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Will you nominate someone next year for the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Association of the United States Army selected Sgt. Blagoy Pogoncheff, his wife Stacie, and their three children – Kelbie, Kialie and Andon – to receive the 2015 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award.

This annual award recognizes an exceptional family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community, and will be presented to the Pogoncheffs at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, Oct. 12 – 14, in Washington, D.C.

Stacie is a volunteer for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), working three days a week at the EFMP office.

She assists the staff in providing one-on-one services to their clients and takes on the responsibility for planning and executing the annual three day EFMP camp.

The family volunteered at the camp where Blagoy organized and recruited volunteers to run the fishing dock, while Kelbie ran the arts and crafts activities. Kialie and Andon participated in the camp events and then helped clean up.

Stacie’s other volunteer positions include: retreat coordinator for the Protestant Women of the Chapel’s women’s retreat, Family Readiness Group (FRG) treasurer, classroom volunteer, and Mann Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association Treasurer.

Blagoy’s experience as a soccer player made him invaluable to the Mann Middle School Girls Junior Varsity Soccer team.

He works with the defensive players and goalies up to two times a week. Blagoy also volunteered as the assistant den leader and den leader for his son’s Cub Scout pack, and worked hard in helping the scouts earn badges and participate in overnight camps.

The family supported fundraising efforts at two major JBLM events. While Stacie and the children sold snow cones, Blagoy recruited buyers with his "Buy a Snow Cone, Drop an MP" campaign.

When someone purchased a snow cone, he and his fellow military police soldiers dropped for pushups or sit-ups as directed by the buyer. The efforts of this activity raised $1,500 for the FRG in just two single days.

The Pogoncheff family also has a passion for the Special Olympics program.

Andon participates as an Olympian and his sisters show their support by serving as unified partners. Unified partners participate in relays and team sports along with the Special Olympians. Blagoy, Stacie, Kelbie, and Kialie assist as coaches and supporters with bowling, softball, and golf.

Most recently, Stacie and Kialie served as volunteer chalk leaders for Operation Kids Undergoing Deployment Operations.

As chalk leaders, they guided a group of children through the stages of preparation for deployment.

Kialie and Andon helped with the fingerprinting station where they were recognized as exceptionally helpful volunteers.

Take a few moments to get to know the Pogoncheff family better.

Q. One word to describe our family?

Resilient.

Q. What or who inspires us to serve our military community?

First and foremost, our son has been the inspiration from the get go. My husband, Blagoy, joined the Army in order to provide better care for our son and his medical needs.

Andon, our son, truly exemplifies resilience.

Our girls also exemplify this in their willingness to join all efforts to serve our community. We believe in paying it forward. Many people helped us when our son was born at 24 weeks. Volunteering is the best way we know how to give back.

We may not have a lot of money, but time is something we can freely give.

Q. What do we enjoy most about being a military family?

We enjoy and appreciate all the support, services and opportunities that the military has afforded us. The truly amazing people we meet everyday remind us how truly blessed we are as a nation.

Our American pride has been expanded exponentially during the six years we have been in the Army.