Heather Samparisi, Val Starbuck, and John Starbuck Named Outstanding Volunteers of the Year

By Laurie Phillips

Award Winner Heather Samperisi

     MHS Director of Development Carol Laughner presented the Outstanding Volunteer Award to Heather Samperisi and told us the following information about why Heather was selected.

     Heather Samperisi first approached us in 2012, pointing out that MHS would benefit from increasing its social media profile. She offered to be our “Twitter Master,” at a time when most of us didn’t even know what Twitter was. As she brought MHS into the Twitter landscape, she also became a frequent contributor to MHS’ Facebook page. Heather’s contributions keep our social media voice fresh and interesting. She has a natural ability to tell MHS’ stories in a few short words. Her efforts help us communicate our mission, and tell the world we are and what we do.

     Social media is just the beginning: Heather came to the 25th Walk for Animals, and afterward knew that she could help us make the event stronger. She joined the committee for the 26th Walk and she managed all of the social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and the FirstGiving fundraising page.

     This year, Heather stepped forward to Chair the 27th Walk for Animals. She is leading an enthusiastic committee with an ambitious goal to raise $50K for the animals. Her open and friendly leadership, her way of welcoming newcomers to join the event, and her fresh ideas and perspective have energized everyone who works with her.

     Heather’s volunteerism may not bring her to Adoption & Learning Center every day, but every day she’s working hard behind the scenes–making sure we’re visible in the social media world. Her genuine passion for the MHS mission is obvious in all she does. We’re so fortunate to have Heather in the MHS family!

Award Winners Val & John Starbuck

    MHS Transition Leader Joe Olsen presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards to Val & John Starbuck.  He cited their extraordinary leadership skills and their unflinching willingness to do the actual physical labor required to see their plans to fruition.  The 2014 renovation of MHS’ landscape and gardens was just one of the Starbucks’ many labors at the Adoption and Education Center. Cleaning and painting in Administration offices; walking dogs; watering the plantings–the Starbucks aren’t afraid to jump right in to get it done.

    A chance conversation with a local Boy Scout leader brought the  Daniel Webster Council’s Mt. Monadnock District Camporee to MHS’ back field to “do a good turn” for the animals by building MHS a new dog walking trail through our beautiful woodlands.  Val and John acted as liaisons between the Scouts and MHS.  The took on the tasks of planning where the trail should go, of getting town permits, and of organizing a crew of experienced volunteer timber cutters to do the main body of cutting prior to the Scouts arrival.  It has been a huge project; one that will provide pleasure to our animals, our volunteers, and our community for years to come.