The crowd of about 230 people cheered after Rob Nutter was announced the 2016 Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Tuesday.

Nutter, who works in avionics at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, received the Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year award for his work with Citizens for Safe Schools and becoming a foster parent to the child he mentored.

“My wife and I have been wondering, before we started mentoring, we were wondering why God brought us down here to Klamath and now we know — it was for this one little boy,” Nutter said.

The Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year event at the Klamath Basin Senior Citizens Center gave out 33 awards to those who donated their time to better the community.

The 23rd annual event was presented by United Way Volunteer Center of the Klamath Basin, an organization that matches people with a nonprofit that needs volunteers.

Award for Excellence

Don Crane, lawyer and KMSB Foundation board member, presented the awards. The Klamath Country Award for Excellence went to 15 community members and five organizations, one of which was to the Blue Zones — a health initiative in Klamath Falls.

Saraphina Barkley, Ashley Ferns and Kylee Souders were named as the Klamath Country Volunteer of the Year Division Finalists for the youth division.

Barkley, Mazama High School student, received the youth division Volunteer of the Year Division Finalists award for her community involvement.

Barkley raised over $1,000 for March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure the health of mothers and babies. She created awareness campaigns and contacted local businesses for donations to purchase purple bandanas, with the March of Dimes logo and donors’ names, to sell and donate the money to the organization.

“I’m amazed, I didn’t think this would be something that I would personally receive because I know there’s so many others who deserve it, especially in the youth division, but I’m just super proud,” Barkley said. “Being in my own personal situation, and being helped by other volunteers, I realized what a difference that can make in someone’s life, and it’s just amazing to see what others can do for you. So I want to be able to do that for others.”

For the adult division, Sheri Hargrave and Rob Nutter received the finalist awards. The senior division awards went to Roy O. Johnson and Kathy Sagunsky, and Jon Johnson received the education division finalist award.

The Klamath Falls Police Department Volunteers in Policing, Sky Lakes Medical Center Junior Volunteers and Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union were also nominated.