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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Samir Honored by Mayor Whitmire for President’s Lifetime Achievement Award

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On April 24th, 2024, the Houston Mayor’s Office, in a collaborative effort with Volunteer Houston and Interfaith Ministries, presented the Mayor’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony. This event served as a beacon of inspiration, honoring the selfless dedication of the community’s volunteers. The ceremony commenced with insightful opening remarks from Herbert Sims, the newly appointed Director of the Houston Neighborhoods Department, followed by speeches from Martin Cominsky, President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries, and Andrea Shiloh, VP of Volunteerism and Civic Duty. The highlight of the event was a stirring keynote speech delivered by Houston’s Mayor John Whitmire, who expressed profound gratitude for the volunteers’ tireless efforts and highlighted the immeasurable value of civic engagement. “It’s a profound honor to recognize the exceptional individuals and community organizations collaborating with the City of Houston,” Mayor Whitmire stated.

Martin B. Cominsky, President & CEO of Interfaith Ministries, emphasized the significance of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which was bestowed on 17 volunteers, including a single Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Samir Becic (the only one in Houston). “These awards recognize the sustained and dedicated service of volunteers who go above and beyond to help their fellow Houstonians,” said Cominsky. Following the speeches, Mayor John Whitmire and Councilmember and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Amy Peck congratulated volunteers and shook their hands.

Our founder, Samir Becic, was honored as the exclusive recipient of the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious accolade is a testament to Samir’s commitment to service in the community, marking a lifetime of extraordinary civic contribution and volunteerism through over 8,000 hours, Samir’s decades of advocacy and outreach epitomize a lifetime of impactful service and making communities stronger through the power of health and fitness. The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award is a distinguished honor recognizing an individual’s exceptional and enduring contributions to community service, embodying a legacy of impactful dedication and selflessness. This prestigious award aims to recognize and celebrate volunteers who dedicate thousands of hours per year to helping others.

This accolade stands as a testament to Samir’s lifelong dedication to making a positive impact through decades of advocacy and outreach embodying the true essence of impactful service- strengthening communities through the power of health and fitness. For more than 20 years, Samir Becic has exemplified genuine community leadership, inspiring countless individuals and making a significant difference through his dedication to volunteerism and advocacy work. With his extensive background (here is his full bio), Samir has achieved remarkable milestones and transformed the lives of many, working closely with various organizations to promote health and fitness nationwide.

For 22 years, Samir has served as a fitness advisor to the City of Houston and to various Mayors, starting from Mayor Lee Brown, to Annise Parker, Sylvester Turner, and now John Whitmire. He has served as Houston’s Official Fitness Czar since 2018, promoting fitness and encouraging Houstonians to be more active. Since 2011, he has volunteered tens of thousands of hours of his time to the Samir Becic Foundation 501 (c) 3, which aims at empowering others lives through health and fitness, he also spent the better part of a decade volunteering his time at devoloping the fitness program at the largest church in America, Lakewood Church.

With over three decades of experience as a fitness professional, motivator and champion for health, Becic is a respected voice in the field. Through his volunteer leadership, motivational work, writing, and expertise shared far and wide, Becic has cemented his role as a driver of positive change. His dedication to community well-being over many years is what inspired this prestigious recognition. We are incredibly proud of Samir’s accomplishment. It serves as a reminder of what committed individuals can achieve when working together towards the greater good. 

In addition to the singular honor bestowed upon Samir Becic, the ceremony was a showcase of various other volunteer awards, each symbolizing the spirit of service and civic duty. Among them were:

  • President’s Volunteer Service Award: A distinguished honor conferred by Points of Light, this award celebrates volunteers who have met the stringent requirements for a Presidential Volunteer Service Award within a 12-month timeframe.
  • City of Houston Civic Engagement Awards: A series of accolades that highlight the significant contributions made by residents to City of Houston initiatives, including:
    • Mayor’s Volunteer Appreciation Awards: These awards recognize individuals nominated by City departments for their exceptional volunteer efforts.
    • Mayor’s Community Engagement Awards: Honoring organizations that provide substantial support to City programs.
    • Mayor’s Next Generation Award: A special commendation for young volunteers, aged 12-18 years, who actively participate in City programs.
  • Spotlight Volunteer Awards: Administered by Volunteer Houston, these awards are given to extraordinary volunteers who have made a significant impact on local nonprofits, thereby aiding the vulnerable and underserved populations of the Texas Gulf Coast region.

Each award presented at the ceremony not only acknowledged the individual and collective efforts of those dedicated to bettering their community but also served as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging others to follow in the footsteps of service and leadership. The event not only showcased the valuable efforts of individuals but also underscored the essential significance of volunteerism in shaping Houston’s social and cultural landscape. For more than half a century, Volunteer Houston has played a crucial role in linking volunteers with nonprofit organizations and community initiatives, fostering a compassionate ethos that truly defines the city’s identity.

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