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AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award 

 
     
The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving the well-being of Army families and the local community. Nominees are put forward by AUSA Chapters.

The winning family receives a trip to Washington D.C. for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize and a gift basket courtesy of TriWest, AUSA and GEICO. Two runner-up families are also selected. 

Each runner-up family receives a certificate of distinction, a savings bond, and a gift basket in recognition of their dedicated service to their fellow Soldiers, Army families, and communities. The first runner-up will be flown to the AUSA Annual Meeting and the Military Family Forums courtesy of Express Scripts. 

AUSA Family Programs extends sincere thanks to the TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Express Scripts for their very generous support for this award.
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2010 Volunteer Family of the Year
The Faniel Family

 
MSG Evalani Faniel, Dewey Faniel (husband), Sam (2)
Back: Alex (12) and Emmanuel (14) 
   
Maurice Faniel

The Association of the US Army Family Programs Directorate is pleased to announce MSG Evalani Faniel and Family of Fort Lee, Virginia, as the 2010 winner of the AUSA Volunteer Family of Year Award. We congratulate MSG Faniel, her husband Dewey, and their children on their selection and thank them for their outstanding contribution of time and energy to their fellow Army families and their community.

MSG Evalani Faniel is currently serving as the Senior Proponent NCO with The Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, VA.  In addition to her 21 years of military volunteer service, she has also committed to helping the civilian community by dedicating her time to children in the community.  She volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and works with youth that are identified as having problems within the program.  Through her church, Evalani mentors youth in life areas and participates in the Youth Entrepreneur Program, which teaches adolescents business and financial awareness.  She has also volunteered at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWR) events, including the Oktoberfest children’s area and games, youth sports.  In her spare time Evalani has played on the Fort Lee female basketball team. 

The Faniel Family started the Volunteer Service Memorial Scholarship, in memory of their oldest son, Maurice, whom they sadly lost to leukemia in March 2009.  The scholarship recognizes athletes with a record of volunteer service.  Understandably close to MSG Faniels’s heart is her volunteer work with various cancer associations.  These activities include organizing and walking with local teams such as Relay for Life and the Susan G. Komen Walk-A-Thon.  For her volunteer efforts, MSG Faniel has received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Order of Saint Martin, and numerous Certificates of Appreciation from many organizations.   

Dewey Faniel is a Department of Defense Contract Specialist and also fully involved volunteer. He mentors and works with youth through the local Parks and Recreation Department and has regularly coached FMWR basketball and football seasons over the past ten years. Dewey serves on the Volunteer Service Memorial Scholarship Committee along with his wife.  He whole-heartily supports his family’s volunteering efforts and has served as an ambassador of the Department of the Army’s Freedom Team Salute, which is an Army program through which Soldiers can recognize parents, spouses and employers for the support and strength they provide, while the Soldier is serving to protect our freedom and the American way of life.

Alex Faniel, age 12, has already been recognized for his commitment and service to his community. In addition to joining his family as a committee member on the Volunteer Service Memorial Scholarship, Alex works with his church’s basketball team and the Entrepreneur Youth Group and also provides care and comfort to abandoned animals at the local animal shelter. In fact when the Faniels received the call notifying them that they had been selected as the AUSA Volunteer Family of the year, they were working at the animal shelter.

Recently after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Alex expressed his concern for the many people affected and asked his mother how their family could assist the Haitian people and children. MSG Faniel went into action and coordinated a massive food drive contacting on-post unit commands and off-post local community supporting agencies to collect food to send to region. The Fort Lee Chapel provided transportation and mailing for the food collected.  The Faniel family and the chapel community established various check points throughout the community such as the commissary and at several Wal-Marts, where tractor trailers were waiting to be loaded with donations. What began as a one day effort turned into three consecutive weekends, and resulted in over $2000 worth of goods being collected at each store. Following that effort which became known as the Fort Lee Helping Hands for Haiti Project, Alex was nominated for the national Military Child of the Year Award. Alex was awarded a certificate of Appreciation by the Assistant Commandment from the Quartermaster School and also received another certificate from Parks and Recreation.

This family has demonstrated their strong commitment to serving their military and civilian communities through a number of volunteer and service activities. The Faniels have demonstrated their commitment, care and concern by turning their pain from the loss of their son into an effort to help others fighting cancer, mentoring youth to help provide them with the opportunity to become successful young adults and  helping those in need thousands of miles away.  As individuals and as a family, the Faniel’s show a a generosity of spirit and dedication to reaching out to help others that makes them model representatives for our Army volunteer community.  MSG Evalani and Dewey Faniel and their son Alex are truly deserving of the title of AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year.

As recipients of this year’s AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award, the Faniel family will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize, and a gift basket courtesy of TriWest, AUSA and GEICO. TriWest Healthcare Alliance partners with the Department of Defense (DoD) to do "Whatever It Takes" to support the healthcare needs of 2.7 million members of America's military family. 

The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community and will be presented on Monday, October 25, 2010 at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting, which takes place October 25 through 27, 2010 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

AUSA Family Programs would also like to congratulate the two runner-up families: LTC Clint and Liz Schreckhise and their children Brandon, Christian and Dylan of Beebe, Arkansas, and SFC Matthew and Lisa Baker and their family of Honolulu, Hawaii. Each runner-up family will be awarded a certificate of distinction, a savings bond, and a gift basket in recognition of their dedicated service to their fellow Soldiers, Army families, and communities. The 1st runner-up family, the Schreckhise Family, will also be flown to the AUSA Annual Meeting and the Military Family Forums courtesy of Express Scripts. Express Scripts makes the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable for tens of millions of consumers through thousands of employers, government, union and health plans.

AUSA Family Programs extends sincere appreciation to the TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Express Scripts for their very generous support for this award.