In my 1.5 years at Direct Energy managing various community investment initiatives, I have never seen the support for a volunteer like I witnessed with Cydney Cross, winner of Direct Energy and The Gazette’s 2014 Capital Region Volunteer Citizen of the Year award. To start, her wonderfully written nomination hailed from a dear friend and co-worker, Joann Ravida, who said it was easy to write about Cydney and the wonderful things she does for canines and the community with Out of the Pits Rescue.
We presented this award to Cydney in late June to wide acclaim from the greater Albany area. Representatives on behalf of Albany’s Mayor Sheehan and Representative Marchione attended the award event. Also, Senator Breslin sent a Proclamation, and Assemblymen McDonald and Tedisco had Citations to add.
The outpour of support for Cydney brought tears to her eyes. Joann, her nominator, put it like this: “There are volunteers and then there are people who make volunteering a way of life – Cydney is the latter. She works around the clock, often calling and emailing people at odd hours of the morning, rescuing and placing pit bulls in loving homes, as well as conducting behavioral training for those dogs and taking therapy dogs to visit juvenile inmates, nursing homes, and utilizing them to help children read.”
Cydney was one of the most grateful people I’ve ever met, and that’s saying a lot. She has much perspective on life with the mentality that it’s all about what you give back. Dogs love you unconditionally, no matter what circumstances humans put them through in a former life. They are defenseless, but with Cydney Cross and Out of the Pits Rescue, at least some of them have a voice.
This article was written by Andrea Romo, External Relations Specialist for Direct Energy.