge relationships each day that make a difference in the lives of so many people,” Gov. John Carney said. “By supporting vulnerable individuals and families, these dedicated volunteers play a critical role in helping us to build stronger communities. With that appreciation in mind, it is my privilege to honor the 24 individuals and groups with the 2017 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.”

The Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Ben Fournier, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, a 25-year volunteer at Delaware Hospice’s grief camp for children, Camp New Hope.

New Castle County individual winners are Marie G. Finamore, arts/culture; Mary E. King, community service; Gerald R. Poirier, education/literacy; Desiree Dowling, health and special needs; and Elaine Vignola, human needs.

The Kent County individual winner is the Rev. Aaron Appling, human needs.

Sussex County individual winners are Roxanne Nelson, economic development; Thomas Connelly, education/literacy; Maryanne Yingst, environment; Nancy Feichtl, healthy futures; Chase A. Marvil, social justice/advocacy; and Scott Underkoffler, veterans and military families.

New Castle County group winners are Kalmar Nyckel Volunteers, arts/culture; Networks Schools for Employability Skills, economic development; Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation, education/literacy; Christiana Care Health System Project Connect Volunteers, health and special needs; and Moving for Melanoma, healthy futures.

Kent County group winners are DonDel Theatre Co., community service; and Friends of Killens Pond State Park, environment.

Sussex County group winners are Greater Lewes Community Village, human needs; Ocean View Police Volunteers, public safety; Clothing Our Kids, social justice/advocacy; and Operation SEAS the Day, veterans and military families.

A reception will begin at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. and the ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person and are available at

For more, visit