Teen recognized by National VFW
Altoonan named Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Fifteen-year-old James Smith of Altoona, son of Fred and Tory Schwarze, is the recipient of the 2008-09 National Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
Ladies Auxiliary VFW National President Dixie Hild presented him with a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and a plaque saluting his achievement at the 96th National Convention in Phoenix on Aug. 17.
Sponsored by Duncansville Memorial Auxiliary No. 8724, Duncansville, he was among 30 state candidates entered in the national contest, which recognizes students ages 12 to 15 who have provided extraordinary volunteer service to their communities.
James volunteers at the Domestic Abuse Shelter and is a junior firefighter for the Newburg Volunteer Fire Association.
He entertains the children at the shelter and helps staff with projects, such as cleaning or furniture assembly.
He also helps shelter residents move into new homes and helps with various fundraisers.
James participates in fire prevention programs presented to local schools and helps with the upkeep of the fire apparatus and all equipment at the station.
He also responds to calls, helps firefighters accomplish their duties and takes training classes to increase his knowledge of the fire and EMS service.