You are currently viewing Congratulations Volunteers!

Congratulations Volunteers!

It has been an INCREDIBLE year of volunteering so far! Our Volunteer Appreciation Night is held at the end of every summer and these four individuals won some pretty prestigious awards. Volunteer Coordinator, Carly Steinauer, gave the following speeches:

Volunteer of the Year - Chao Xie!

“Each year, Waypoint Adventure honors a special volunteer who has gone above and beyond all others. This is a very special award that our staff takes very seriously and with a lot of consideration. We truly could not do what we do without support from our volunteers who care about creating more accessible and inclusive spaces! Our recipient this year is newer to our Waypoint community, and has truly dove into the Waypoint waters with enthusiasm. This person has tried just about every single Waypoint program type, even the ones that are not their typical preferred recreation. They have taken every opportunity on programs to learn about how we make our programs accessible, so that they can in turn create more accessible experiences in their personal life and work. They create a warm, energetic, and fun environment for participants, caregivers, fellow volunteers, and staff. With a WHOPPING 19 programs this year, the 2023 Waypoint volunteer of the year is Chao Xie!”

Hall of Fame Inductee - Deb Laufer

“Our volunteer of the year award is a tradition that has dated back to 2013, through people donating their time, knowledge, and passion to Waypoint programs dates back to before Waypoint truly existed. Our next honoree has been adventuring with us for well over a decade. Whether she’s riding her bike 25 miles to volunteer on a program, partnering with us to provide expert instruction on adaptive Nordic skiing, or going above and beyond to provide access for Waypoint participants to enjoy the Charles River in a Paddle Boston boat… Deb Laufer has been a consistent champion of inclusive adventure. When I asked our ED/ Co-Founder Dan Minnich how long Deb has been a Waypoint volunteer, he said pre-2010 (Waypoint’s founding year), but he wasn’t entirely sure- just that he couldn’t remember a time WITHOUT Deb Laufer. Deb is the kind of person who will spend all day with you on an adaptive ski program, and finally mention at the END of the day that she actually got ran over by a car on her bike that very morning. She’s the type of person who grabs TWO open cockpit soleras (aka the Cadillac boats) to haul up to the trailer in one go. While she is consistently in our most frequent volunteers each year, she has somehow avoided an official award and embarrassing display of gratitude… We are very excited to officially induct Deb Laufer into the Waypoint Hall of Fame!”

S.K.I. Award - Susan Roe

“This person braved the winter cold and snow the MOST this winter as a volunteer on our Winter Adventures at Weston Ski track programs. Though this season they perhaps saw more slush than actual snow, this volunteer brought sunshine to our participants’ lives even on the cloudiest of winter days. The Super Kool Individual award (or S.K.I) goes to Susan Roe!”

Rookie of the Year - Kevin Hegarty

This person spent lots of time on Walden Pond with us this summer… and the Charles river, and the Mystic, and the harbor, etc. He paddled with our youngest participants, our oldest participants, our fastest paddlers, and our slowest paddlers- a diverse range of people who all who have one thing in common: they loved their time on the water with Kevin. The Keel as a Kukumber award for most summer kayaking programs and our new Rookie of the Year goes to Kevin Hegarty!

Thank you to our team of volunteers who supported access and inclusion all year. You make it possible! A special shoutout to several individuals who came on 10+ programs this year:

  • Wayne Wang
  • Leo Laferriere
  • Tracilee Messina
  • Bill Boyes
  • Susan Roe
  • Mark Ostrander
  • Haley McKay
  • Deb Laufer
  • Kevin Hegarty