top of page

2018 Governor’s Volunteer Awards Recipients

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the 35th annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, announced the 2018 award recipients on August 15. The Governor’s Volunteer Awards, administered by OneStar Foundation, honor the contributions of individuals, businesses and organizations in Texas that have made a positive impact in their communities or across the state through service and volunteering. Through her Texanthropy Initiative, Mrs. Abbott has made promoting volunteerism and service to others her primary focus as First Lady of Texas.

“There is nothing more powerful than Texans helping Texans,” Mrs. Abbott said. “Whether it is through everyday volunteering and giving, or by responding to the most disastrous storm in our state’s history, Texans can always be depended on to answer the call to help their neighbors. This year’s Governor’s Volunteer Award winners are an inspiration to us all.”

West Texas RSVP nominated Linda and Ron Aten from Abilene for the Governor’s Make a Difference Award.  They also nominated Rust Street Ministries for the Governor’s Community Leadership Award for an Organization.  We are proud and delighted that they both won in their respective categories and will be receiving their awards at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on October 15.

Community Leadership Award - Organization

Rust Street Ministries of San Angelo


In 1995, several San Angelo teens from Johnson Street Church of Christ traveled to Atlanta to serve the homeless and forgotten.  When they returned home, they realized that there was great need in their own community. Thus began Rust Street Ministries, a community outreach ministry providing basic needs and life skills for those in San Angelo and surrounding areas. Through the generous support of many community partners and 23 area churches, all of Rust Street Ministries’ services are provided at no cost.

Rust St.jpg
(back row, L - R) Kathy Hearn, Office Manager; Mark Bell, Operations Manager; Janet Branham, Volunteer Coordinator
(front) Bryan Jarvis, Director, Rust St. Ministries; Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, presenting award.
2018 Volunteer Recognition Awards                


Awards presented by Scott Jameson, West Texas Rehab COO

Larry Sullivan from San Angelo was unable to attend.  He received the RSVP Distinguished Service Award for generously sharing his time ( 5,514 hours) during disasters, in service to military connected personnel and many other ways.


Ray Favre received the RSVP Distinguished Service Award for serving 27 different agencies, contributing 9,115 hours.  His focus is on Disaster Relief and Meals for the Elderly.

Eddie Lee received the RSVP Distinguished Service Award  for averaging 50 hours per  week at Rust Street Ministries, accumulating 2,975 since joining RSVP in 2014.

Ola McCorkle received the RSVP Distinguished Service Award for her service of 6,505 hours at Wesley Daily Bread Soup Kitchen helping cook and serve 40,000 meals annually.

4000  Hours - Receiving the Lifetime Service Award was Ann Billington (pictured) and René Avants, & Ruth Jordan.

34th Annual Governor's Volunteer Awards

National Service "Make a Difference"

For over 30 years, Arlen and Mary Beth Lohse have volunteered with Meals for the Elderly (MfE) as substitute drivers during the holidays and summer months.  Without their help, clients might be at risk of not receiving a meal that day.  This award recognizes the exemplary achievement of Senior Corps volunteers  who are currently serving or have served the State of Texas. 

(L-R) Mary Beth & Arlen Lohse proudly pose with their award at the Governor's Mansion, in Austin, TX on Oct. 23, 2017.

(L-R) First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbott & Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, pose with Arlen & Mary Beth Lohse; Luca Lohse (grandson) was present to support them.  A formal presentation was made later in the evening to all recipients of the Governor's Volunteer Awards.

bottom of page