The St. Mary’s County Commission for Women (CFW) has announced the recipients of the 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsberg Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hometown She-ro Award.
The commission members, who have been responsible for selecting the honorees, have chosen Donna Marie Voorhaar to receive the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Lifetime Achievement Award and the volunteers at St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen along with the Caring Director, Kristine Millen, to receive the Hometown She-ro Award.
The Ruth Bader Ginsberg Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a woman from St. Mary’s County who has shown outstanding volunteerism, leadership, and compassion for many years. This year, Donna Marie Voorhaar has been selected for her unwavering dedication and perseverance, similar to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She has been an active volunteer for over four decades and has contributed her time and skills to several organizations.
Voorhaar began her volunteer work at the St. Mary’s Hospital snack bar when she was 18 years old. Later on, she became a Sunday School teacher and youth fellowship counselor at the United Methodist Church. She also volunteered in special education classrooms in St. Mary’s County Public Schools. In 1978, she started volunteering with the Special Olympics of Maryland in St. Mary’s County. In 1985, Voorhaar joined the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad and later shifted to the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad (LPVRS) in 1998. She has several qualifications, including Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Automated External Defibrillator certifications and is an intravenous (IV) technician.
Voorhaar’s accomplishments are numerous, and she was one of the first women to complete the full firefighter’s curriculum in Southern Maryland. She was inducted into the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firefighters Hall of Fame in 2000 and has been an EMT/IV technician at LPVRS ever since. Her devotion and commitment to helping those in emergency situations are truly remarkable.
The Hometown She-ro Award is presented to individuals or groups that have significantly impacted the community. This year, the volunteers at St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen and the Caring Director, Kristine Millen, have been recognized for their efforts in providing nutritional food to those in need. The soup kitchen has been serving hot meals to the hungry since 1993 and is the only full-time soup kitchen in Southern Maryland.
Kristine Millen has been working with the soup kitchen since 2006 and leads a small staff of dedicated volunteers to provide food and advocacy for those they serve. In 2022, this team of volunteers served an incredible 125,054 free meals to individuals and families in need. The soup kitchen’s philosophy is that food insecurity not only impacts the body but also the soul, and they aim to create a pathway out of hunger by providing nutritious food while valuing each guest as an individual.
The commission invites everyone to join them in celebrating the accomplishments of these inspiring individuals at the Women’s History Month Banquet on March 18, 2023, at Braddock Hall & Conference Center in the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be purchased online at stmaryscountymd.gov/cwawards.
The St. Mary’s County Commission for Women is committed to honoring outstanding women in the community and raising awareness about issues that affect them. They continue to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women from all walks of life. Their efforts are a testament to the commission’s dedication to supporting women in St. Mary’s County.