Indians Volunteer of the Year recognized at Tuesday’s game, throws first pitch

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The Cleveland Indians and The Volunteer Center at Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU) once again joined forces for the Indians Volunteer Challenge this year. The program rewarded fans who volunteered in the community with tickets to select Indians games.

The stakes were again raised this year, as the volunteer with the most volunteer hours logged would be named the Volunteer of the Year. The Volunteer would be honored pre-game, receive Field Box tickets and get to throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch.

Sue Mastrodonato took the mound on Tuesday and was recognized as Indians Volunteer of the Year. But for her it was never about the award.

“Volunteering is so important to me because I have the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people and I have the opportunity to give back, or pay it forward,” Sue explained in her essay to BVU. “I have learned so much, and feel that with learning, I can be a positive influence to others.”

During the 2014 Volunteer Challenge, Sue volunteered at Hospice of the Western Reserve and was described as an invaluable part of the facility. She donated her time by making weekly visits to patients, representing Hospice at community events, training new volunteers and providing clerical support, among other activities.

Even with this large caseload, Sue never slipped from the high quality of care for which she was known. She was held in very high regard by her peers, and her care, compassion and devotion to the patients and families was described as “unsurpassed.”

Sue, an avid Indians fan, became interested in dedicating her time to Hospice of the Western Reserve after seeing the care that the facility provided her father. She continues to be inspired by the workers, volunteers, patients and families.

“Everyone has something to give, no matter how large or small,” she said. “To me, volunteering is not work, it is a genuine act of desire to help and foster great relationships.”

In the four years the Indians and BVU have partnered on the challenge, nearly 20,000 volunteers have performed over 151,398 hours of community service. That amounts to the equivalent of $3.35 million worth of service to local nonprofits.

Congratulations, Sue, and thank you for your service to the community!

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