Speedway employees (left to right) Randon McNeil, Brian Lafreniere, Kevin Ponder, Jonathan Hostasa, David Heppner (United Way Board of Directors member), Teri Smith, Brenda Close, Chelsea Noble, Spring Blair, Dulce Hurst, Inell Smith, Lorie Hale and Mitch Hurst (United Way Board of Directors member) celebrate Teri Smith being named United Way Volunteer of the Year.
Speedway Executive Administrative Assistant Teri Smith was recognized with the United Way-Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties 2017 President’s Award earlier this month. The President’s Award recognizes outstanding volunteer involvement with United Way during the past year.
Thanks to John Dobrzeniecki, Speedway construction program manager, Teri started working with United Way 15 years ago, but the rewards of volunteering were instilled by her mother, Inell Smith, who also works for Speedway. Together, Teri and her mother would visit County Group Homes in Dayton, Ohio, fundraise, and buy items for the residents. Inell introduced Teri to volunteering early on through Inell’s involvement in many of the activities, clubs, and sports in which Teri participated.
Through 15 years of volunteering with United Way, Teri has been involved in many activities including coordinating the logistics for March of Babies (two years) and the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program (nine years). Outside of United Way, Teri ran the Enon Select Soccer and Basketball Programs for several years, but Honor Flight has been her true passion for the past six years.
“There is nothing better than meeting a veteran in the morning and have them tell me they are only doing this because their wife told them to,” said Teri. “By the end of the trip they tell me it was the best day of their life. It just doesn’t get any better than to be a part of that!” Volunteering for Honor Flight entails setting up at the airport at 2:30 a.m., gathering surprise mail call for each veteran, spending hours on the phone answering questions for family, fundraising, attending training sessions for guardians and other events to talk about Honor Flight, and acting as a guardian on the most recent flight earlier this month.
When asked what compels her to volunteer, Teri answered, “I have true passion for the places I volunteer with, and it’s fun! I also think that at any given time, that could be me. I try to put myself in the shoes of those who are recipients of the United Way’s help. Life doesn’t always go how we want and not everyone has a good support system, but if I can help someone in a time of need or give them a good laugh, it may be the spark they needed to get through that day!”
Speedway LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Headquartered in Enon, Ohio, Speedway is the second largest chain of company-owned and -operated gasoline and convenience stores in the U.S. with approximately 2,740 locations in 21 states.
539 South Main Street
Findlay, OH 45840