Sylvia E. J. Kidd
Director, AUSA Family Programs
The Association of the U.S. Army Family Programs Directorate announces the Bolke Family of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., as the 2009 AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year.
AUSA Family Programs congratulates and thanks Maj. Kevin Bolke, his wife DeDe, and their children, Max, Benjamin, Nicholas and Rex, for their outstanding contributions of time and energy to the Army family and to the community.
In addition to his military volunteer service, Major Bolke, who is assigned to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s analysis center, fills his evenings and weekends volunteering his time in various ways.
He is the Troop 79 Cub Scouts assistant leader and organizes special events such as the Pinewood Derby and Holiday Cookies for Soldiers.
He also has a passion for team sports, and volunteers with Child Youth and School Services as a sports and fitness baseball coach who has coached two seasons and is devoted to ensuring his team not only learns the skills of baseball, but also the attributes of good sportsmanship, team work and the value of supporting others.
Maj. Bolke serves as a volunteer teacher’s assistant at his son’s school that allows the teacher to have more "teaching" time.
He also writes a monthly newsletter for new families in the community, organizes family events and unit gatherings and participates in fundraising activities throughout the year.
The Bolke family, the 2009 AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year. Pictured are Maj. Kevin Bolke holding Nicholas, wife DeDe with 3-week-old Rex, Max standing in front of Major Bolke, and Benjamin.
DeDe Bolke devotes her time as president of the White Sands Spouses and Civilians Club where she leads a board of seven members who work together to build a sense of community and strengthen friendships among more than 50 club members including military spouses, active duty soldiers, retirees and civilians.
She welcomes new families to the community, helps with several major fundraisers and has served as the Parent & Teacher Association (PTA) vice president.
DeDe spends countless hours meeting with community members to encourage them to become involved in their new community.
DeDe also volunteers as an assistant in the classroom and supervises children on field trips and school activity days.
She is a volunteer coordinator for the Cub Scouts serving as treasurer and supports her husband’s Family Readiness Group by participating in fundraising activities and organizing social events.
In addition to many other activities, DeDe volunteers at Army Community Services and with the Army Family Team Building and Army Family Action Plan programs.
She exemplifies the spirit of caring and sharing that is so prevalent with volunteers.
DeDe was awarded the 2008 Volunteer of the Year Award for White Sands Missile Range.
Bolke and his wife DeDe have four sons: Max, 8; Benjamin, 6; Nicholas, 3 and 3-week-old Rex.
Max and Benjamin are following in their parent’s footsteps and have their own volunteer activities.
Strong family values and volunteering have been instilled in the children by their parents.
For the past two years Max and Ben have volunteered to serve water to over 5,000 participants of the Bataan Death March Memorial Race held at White Sands in March.
Volunteering at a Bataan water point is an honor and a position both boys take seriously. They also assist the White Sands Club in fundraising activities by folding programs, counting and sorting items and helping set up and take down for events.
Both are active Cub Scouts, enjoy learning Tae Kwan Do and love to play on baseball teams.
This family has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the military and their civilian communities through a number of volunteer and service activities. As a family and as individuals, the Bolkes demonstrate a generosity of spirit and commitment to service that makes them truly deserving of the title of AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year.
This annual award recognizes an exceptional family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community and it will be presented to the Bolkes’ on Monday, Oct. 5, at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, which takes place Oct. 5-7, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
As recipients of this year’s AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year Award, the Bolke family will receive a trip to Washington for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize and a gift basket courtesy of Rubbermaid, AUSA and GEICO.
AUSA Family Programs also congratulates the two runner-up families: Col. John and Molly Lenk and family of McDonough, Ga., and Mrs. Barclay Murphy and her children, Luke and Elly of Charleston, S.C.
Each runner up family will receive a certificate, a savings bond and a gift basket in recognition of their dedicated service to their fellow soldiers, Army families and communities.
AUSA Family Programs thanks these families for their dedicated service and to the Newell Rubbermaid Corporation for its generous support of this award.