2009 Volunteer Family of the Year 

The Bolke Family

DeDe is holding Rex (3 weeks). Kevin is holding
Nicholas (3 years) Max (8) is standing in front of his
dad and Benjamin (6) is standing next to his dad.

The Association of the US Army Family Programs Directorate is pleased to announce the Bolke Family of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, as the 2009 winner of the AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of Year Award. AUSA Family Programs would like to congratulate and also thank Major Kevin Bolke, his wife DeDe, and their children for their outstanding contribution of time and energy to the Army family and to the community in which they live. 

In addition to his military volunteer service Major Bolke who is a Combat Operations Analyst with the
TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC-WSMR), White Sands Missile Range fills his evenings and weekends volunteering his time in various ways; he is the Troop 79 Cub Scouts Assistant Leader to a troop of 30 boys and organizes special events such as Pinewood Derby and Holiday Cookies for Soldiers.

Major Bolke, has a passion for team sports, and volunteers his time with Child Youth and School Services as a Sports and Fitness Baseball coach. He 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. 

Major Bolke also serves as a volunteer teacher’s assistant for the school his sons attend, fulfilling duties to allow 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.

DeDe Bolke devotes her time to service for others as well.  As President of the White Sands Spouses and Civilians Club, she leads a Board of seven elected members who all work together to  build a sense of community and strengthen friendships among more than 50 club members which include 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 liaising 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. Mrs. Bolke supports her husband’s unit’s Family Readiness Group by participating in fundraising and organizing social events. In addition to the many other activities that she is involved in DeDe also volunteers at Army Community Service (ACS) and with the Army Family Team Building (AFTB), and Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) programs.

She exemplifies the spirit of caring and sharing that is so prevalent with volunteers and is a strong leader in her community.  DeDe was awarded the 2008 Volunteer of the Year Award for White Sands Missile Range.

Major Bolke and his wife DeDe have four sons; Max, 8yrs old, Benjamin, 6 yrs old, Nicholas, 3 and 3 week old Rex.  Max and Benjamin are already following in their parent’s footsteps and have their own volunteer activities. The Bolke family values serving others and Major Bolke and DeDe have instilled this selfless attitude into their children. For the past two years Max and Ben have volunteered to serve water to over 5000 participants of the Bataan Death March Memorial Race held at White Sands each March. Volunteering at the Bataan Water Point is an honor and a position both boys take seriously. They also assist the White Sands Club in preparation of fundraising activities whenever possible 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 WSMR 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. Both as a family and as individuals, the Bolke family demonstrates 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.

The AUSA Newell Rubbermaid 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 to the Bolkes’ on Monday, October 5th, at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting, which takes place October 5 through 7, 2009 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

As recipients of this year’s AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year Award, the Bolke family will receive a trip to Washington D.C. for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize, and a gift basket courtesy of Rubbermaid, AUSA and GEICO.

AUSA Family Programs would also like to congratulate the two runner-up families: Colonel John and Molly Lenk and family of McDonough, Georgia, and Mrs. Barclay Murphy and her children Luke and Elly of Charleston, South Carolina. Each runner up family will receive 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.

AUSA Family Programs extends sincere thanks to these families for their dedicated service and to the Newell Rubbermaid Corporation for their very generous support for this award.