After 20 years of service to the organization, Gary Vander Henst, IT Systems Design and Development senior business analyst, was recently honored as the Volunteer of the Year by the Chevron Houston Marathon. Each year, Vander Henst helps with event set-up and deliveries at the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as registration for the event expo. He also helps runners with emergency bib replacement, for those who may forget their running bib, timing tag, number or other important items for the race.
“There is no better or more deserving Volunteer of the Year than ‘Gary V,’ as he is affectionately known around the Houston Marathon office,” said Carly Caulfield, Chevron Houston Marathon operations director. “It is difficult to neatly categorize what Gary does for the Houston Marathon, as his efforts affect so many parts of the race. No matter where he is needed, he goes with the true heart and spirit of a volunteer.” Caulfield said they count on Vander Henst each year to provide expertise, listen to questions and put out fires. In fact, the Marathon team often says, “in case of emergency, call Gary.” Although he was excited to be recognized for his community involvement, Vander Henst was not expecting the honor. “I have a good job and try to make it my goal to give 1,000 hours a year back to the community,” he said.