Local volunteer wins statewide honors

December 13, 2006

Tammy Bartels remembers when she was a child and her mother was involved in the Parent Teacher Association.

"I think I started doing PTA because my mom was in PTA when I was a kid, and it seems what parents should do in being a part of their kids' education," Bartels said.

That philosophy has kept Bartels involved in PTA and inspired her to volunteer in other ways, such as with the Leavenworth County Red Cross and as a youth soccer coach.

She also has been involved in PTA at the state level, serving as vice president, and with Safe Kids Kansas, an organization within PTA.

Last week, at the Safe Kids Kansas annual meeting, Bartels was named Volunteer of the Year, much to Bartels' surprise.

"Yes, I was completely surprised," Bartels said. "There were so many people who work on Safe Kids who do so much. It really surprised me to be selected."

According to Save Kids Kansas, Bartels earned the recognition based on her support of the program and her assistance in developing fire/burn programs at the state and local level.

With the Leavenworth County Red Cross, Bartels instructs first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and automatic external defibrillator classes. She also serves on the Red Cross disaster action team, which aids people who are victims of house fires. During the summer when residents were evacuated from the Tonganoxie Nursing Center because of a fire, the team assisted at Tonganoxie Junior High School, where nursing home residents initially were taken after the fire.

Regarding the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission, Tammy assists her husband, Robert Bartels, in coaching youth soccer. And, she teaches a baby-sitting course for TRC.

Bartels certainly keeps busy with all her volunteer work.

"It's not bad," Bartels said. "Volunteering's really important to everyone in our family."

Bartels said the couple's 14-year-old daughter, Alex, is involved in many activities, and her husband is a volunteer firefighter.

"We make time for it and we make it work out," Bartels said. "It can be hectic, but it's worth it."

Safe Kids Kansas is a nonprofit coalition of organizations and businesses focused on preventing accidental injuries to children up to age 14.

"I think Safe Kids is a great organization," Bartels said. "Their sole purpose is to influence and enact change that will make Kansas children safer."

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