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Eastside nurse named Cancer Society top volunteer

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Pam Kramer is named the Martha and John Adams Award winner for 2012, the top honor presented during Tuesday's Gwinnett Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society's Volunteer Awards Luncheon. To her right is area executive director Cathy Longino.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Pam Kramer is named the Martha and John Adams Award winner for 2012, the top honor presented during Tuesday's Gwinnett Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society's Volunteer Awards Luncheon. To her right is area executive director Cathy Longino.

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AWARD WINNERS

-- Outstanding Mission Delivery: Paulette Zinkann

-- Outstanding Look Good Feel Better Award: Hebron Baptist Church of Dacula

-- Linda Halbman Road to Recovery: Scott Cushing

-- Pat Swan Hope Lodge Award: Pat Swan

-- Pat Swan Hope Lodge Volunteer: Carrie Sheehan

-- Advocacy Volunteer of the year: Pat Swan

-- Pink Ribbon Tournament: Pat Lane and Sherry Russell

-- Tournament of Hope: Brian Kelleher and Todd Cline

-- American Cancer Society Auxiliary Co-Presidents: Sharon Tatum and Patty Beelen

-- Outstanding Auxiliary Volunteer: Jane Pandit

-- Hope Fashion Show Chairmen: Susan Canoll and Melody Saputo

-- Outstanding Hope Fashion Show Volunteer: Lori Landis

-- Marion Allison Webb Award: Tim and Allison Cape

-- Outstanding Gala Volunteer: Bobbie Menneg

-- Phylecia Wilson Relay for Life Award: Sheila Fowler and Susan Lee

-- Outstanding Relay for Life Volunteer: Heather Sawyer and Ruth Harry

-- Administrative Volunteer: Karen Higgins

LAWRENCEVILLE -- John Kramer says his wife is a good person. She can't help it.

"It's ingrained in her soul," the proud husband said Tuesday, minutes after his wife was presented with a prestigious honor at the Gwinnett Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society's Volunteer Awards Luncheon at Delmar Gardens. "She's been an inspiration to many, including me. It's in her soul. It's in her spirit."

Following an hour-long ceremony during the annual event, Pam Kramer accepted the Martha and John Adams Award as Volunteer of the Year -- an accolade presented in honor of two long-standing volunteers who spent many years working diligently for the organization and serving as role models.

According to her peers, Kramer easily fit the bill.

Paulette Zinkann, who works with Kramer at Eastside Medical Center, said she is a "wonderful, wonderful woman."

"I have never seen someone who is so tireless in everything she does," Zinkann said. "She is a dedicated and faithful person."

A nurse at Eastside Medical Center for 31 years, Kramer has also volunteered with the American Cancer Society for 20 years.

On Tuesday, Kramer said she was "shocked" to be honored with the award. "I was really surprised,"

Kramer said her giving spirit comes from her upbringing.

"My mom raised us to love one another, to love God and to give back," she said. "It's at the core of what I believe, and so it's not a hard thing for me to do. It's who I am. It's just a matter of figuring out where you want to give back, and being a nurse lends itself to giving back anyway."

More than 20 years ago, Kramer helped found the Gwinnett Community Clinic, which has cared for thousands of residents in the county who would have otherwise gone untreated.

Kramer joins a list of dozens of others who have been presented with the honor in past years during the annual luncheon.

Previous recipients of the Martha and John Adams Award from recent years include Phil Hoskins in 2011, Brenda Falkler in 2010 and Duane Downs in 2009.