CITY OF LEBANON COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
POINT OF CONTACT: Derek Gean
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Jared Carr announces 2021 Gold Leaf Award Recipients
Mayor Jared Carr has made his choice for the 2021 Mayor Lyle Anderson Gold Leaf Award for Volunteer Service recipients.
Carr selected 17-year-old Dezaray Ward as the youth recipient and Laura Angst Gartin as the adult recipient.
“Choosing this year’s award recipients was an extremely difficult task as we had some amazing nominees,” Carr said. “In the end, Dezaray and Laura both stood out as worthy recipients of this honor.”
Dezaray was nominated for hundreds of hours of volunteer service for Lane Change.
“She is using her voice, as a child of parents of addiction to help people claim sobriety,” said Sara Light, who nominated Ward for the honor. In her nomination, Light wrote the following about Ward:
“When she heard about Lane Change, she instantly knew there were kids out there that needed to hear her story and that she could be a light for those struggling with addiction. On her own time, she has created a drug free education program that she regularly presents alongside members of Lane Change to local youth groups. She has presented her story at several local churches, service organizations and is always ready to help someone take that first step out of addiction. Watching her embrace a very tough topic and leave her mark in the world is truly inspiring! A lot of people talk about wishing things would change, while Dezaray, is being the change.”
Ward, a Lebanon High School junior, said she began her volunteer journey with her great grandmother, Christine Ward, at Cross Lines and now spends most of her free time after school volunteering with Lane Change.
“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to make a change in our community,” Ward said.
Laura Angst Gartin was nominated for the adult award in recognition of her services to Live2GiveHope, which provides resources to foster and adoptive families, and for her service with the Pregnancy Support Center.
“It’s hard to put into just a few sentences all that Laura does for our community,” said Esther Hurney, who nominate Angst Gartin for the award. “I could go on and on about her willingness to help those in need by giving of her time and heart. She is a true example of someone with a volunteer’s heart and definitely worthy to be recognized as such,” she added.
Angst Gartin, a Lebanon native, said her organization operates six programs that assists more than 250 foster children across 18 Missouri counties including Laclede County. She is married to her husband, Billy, and they adopted their daughter, Deanna, in September of 2020.
Carr said volunteer service is the bedrock for our community and he is excited to honor these outstanding individuals.
Carr will officially present Ward and Angst Gartin with their awards at the regular Lebanon City Council meeting scheduled for April 26 at Lebanon City Hall.