Previous Volunteer of the Year Winners

2023 Volunteer of the year Ydalia Sanders

Ydalia Sanders is one of DSAMT’s county connectors and a parent representative for DSAMT. She assists with multiple activities and events not just for her county but other DSAMT events as well. In addition to all the great activities she helps to plan and execute, she has assisted DSAMT staff, many times at the spur of the moment, with our Spanish Speaking families to ensure they have the support and services they need. Thank you Ydalia for everything you have done for DSAMT!

2022 Volunteer of the year Tony Henderson

Tony Henderson started volunteering for DSAMT prior to even being in High school. He has helped tremendously at many events, often reaching out even prior to any requests for help from volunteers. Tony could be seen helping at 3.21, the Egg Hunt and family picnic, dances, baby showers, holiday parties, Buddy Walks, even played Santa for two years delivering gifts to families homes during the pandemic. Tony has rarely turned down being of assistance and has been critical in the success of many DSAMT events. Thank you Tony for everything you have done for DSAMT!

2021 Volunteer of the year Amelia Platte

Amelia Platte is the county connector for the Wilson County Friends of DSAMT and one of our valued parent representatives. In both these roles, she has gone above and beyond in helping families and DSAMT staff. She is one of the first people to help out when a staff member has a question, is the parent representative for many families, assists with events and activities behind the scenes to help make our events run smoothly, and under her leadership the Wilson County Group has had more activities than any other group, often with her hand delivering materials. Please help me to congratulate Amelia Platte.

2020 Volunteer of the year Kristi Whitman

Kristi Whitman fell in love with several individuals with Down syndrome while working at the Vanderbilt Down Syndrome Clinic. Although she is no longer in the DS Clinic and is now in Pediatric Critical Care, she continues to give her time and love to individuals with Down syndrome. If Kristi is not volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as a Supervisor on Site, you will find her at DSAMT's many events. The last four years, Kristi has been instrumental in coordinating volunteers for the Nashville Buddy Walk® both with scheduling prior to the walk and supervision of those volunteers the day of the walk. Kristi has helped with just about every Baby Shower DSAMT has held at Vanderbilt. Recently, she has started assisting as a fill-in for Book Club on Tuesday evenings. Kristi has been known to drop everything and come to events at the last moment when people have backed out and has recruited additional help to come to several events. Please help me thank our very deserving volunteer of the year – Ms. Kristi Whitman

2019 Volunteer of the year: LaRhonda Potts

LaRhonda Potts is hardly ever seen but very often behind our big events we have yearly. She has been the stage manager at the Buddy walk for a few years now while also assisting the coordination of other volunteer roles. She was instrumental in our 1st annual One Extraordinary Evening Dance, and has been a part of many other events and activities throughout the year including the Middle School dance, Buddy Walk Kickoffs, and many other activities. Please help me thank our very deserving volunteer of the year – Ms. LaRhonda Potts

2018 Volunteer of the year: Beth Fetzer

Beth Fetzer spends a very large amount of time Dedicated to DSAMT. She not only volunteers her time, she also spreads awareness, advocates, and has formed lifelong friendships with our friends that have something extra. Although she is a sibling of an individual with Down syndrome, and volunteers for multiple events throughout the year, this person is best known as leading DSAMT’s Book Club for as long as I have known her, EVERY Tuesday night.Please help me thank our very deserving volunteer of the year – Mrs. Beth Fetzer

2017 Volunteer of the year: Kassiddee Connolly

Kassiddee Connolly began volunteering with DSAMT her freshman year of high school, and now, as a junior is such a valuable presence, volunteering at every one of our events and programs. Kassiddee not only volunteers her time she also spreads awareness, advocates, and has formed lifelong friendships with our friends that have something extra.

2016 Volunteer of the Year: Anne-Marie Clark

We are proud to recognize Anne-Marie Clark as DSAMT’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Her tireless work with our 3.21 World Down Syndrome Awareness Day Celebration and the Nashville Buddy Walk® have helped make both events record-breaking successes, plus she gives as a First Call Parent Mentor throughout the year. She always asks what else she can do to help. The DSAMT Board of Directors and staff voted for her unanimously. Since receiving the award, she has joined DSAMT's Board of Directors and now serves as its Secretary.

2015 Volunteer of the Year: Rebecca Tinsley

Ms. Rebecca Tinsley is our 2015 Volunteer of the Year. She has been involved time and time again with DSAMT. Anytime the call goes out for volunteers, she is always answering the call for help. Some of the events where she has really made a difference includes the Buddy Walk, the holiday party, and coordination of corporate volunteer days with her company, Turner Construction. She is the aunt of beautiful Emily with that something extra and a friend to all of us at DSAMT. Please help me congratulate and thank her for all the work she has done for our community.

2014 Volunteer of the Year: Sharmane Pearson

Sharmane Pearson’s father, Joe, and mother, Vivian, work hard to help Sharmane be one of the most active, visible, and present adults with Down syndrome in Middle Tennessee. Many people benefit from the perceptions that come from Sharmane’s active life, but for Joe, the reason is simple: “The other option is to stay at home, and that’s not a good option.”

Alecia Talbott, Executive Director of DSAMT adds, “Sharmane is a favorite personality at our events because of her joy and humor. Sharmane, however, is her toughest critic.”

Sharmane goes to Hartman Park Regional Center’s disAbilities program twice a week and volunteers regularly for DSAMT. Sharmane is easing back into powerlifting training after a nice break, and has also gotten into yoga. She has to relax sometime!

Sharmane will be showing off her exuberant personality on stage at the 2015 Nashville Buddy Walk®, as DSAMT recognizes her for her tremendous accomplishments at World Games 2015.