FARMINGTON — Brenda Gable spends her spare time volunteering as a Court Appointed Child Advocate for Childhaven.
Her service with the nonprofit earned her the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award at San Juan College Volunteer Center's 23rd Annual Volunteer of the Year banquet on Thursday.
Gable was among about half a dozen volunteers to be recognized at the banquet. The recipients were chosen based on reliability, positive influence, leadership, inspiration to others, initiative, helpfulness, enthusiasm, dedication, flexibility and compassion.
Carole Gabel received the Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with Northwest New Mexico Hospice and Home Care. The Banovic family was awarded the Family Volunteer Award for their work putting on the Real Night at the Museum event.
The Pet Project Foundation won the Group Volunteer Award for work started in 2008 to raise awareness about the situation at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and to raise funds for a new shelter. Since the foundation began its work, adoption rates have increased from three to about five adoptions a day.
Angelica Enriquez received the award for Youth Volunteer. Enriquez is a member of Farmington High School Junior ROTC's and volunteered more than 100 hours of work helping a neighbor.
Eleven people were nominated for the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award. The award was for people 65 years old or older.
Although Brenda Gable does not have any children of her own, she has dedicated most of her life to working with children. She worked as a missionary teacher at a school south of Bloomfield and then at a Window Rock, Ariz., school teaching Navajo children.
After leaving the missionary service, Gable said she became a foster mom in the 1980s.
She said she wanted to volunteer with children to empower them.
"Children are our future generation, and it's important that they're healthy and safe," Gable said.