SYKESVILLE — Alice Orsich was named this year’s Gary Stormer Volunteer Award recipient at Sunday’s Run/Walk for Someone Special in Sykesville.
The award was created through Stormer’s continued support and volunteer work to promote the run/walk each year through her position at the radio station. This year was 10 years since Stormer’s death.
Monsignor Charles Kaza presented the prize to Orsich, who is also his sister.
“For those of you who didn’t know Gary, he was very active in the Tri-County area for nearly 40 years with both a radio-worthy voice and personality. He devoted much of his free time to local causes and events, including this wonderful run/walk,” Kaza said.
Race committee member Frank Hetrick said Stormer’s family was instrumental in creating the award for someone who promoted the race and volunteers. Each year they choose someone who puts a lot of time, effort and energy into the event.
Orsich received this honor because of her many years of not only participating in running/walking as a runner or in walking by rolling and walking, but also for cooking food for the event each year. She provides sloppy joes as one of the foods every year.
“She has been involved in the Arc for 40 years. She is very active in the community, serving as a Eucharistic Minister helping with Lenten and Funeral Church Dinners, and the Church’s Summer Festival, and once again she made the sloppy joes and gravy to hot dog for the run/walk concession stand,” Kaza said.
His son, John Orsich, was previously a running/walking top earner for many years in a row. John died in 2014 at age 47. The award for the team that raises the most money each year was named in his honor.
Fundraising for the event was a passion of his and he covered Punxsutawney by going door to door block by block soliciting donations each year. Orsich recalled that his son takes the entire Camp Friendship week off every year so he can attend.
“She continues to walk and fundraise in her name, and she usually wins a ribbon for one of the senior walkers,” Kaza said. “This lady always has a big smile on her face.”
She said she didn’t have a speech, but wanted to thank everyone for the honor.
“I’m honored. When he was saying all the things that Gary was known for and volunteering, I’m honored to receive that,” Orsich said.
She said her son John is the reason she has always been involved and is passionate about helping fund Camp Friendship. She said he would start collecting in January for the event.
“That’s one of the things I first started getting involved in,” Orisch said. “The best thing for him was to get a trophy.”
Orisch recently donated his son’s trophies to the event for reuse, as everyone who participates in the roll and ride receives a trophy. She is still involved with Camp Friendship as one of the oldest kitchen volunteers. She said the kids love camp and are always happy to come back.
“You like to see how happy they are,” Orsich said.