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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: March 27, 2018


NEW CASTLE (March 27, 2018) - The annual Volunteer Delaware Conference, the state's leading conference for organizations and individuals making a difference in their communities through volunteerism, is set for April 30 in Dover. Presented by the Delaware State Office of Volunteerism (SOV) and the Delaware Association of Volunteer Administrators (DAVA), the conference will feature an array of interactive instructional workshops and networking opportunities. This year's conference, to be held at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, is expected to attract more than 150 attendees from across the state.

"I look forward to seeing the ideas and energy that will come out of this year's Volunteer Delaware Conference," said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. "Delaware is sure to benefit from having so many volunteers joining together to network and learn."

The pre-conference registration cost is $75 for DAVA members and $90 for those who are not yet members. Day of conference registration is $125. Registration includes breakfast, lunch and instructional sessions.

Patti Grimes, executive director of both The Freeman Stage and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation in Selbyville, will give the keynote address entitled "Leading a Highly Committed Service Culture." In addition to her work leading The Freeman Stage and the grant management and capacity-building programs for the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Grimes is active in the community volunteering for the Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-School programs, as well as other service organizations.

Writer and nonprofit executive Barry Altland will give the closing presentation, "That One Thing; Gaining Return out of Your Learning and Connection Investment." Altland wrote the book, "Engaging the Head, Heart and Hands of a Volunteer."

Topics for the morning and afternoon breakout sessions include:

To learn more, visit Registration is available online at For more information, contact April Willey at 302-857-5006 or by emailing

The Delaware Conference on Volunteerism is sponsored by Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, the Division of State Service Centers, the State Office of Volunteerism, as well as the Delaware Association of Volunteer Administrators.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.