Nine Dare County residents receive 2022 N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

By on April 22, 2022

Rendy King
Jay Phillips
Linda Palombo
Kathy Hershey and R.J. Mills
Nancy Caviness
Phil Daniels
Dennis Carroll
Andy Hatzigeorgiou
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The 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards were presented to nine Dare County residents at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

The North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards honor citizens who have shown concern and compassion for their neighbors by making a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. The award was created in the Office of the Governor in 1979.


Rendy King

Rendy King, a retired Title 1 math instructor for Dare County Schools, has received a 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer service to Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, where she is responsible for coordinating the Care Ministry’s community outreach. King was nominated by Dr. Elaine “Lainie” Walls Reed, who serves as Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church Care Ministry team member.

In her volunteer role with Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, King supervises 11 teams of up to 12 members each who maintain personal contact with church members, their referrals and members of the community in need of assistance. The assistance provided ranges from telephone contact and sending frequent greeting cards to making once-a-week meal deliveries for individuals who have either a temporary or a long-term need for help.

“If a team is unable to complete a task, Rendy completes it herself in a quiet, seamless manner that has enabled many persons to remain at home with moderate help rather than rehabilitate or relocate elsewhere. This important role has become even more vital during a pandemic as much of the older population Care Ministry serves is hesitant to interact outside their homes,” Reed wrote in her nomination form.

According to Reed, “Rendy has filled this position since 2015. At about the same time, she and her grandson, Kingston Haynes, then age 8, began a free ministry of Kingston’s Kreatures, which are stuffed “monsters” she creates on her sewing machine based on his designs that are then given to anyone in need of a hug. Their efforts continue, including many adults in Care Ministry’s reach, and as of this nomination, now number 1,119 Kreatures donated to persons in need.”

A June 13, 2016, article published in USA Today about the Kingston’s Kreatures cites examples of recipients of these stuffed “monsters” ranging from “children in cancer treatments to a boys’ soccer team coping with the loss of a teammate to children with cerebral palsy.”

Jay Phillips

Jay Phillips has received a 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for his volunteer service to the Hatteras Sailing Organization, a member-based nonprofit community organization that was created to encourage sailing and competitive opportunities for Hatteras Island youth. Phillips was nominated for the award by Jennifer Dunleavy, who is the parent of a Hatteras Sailing Organization participant.

“Jay Phillips, as the head of Hatteras Sailing Organization—and with his wife Meg’s assistance and even that of his young children—showed exceptional dedication to educating the youth of Hatteras Island on sailing,” Dunleavy wrote in her nomination form. “Historically a fishing community, Hatteras Island doesn’t have many sailors. Jay is giving a generation of Outer Banks kids a lifetime skill and appreciation for the sea-based economy and environment of Hatteras Island. Jay taught the kids to rig their own boats, how to navigate the tides and winds, how to participate in a regatta, and taught them about safety, teamwork and responsibility.”

Kathy Hershey and R.J. Mills

Kathy Hershey and R.J. Mills have received a 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for their volunteer service to Dare County Friends of Youth, a mentoring program that places at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 17 with caring adult volunteers who serve as role models and friends. Hershey and Mills were nominated for the award by Jennifer Wooten, who serves as the volunteer supervisor for Friends of Youth.

“Married couple Kathy Hershey & R.J. Mills are amazing volunteers with the Dare County Friends of Youth program, and have been exemplary mentors to a teen boy named Teagan for the past three years. Kathy & R.J. have been the perfect mentors to help guide their young mentee as he deals not only with family stress and typical teenage issues but also with the uncertainty and challenges of life during a pandemic,” Wooten wrote in her nomination form.

“During the past year, they spent approximately 416 hours of combined contact time with their mentee, which is above and beyond what Friends of Youth asks of its volunteer mentors. When 2021 began, Dare County schools were still doing virtual learning, and face-to-face contact between Friends of Youth program mentors and youths was somewhat restricted. Kathy & R.J. however, were always available to make sure that Teagan was on the right path. During the early part of the year, Kathy spent numerous hours in contact via phone and text not only with Teagan, but also with his grandmother (who, along with his grandfather, is raising the teen). Kathy & R.J. often had porch visits with their mentee, and stressed the importance of keeping up with his school work, proper online etiquette, etc.”

According to Wooten, “As the year progressed and face-to-face contact was less restricted, Kathy and R.J. engaged their mentee in family style activities ranging from bike rides, to having meals together, baking, celebrating holidays, shopping, taking long walks and, perhaps most importantly, talking. During one month during the summer, they spent 27 hours together doing activities, which included three trips to a local water park, dinners out, go-karting, playing beach volleyball and going out for ice cream! All of these activities not only helped Teagan to stay busy and more focused but also introduced him to new experiences and helped to improve his social skills.

When Dare County students returned to the classroom for in-person learning at the start of the new school year in August 2021, the couple renewed their attempts to help Teagan focus on his school work.

“Kathy, a former teacher, met with Friends of Youth program staff as well as Teagan’s grandmother during the new school year to strategize ways to help Teagan improve his grades at school and to encourage him to participate in extracurricular school activities,” Wooten’s nomination form continued. “Teagan took this encouragement to heart, and in the fall joined his school’s indoor track team as well as the jazz band. Through his involvement with these two activities, Teagan has found a more positive peer group and has made new friends. He is also looking forward to the upcoming outdoor track season, as well as a planned out-of-state trip with the jazz band. Without the support and inspiration from Kathy and R.J., this likely would not have happened!”

Wooten went on to write, “In addition to one-on-one contact and activities, Kathy & R.J. have also participated in numerous Friends of Youth group activities and are always willing to lend a hand to staff and mentor other youths while at these events. Kathy & R.J. are an integral part of Teagan’s life, and during the past year in particular, their involvement has helped him to mature and to forge a better path for himself. Not only has his relationships with his peers improved, but so has his relationship with his grandparents.”

In addition to their service as mentors, Hershey and Mills are also members of the Dare County Friends of Youth Advisory Board. As members of the advisory board, they have attended quarterly meetings and volunteered to help out Friends of Youth staff members and other youths throughout the community at the program’s group activities.

For more information about the Dare County Friends of Youth program, visit

Nancy Caviness

Nancy Caviness has been awarded a 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service award for her volunteer service to the Duck Volunteer Fire Department as well as the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot. Caviness was nominated for the award by Town of Duck Mayor Don Kingston.

Nancy has been a member of the Duck Volunteer Fire Department for over 22 years, and each year she averages over 100 hours in training and over 200 hours in call response. Early in her tenure, she saw the need for firefighter hydration and nutrition on long incidents and in warm environments. She was part of the team that started Rehab 11, which provided hydration and initial vital signs and symptom monitoring on major emergency calls. Soon Caviness discovered she could provide more help and trained to assist on emergency incidents beyond rehab and advanced to support lieutenant. Her skills include exterior firefighting, extrication, traffic control and assistance to the incident commander on high-acuity incidents.

“Over the years, she has become a highly respected and invaluable member of the firefighting and public safety community,” Kingston wrote in his nominator form. “With an educational background in public health, her passion for the health and safety of first responders and the public runs deep.”

Caviness founded the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot in 1996 and has served as its race director since its inception. Funds raised in the early years of the race were donated to a wide range of nonprofits on the Outer Banks, and in 2013, a permanent endowment was established with the Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) with the purpose of supporting and improving the public health of the Outer Banks.

“For the 25th anniversary race she set the significant fundraising goal of $25,000 for the endowment. Through her hard work and determination that goal was exceeded and $33,000 was raised,” wrote Kingston. “To date, the Advice 5K Turkey Trot has raised and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Outer Banks community. Nancy’s outstanding leadership, management and organizational skills provide the basis for each successful race event. On average, she spends over 500 hours a year, approximately 10 hours a week, on race planning.”

Kingston also noted in his nomination form that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Caviness had to make changes to the 2021 event in order to ensure participant and volunteer health and safety, which added many additional hours to the preparation process. “The extra hours were taken on with grace and selflessness,” he wrote.

Among the many nonprofit organizations and health initiatives that the endowment has assisted through the OBCF’s Rapid Response Grants Program over the last two years include Outer Banks Hotline, the Community Care Clinic of Dare, Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County, NC MedAssist, Food For Thought Outer Banks and the Outer Banks Family YMCA.

In addition to raising funds for the OBCF, Nancy also serves on the organization’s board. Established in 1982, the OBCF is a public charity focused on meeting the local needs of Outer Banks communities from Corolla to Ocracoke. The OBCF awards funding through grants and scholarships to groups and students in all areas and interests of the Outer Banks. Caviness is currently serving her sixth and final term as an OBCF board member and was heavily involved in scholarship awards.

Lorelei Costa Morrow, former executive director of the OBCF, is complimentary of the thoughtfulness and care with which Caviness took in setting up the endowment. She wanted a fund that would continue growing even if the race no longer takes place and that would continue to benefit the community for generations to come. According to Morrow, “She would read hundreds of scholarship applications. She was always mindful of students that would not necessarily have had other funding opportunities for school. She wanted to make sure that those students that might be overlooked had a chance.”

In addition to her volunteer service to the Duck Volunteer Fire Department and the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot, Caviness has also served the Outer Banks community in multiple capacities since relocating to the area in 1995, as she formerly served on the Dare County Tourism Board and as the Town of Duck’s liaison to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

“Nancy has and continues to serve both the Town of Duck and the Outer Banks community as a dedicated and caring individual,” Kingston stated in his nomination form. “Her selflessness is reflected in all that she does. Her community service roots run deep, and she is a true champion of this community.”

Phil Daniels

Phil Daniels has received a 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for his volunteer service to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Daniels was nominated for the award by Taylor McConnell, who serves as a volunteer coordinator for the aquarium.

“As a retired engineer, Phil Daniels has gained numerous skills over his career that he now shares with our teams and visitors at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. His greatest skill and passion are building a better understanding of the world around us, and he achieves this through his 3D printing and fabrication at home, along with volunteering two days per week with our Animal Care Team,” McConnell wrote in her nomination form.

“Phil has created, sculpted and built many structures, educational items and exhibit pieces for the Education, Exhibits and Husbandry Departments,” McConnell wrote in her nomination form. “Knowledge of his skill and work are spreading throughout the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and has become a favorite of many staff members. Staff frequently speak with Phil about his various projects and discuss how he creates such beautiful pieces for display through our facility.”

In 2021, Daniels created several pieces for many of the aquarium’s integral departments, including a bundle of carnivorous plants for the Education Department, which he garnished using insects from his own property to add a “live feel.” Volunteers use this particular display when educating the public about the aquarium’s new carnivorous plant garden, as it aids visitors in their overall understanding of how these types of plants are beneficial to the environment.

Daniels has also put his 3D printer to work, using it to build a full-size, replica eel jaw, complete with the pharyngeal jaw (or inner jaw) that makes the species unique. “Having educational elements like these are important visual aids for visitors in learning more about how these animals eat and survive in the wild,” wrote McConnell. “Currently, there is no other way for us to have a prop like this, as our Education Team has been looking to purchase an eel jaw and has been unsuccessful. Projects like this make Phil’s work even more valuable to our Education Team.”

For the aquarium’s Exhibits Department, Daniels has constructed, painted and perfected three, full-scale, life-sized sea turtle models: a leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtle, which will be displayed in the halls leading to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR Center) area. “While plans are still in the works for the two smallest sea turtle species, the Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill, visitors can really appreciate how massive these sea turtles will become as adults and how truly different each species is,” wrote McConnell. “These are fantastic additions for our visitors, as they can see just how big our current patients will be as they continue to grow back in the ocean after receiving care in our rehabilitation facility.”

Daniels also created an alligator transport for the Animal Care Team that features replacement locking pins that will make it easy and safe to transport alligators when such a situation is required. According to McConnell, “He is currently working on a snake peg board which will provide exercise and stimulation for our educational snakes as they can maneuver around different textures and scents throughout the events and/or programs. He has also taken the time to 3D print several locking pins for our amphibian enclosures to make them more secure.”

In addition to constructing unique pieces that serve as educational aids for aquarium visitors, McConnell noted that Daniels also continually and graciously assists staff with many of the necessary tasks that provide the animals with the best care. “He helps aquarists with overall life support maintenance and functionality, helps care for and interpret the needs and treatments of our sea turtle patients in STAR Center, and brings new life with his projects to our existing habitats and visitor areas,” she wrote.

McConnell’s nomination form continued, “There are no projects too big or too small that Phil will not try to tackle, and he is unknowingly making huge impacts on local and visiting communities by donating his time and providing an enhanced, stimulating and artful experience here at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. These projects truly bring forth a more rounded and complete understanding of our terrestrial and aquatic environments, paired with the more naturalistic exhibitory for our animals.”

“His dedication, passion and efforts drive our staff and exhibits to meet and exceed our mission of inspiring appreciation and conservation every day. The opportunity to work alongside Phil is an experience in itself, and we are excited to share the hard work, dedication and craft that he has brought and will continue to bring to our aquarium!”

“Phil has graciously donated his time, tools/equipment, resources and money to ensure that we at the aquarium have everything we need to provide great animal welfare along with excellent customer experience. I have never worked with a volunteer so personally and physically invested in an organization and team like Phil Daniels.”

Dennis Carroll

Dennis Carroll has received a 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Award in honor of his volunteer service as president of the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men (CHUMM), who serve the Hatteras Island community and beyond. Carroll was nominated by his colleague, Amberly Dyer.

“Over the nearly 15 years I have worked with Dennis, both personally and professionally, I most admire four significant qualities that make him and CHUMM stand above other organizations,” Dyer wrote in her nomination form. She continued by detailing these four qualities Carroll exhibits through his volunteer service to the community.

“First, integrity. While this may be presumed, it goes beyond financial integrity to include living his personal values and in steering the organization. Dennis exhibits kindness, compassion and willingness to walk in another’s shoes when considering how to help support their needs. He also consistently upholds the privacy of those the organization serves. In a rural area (Hatteras Island’s population is less than 6,000) with many families considered ‘working poor,’ privacy is critical to those served.

“Second, respect. Dennis treats clients, professional colleagues and volunteer collaborators with esteem and regard. Seeing the humanity in all people, he also understands the living and working knowledge we all possess. When differing points of view might result in a disagreement, Dennis works to find common ground and shared vision to achieve the goals of service to the community.

“Third, collaboration. The legacy and profound success of CHUMM results from the willingness of its leader and members to collaborate with government agencies (such as the Dare County Department of Social Services, Health Department and Emergency Management), other nonprofits (including the Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Cape Hatteras Electric Foundation), and funding resources (including varied local churches and the Outer Banks Community Foundation).

“Fourth, creativity. Our community faces more than just electric cut-off notices, medication needs and food scarcity. Multiple weather events, including hurricanes, are a routine part of living on Hatteras Island. CHUMM worked with grants and donations to find solutions to stabilize housing for local working families that keep our community vibrant and strong. During long-term recovery efforts, CHUMM designated case managers to support families through the myriad of processes for success and stability.

Dyer went on to highlight several specific endeavors Carroll has undertaken in his volunteer work as the president of CHUMM in recent years, including the organization’s efforts to stabilize existing workforce housing on Hatteras Island by raising multiple mobile homes to prevent future losses to flood damage while stabilizing working families in our community.

Dyer also noted that, in the past five years, CHUMM has increased its preparedness for disasters by helping to create and support training for emergency response teams (ERTs), which are led by the Methodist churches but open for all in the community to participate. CHUMM has also collaborated more deeply with the Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team (Hatteras CERT) to streamline roles and share resources in emergency preparedness and response. In 2021, more ERT members were trained in disaster response preparedness.

In addition to these efforts, CHUMM also serves the gap needs in the community, which includes providing medical support, assistance with utility turn-offs, addressing food scarcity through its food pantry, helping senior citizens with home maintenance and continuing to help fund an online grief group for Dare County residents.

According to Dyer, “Dennis directs resources to the places where others cannot assist, allowing CHUMM’s flexibility to meet community needs in a profound and loving way. I have worked with Dennis as a county social worker, an ERT volunteer, a member of the Hatteras Island CERT board and a grief group facilitator. In every role and interaction, Dennis brings calm, a bit of humor, but most of all a deep caring and love for his community and beyond. Any and all recognition is readily deserved and highly recommended.”

Andy Hatzigeorgiou

Andy Hatzigeorgiou has been awarded a 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for his work as a volunteer coach for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department. Hatzigeorgiou was nominated by Spencer Gregory, who serves as leisure services supervisor and division coordinator for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department’s Roanoke Island/Mainland Division.

“This year, it has been a very hard year to find youth sports coaches due to COVID,” Gregory wrote in his nomination form. “Coach Andy is—and always has been—the first coach to offer to volunteer. This year he has coached multiple teams and multiple sports. He coaches his son and daughter in the same season in different leagues and different sports. Most weekday nights you can find Coach Andy on a field or court.”

Linda Palombo

Linda Palombo has received a 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer work with Interfaith Community Outreach, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to individuals and families in Dare County and Currituck County who are facing a temporary emergency crisis.

Palombo was nominated for the award by Jenniffer J. Albanese, who serves as the executive director of Interfaith Community Outreach.

“Mrs. Palombo has been an outstanding leader to our nonprofit since 2008. She served during a difficult time with the pandemic. Her leadership, volunteerism and commitment to Interfaith Community Outreach and our community is exemplary,” Albanese wrote in her nomination form. “Mrs. Palombo also serves as eucharistic minister, lector and on the pastoral council at Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Church, as well as past chair and committee member of the Outer Banks Hospital and as a volunteer helping with public relations at the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.”

Palombo has been a volunteer with Interfaith Community Outreach since 2008 and has served over the past four years as chairperson of the nonprofit organization as well as a weekly lead intake volunteer.

Interfaith Community Outreach provides an array of services, including temporary emergency outreach, cancer outreach, disaster outreach, veteran outreach and home rehab outreach. The organization’s goal is to bridge the gap in the Outer Banks community for those in need and to ensure that no one faces an emergency or crisis alone. In 2021, Interfaith Community Outreach assisted more than 1,000 families and provided more than $400,000 in monetary outreach to the community.

The organization’s 18 years of service have had a profound impact on the community, serving more than 9,000 families and giving back more than $4.5 million dollars in money outreach to the community.

Any individual, group or business from the public, the nonprofit sector or the private sector can be nominated for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

If you know an individual or a group of people who have given substantial amounts of their time and talent to help others in the Dare County community, be sure to submit an application for the 2023 North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards when nominations open later this year.

For more information about the North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, contact Shannon Glaser at 252-475-5753 or




County Dare, North Carolina
Dare County Tourism Board

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Visitors Bureau will hold a public meeting to review the plans for an Outer Banks Event Center. The meeting will take place on Monday, June 6, 2022 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Keeper’s Galley building at Haven on the Banks, 115 Dove Street, Nags Head North Carolina 27959.

Still in the conceptual phase, the Event Center is intended to provide suitable and flexible space for year-round events, concerts, sports, meetings, smaller tradeshows, galas and any number of other uses. Learn more about the benefits for visitors and residents and how the Event Center is planned to complement the new Soundside boardwalk that is being designed.

Staff will be on hand to answer any questions. For additional information, please visit our Event Center FAQ page.



  • Kelly

    Beautiful, selfless people making a positive impact on so many in this wonderful community. Thank you for the example you set! <3

    Friday, Apr 22 @ 7:04 pm
  • Skip Saunders

    Huge thanks to all cited here and throughout Dare County for their love and commitment to our community!

    Monday, Apr 25 @ 8:15 am