Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award Given to Patricia & Charles Debrovner and Julia Lamborn
The American Ethical Union Assembly presented three devoted members with Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Awards at the 2011 Assembly. Patricia and Chuck Debrovner, commonly referred to as Pat and Chuck, have been active members of the New York Society for 25 years. And Julia Lamborn has shown a strong commitment to the St. Louis Society and its surrounding community. All of the honorees bring their skills, talents, and enormous amounts of time to enabling the growth and development of their Societies and the Ethical Culture Movement.
Born in 1851, Anna Garlin Spencer was the first woman Ethical Culture Leader and her life-long work embodies the spirit intended by this award. She was the first woman ordained to preach in Rhode Island, became a founder of the NAACP, promoted child labor laws, and worked for equal rights for women.
Pat and Chuck Debrovner help the Movement strive in various ways. Both direct Ethics in the Theater performances, speak during platforms, and videotape many of the Society’s events (they have also financially supported the AEU Archive Project). Pat is an Ethical Culture Officiant, a Humanist Celebrant, a Co-Leader of the chorus, and member of The Joy of Writing program. Chuck represents the Society on the Board of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School (since 1988), is on the Board of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, was the President of the Humanist Institute for 14 years, and serves as the Institute’s representative to the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
Julia Lamborn has been Chair of the St. Louis Society Ethical Action Committee since September 1998. As Chair, she oversees the selection of charities to receive the split collections held at alternate weekly platforms. Julia has also served on the Board’s Personnel Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Board of Trustees as Chair of the Program Council. She created an annual staff holiday luncheon as a way for the Board to show appreciation for the Society staff. She has acted as the Society's liaison with a number of groups including Missourians for Single Payer Health Care (which she chairs); the St. Charles domestic violence shelter (where she started an art therapy program) and Boys Hope/Girls Hope. Annually for the last eight years or more, she arranged Platform speakers who are nationally known experts in health care. Julia has also persuaded the Society to follow new ethical procedures such as making the Society’s building more handicapped friendly (not just handicapped accessible) and convincing the Society not to purchase items at Walmart during years when the company was not treating workers fairly.
Thank you to Pat, Chuck, and Julia for not only devoting their time and energy, but also for inspiring others to contribute to the success of Ethical Culture.