2 locals honored for volunteer service at Pierce County Jail

Two local residents who have spent approximately 21,000 volunteer hours helping inmates at the Pierce County Jail were recently honored for their long-term volunteer work by being named Volunteers of the Year by Pierce County officials.

Ron Montgomery was recognized for his work with Pierce County Jail inmates, who learn basic life principles, study the Bible, share their stories of struggles, and receive encouragement from Montgomery two times per week. According to Pierce County officials, Montgomery has offered approximately 10,000 of volunteer service at the jail over the past 30 years.

Leonard “Steve” Vanderlinda was also recognized for his work with Pierce County Jail inmates, who study the Bible and receive counseling from Vanderlinda three times per week. According to Pierce County officials, Vanderlina has offered approximately 11,000 hours of volunteer service at the jail over the past 25 years.

Montgomery and Vanderlinda were among more than 100 volunteers honored during an annual brunch on Sat., March 15, at Clover Park Technical College. More than 400 guests attended the brunch to recognize the volunteers who gave nearly 28,000 hours of volunteer service to Pierce County government last year. Pierce County Council and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy showed their appreciation for the volunteers by co-sponsoring a resolution proclaiming the week of March 10 as “Volunteer Recognition Week” in Pierce County.

Other honorees included:

  • Joyce Messer, who was awarded a Special Achievement Award for her 20 years of service to the Sheriff’s Department Foothills Detachment. Messer assists with various administrative tasks and has been instrumental in compiling and copying reports that are submitted to the Pierce County Prosecutor for determination of charges and case clearing;
  • Carl Ritting, who also received a Special Achievement Award for his service to the Aging and Disability Resources (ADR) Advisory Board. Ritting joined the ADR Advisory Board at the age of 80 and in his three terms of service has served as the Chair of the Public Relations/Education and Advocacy Committee, the Planning and Allocations Committee, the Quality Improvement/Customer Service Committee, and as Second Officer for the Advisory Board;
  • The German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington received the Volunteer Group of the Year award, which is valued by the Department of Emergency Management. This eight-member group searches for lost people, such as hikers and dementia patients, and assists in the recovery of human remains.
  • Other volunteers were recognized for their work with Pierce County Community Connections, Juvenile Court, Superior Court, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works and Utilities.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the annual Pierce County volunteer recognition program, click on the following links: