Community Volunteer Award Recipients


Last month we celebrated National Volunteer Week (April 17-21) and our JDRF volunteers who make the “impossible” possible. We are honored to partner alongside you to move life-changing T1D research forward. Your involvement with our galas, walks, ride, advocacy and outreach programs shows this dedication. Thank you for all you do, today and every day!

This is also a time when we recognize our Community Volunteer Award recipients for the Mid-Atlantic chapter.  The Community Volunteer Award recognizes chapter volunteers whose contributions of time and talent have significantly impacted their local community and advanced JDRF’s mission.  Our recipients have made noteworthy contributions to chapter programs and advocacy during the past fiscal year.

Please join us in congratulating your fellow volunteers and this year’s Community Volunteer Award recipients, Suzanne Bowser, Chris Chodnicki, and Chris Kelly.

Suzanne Bowser has been a long-time JDRF supporter, volunteer, and advocate, and is currently serving on the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Community Board of Directors as one of the VA Advocacy Team Chairs. Suzanne says: “I volunteer at JDRF because I’m passionate about its vision. JDRF supports individuals with diabetes, their families, and the community with its research – not just with T1D but with other autoimmune disorders, as well. As an advocacy team chair, I can use my son’s T1D story, and the stories of others, to work for funding and legislation to support the collective T1D community. I like to tell people, “I don’t have 150 million dollars a year, but I can work hard to make sure the Special Diabetes Program is renewed so we can continue the research and funding to find a cure.” I am truly blessed to be able to volunteer with such an amazing community of diabetes warriors!” – Suzanne Bowser


Chris Chodnicki currently serves as our Community Board President and says: “I volunteer at JDRF because my son Ben, who is 24, was diagnosed at age 9. Being part of JDRF is my way of helping support Ben and others in the T1D community. I cannot trade places with Ben, but I can use my time and network to volunteer wherever needed, drive awareness and fundraise. I have seen firsthand JDRF’s impact and it motivates me to do all I can -even if out of my comfort zone. Finally, I like to lead based on my own JDRF mantra; Think Big, Just Ask and Make it Personal.” – Chris Chodnicki



Chris Kelly wears many hats in the chapter as a Ride coach, chair of the chapter’s DE&I Committee, Chapter Board member and Chair of the DC Mission Board. “I volunteer at JDRF because of the real difference this wonderful organization makes in our life. Since our daughter’s diagnosis at age 15 in 2009, JDRF-led advances have been remarkable. They include new therapies and devices, ground-breaking research, and unmatched advocacy programs. And what a great community we’ve met along the way: the children and adults who have T1D, their families and caregivers, and our wonderful chapter staff. All of them are truly our support group. It’s why we, as volunteers, choose to Walk, Ride, and plan for the Hope Gala, among the many opportunities to be involved! Thank you, JDRF!“– Chris Kelly