The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community.
AUSA Family Programs is pleased to announce that LTC Ronald Dean Rallis, Sr., his wife Sherry, and their five children have been selected as the 2008 AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year.
The award recognizes an exceptional family whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well-being of the Army community and will be presented on Monday, October 6th, at the opening ceremony of the Association’s Annual Meeting (Oct. 6-8) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The Rallis family, who were nominated by AUSA’s Greater Los Angeles Chapter, currently resides in Fullerton, CA. LTC Rallis serves as the Command Judge Advocate for the 652D Regional Support Group in Helena, Montana. The Rallis family has demonstrated a strong commitment to the welfare of Soldiers and families, as well as civilian communities, through a variety of volunteer and support activities.
LTC Rallis is a strong advocate for volunteerism among his family and fellow Soldiers. His resume includes 19 years of allocating at least four to five days per month to mentor Soldiers on career development, family advice, benefits/entitlements, USSERA, and SCRA. LTC Rallis has also spent 12 years as an instructor for the Army Reserve Family Readiness Education for Deployment and Family Programs Academy (ARFRED/FPA). In addition, he served for three years as Family Programs advisor to 63D Regional Readiness Command (RRC) Well-Being Advisory Council. He has been the recipient of numerous awards to include the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, the Department of the Army-Commander’s Award for Public Service in 2007 honoring over 2,000 hours of volunteer work.
In addition to his military volunteer service, LTC Rallis has also committed to helping the civilian community. He has served as Judge Pro Tem in two California counties for 26 years, spent 22 years on the Board of Trustees to Biola University, and participated for the past 12 years in counseling first-time juvenile offenders through Orange County’s “Short-Stop” Program. In honor of his commitment to the community, he has received the Orange County Bar Foundation Appreciation 12 times and has received the Los Angeles Superior Court Appreciation 26 times.
Sherry Rallis grew up in a military family and has used her military experiences to mentor Army families today. Mrs. Rallis is a Nationally Certified ARFRED/FPA Instructor-facilitating courses and workshops for the past 12 years. She also spent two years as an Army Family Team Building Instructor and National Master Trainer, and a total of six years as a Family Readiness Group Leader at the 78th Legal Support Organization (LSO), Headquarters & Headquarters Company (HHC), and 75th LSO. To further assist Army families’ transition to changes in the home, Mrs. Rallis developed a training program entitled the “Family Readiness Process” which the 63D Family Programs Director has implemented with high reviews.
Mrs. Rallis has also been the recipient of numerous volunteer awards in honor of her 3,000 hours of volunteer service. They include the Volunteer of the Year award for 63D Regional Support Command/ Regional Readiness Command (RSC/RRC), the Department of The Army-Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the Department of The Army-Commander’s Award for Public Service, and the Department of the Army-Patriotic Civilian Service Award.
The Rallis’ children have followed in their parents’ footsteps and taken great interest in the well-being of the Army community. The Rallis’ two adult daughters, Jessica and Katrina, and 19-year-old son, Justus, formed the “Freedom Feet” Patriotic Dance Troupe to help provide entertainment and build morale during deployment and reunion events. The dance troupe also participated in community awareness events, letter writing, and distributed over 600 care packages to Soldiers between 2001 and 2004. For their efforts, the children received an Appreciation Recognition from MG Robert Ostenberg, who is currently the director of Reserve Forces for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.
Along with assisting in the dance troupe, Justus has served two years in Army Junior ROTC at Fullerton Union High School and currently volunteers weekly as a Junior High Boys’ Core Group Leader at First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. He has also spent four summers as a Volunteer Camp Counselor to fourth graders at Forest Home Camp, CA.
As a family, the Rallis’ have volunteered their time and effort to assist the 63D RRC in recognizing other volunteers by coordinating and hosting the April 2008 USAR Centennial Anniversary and Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony where 110 volunteers were honored for their efforts. The Rallis family has received many recognition awards as a family for their volunteerism. These include the Exceptional Volunteer Award presented by the local AUSA chapter, the State of California Recognition, and the AUSA Greater Los Angeles Chapter Certificate of Appreciation Recognition of Outstanding Service.
Both as a family and as individuals, the Rallis family demonstrates a generosity of spirit and commitment to service that makes them truly deserving of the title of AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year.
As recipient of this year’s AUSA Newell Rubbermaid Volunteer Family of the Year Award, the Rallis family will receive a trip to Washington D.C. for the Annual Meeting, a cash prize, and a gift basket courtesy of Rubbermaid, AUSA and GEICO.
AUSA Family Programs would also like to congratulate the two runner-up families: Sergeant First Class Wendell Kirkland and family of Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Sergeant First Class Donald S. Brown and family of Heidelberg, Germany. Each runner up family will be awarded a certificate of distinction, a savings bond, and a gift basket in recognition of their dedicated service to their fellow Soldiers, Army families, and communities.
AUSA Family Programs extends sincere thanks to the Newell Rubbermaid Corporation for their very generous support for this award.
AUSA Family Programs is pleased to announce that LTC John R. Chavez, his wife Holly, and their five children have been selected as the 2007 AUSA Rubbermaid-Irwin Volunteer Family of the Year.
The Chavez Family, who were nominated by AUSA’s Korea Chapter, are currently stationed at Suwon Air Force Base, South Korea, where LTC Chavez is assigned to the 1-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion. Each member of the Chavez family, from the oldest to the youngest, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the welfare of Soldiers and families, as well as to their Korean neighbors, through a variety of volunteer activities.
Read more about the Chavez Family
The 2006 AUSA Rubbermaid-Irwin Volunteer Family of the Year is CSM Darrel Calton, his wife Kay, sons; Derek and Andrew and daughter Kaylin. The Caltons from Fort Detrick, Maryland, are an Army Family who strongly believes in being continuously involved in programs and events which improve the well-being of Soldiers and families in their community. Their outstanding efforts on behalf of Soldiers and families positively influence each volunteer organization and event of which they are a part.
Read more about the Calton Family