Staff Photo: John Bohn Phil Hoskins is awarded the Martha & John Adams Award at the American Cancer Society award ceremony held in Lawrenceville Wednesday afternoon.
• Martha and John Adams Award — Phil Hoskins
• Marion Allison Webb Award — Mike and Lisa Allee
• Phylecia Wilson Relay For Life Award — Steve North and Joe Doherty
• Hope Fashion Show Chairman — Susan Canoll and Lori Landis
• Pink Ribbon Tournament Award — Paula Dorough
• Tournament of Hope — Todd Cline
• Outstanding Gala Volunteer — Jodi Pierce
• Outstanding Auxiliary Volunteer — Georgianna Shumate
• Outstanding Hope Fashion Show Volunteer — Carrie Sheehan and Georgianna Shumate
• Outstanding Mission Delivery — Pam Kramer
• Outstanding Look Good Feel Better Volunteer — Joann Stegagno
• Outstanding Hope Lodge Volunteer — Pat Swan
• Linda Halbman Road to Recovery — Lou Camerio and Linda Halbman
• Advocacy Volunteer of the Year — Pat Swan
• Outstanding Relay For Life Volunteer — Susan Lee and Sheila Fowler
• American Cancer Society Auxiliary Co-President — Gwen Persichetti and Melody Saputo
• Outstanding Service Award — Kelsey Duncan
LAWRENCEVILLE -- A crowd of dedicated volunteers joined together for the Gwinnett County American Cancer Society annual awards ceremony on Wednesday at Garden Plaza. Several people went home with awards, but one member of the community stood out as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year -- Phil Hoskins.
When introducing the Martha and John Adams Award, emcee Vince Bailey explained the significance of the award. It "exhibits a passion to helping the ACS to further its reach in helping cancer patients" in many roles.
Then Linda Cerjan of the American Cancer Society took the stage to recognize Hoskins. She used only one word to describe him: integrity.
"I am very confident that John and Martha would be pleased with this year's recipient. I've had the pleasure of knowing this person for many years," she said. "In contemplation of how to best describe this individual, integrity was the first word that came to mind. I would say he's considerate, compassionate, for me very calming at times and definitely committed to the fighting against cancer."
The usually quiet and "calm" Hoskins, Director of Community Services for Gwinnett County, was surprised at winning the award.
"It's a real honor -- it's humbling," he said from the podium. "I'm sincere when I say the American Cancer Society is a very proven organization, one that has built it's reputation on good works ... but more importantly, it's about the services they provide."
Bill Manson, Area Executive Director of the American Cancer Society, read two messages to Hoskins: one from his mother in Kentucky; the other from his son, Todd, who is living in Africa while working as a missionary.
The note from his mother addressed the winner as "Phillip," like he was still her little boy, and said she was "proud of him" and that he "should be commended and congratulated."
His son's note was even more personal. It started with a playful "Dear Pops," and was clearly from a son who looks up to his father.
"For those of us who know you well, we know you don't seek out recognition like this and that's perhaps why congratulating you is so much fun," the letter said.
Those simple words touched Hoskins.
"The one that really got me was my message from my son who's in Africa right now. That was really neat," Hoskins said.
Manson said Hoskins was chosen because of his dedication to the American Cancer Society and his willingness to help no matter how big or small the project.
"He's a selfless servant, a wonderful man that welcomes people, that is calming, and a fantastic friend," Manson said. "A classic example of that is when it's three o'clock in the morning and I'm loading chairs onto a trailer with Phil Hoskins after Relay for Life."
As part of the American Cancer Society, Hoskins has served eight years as the Relay for Life Logistics Chair, three years as Co-Chair for Relay and two years as the Chair of ACS Gwinnett Leadership Council. In the community, he has worked with the American Red Cross, Leadership Gwinnett, Rotary of Lawrenceville and United Way.
"It's all about helping people," Hoskins said with a smile.