Downs Park wouldn't be Downs Park without volunteers -- maintaining its 231 acres would not be possible without their help.
Park officials and local merchants will honor 156 altruistic volunteers known as the "Friends of Downs Park" with a banquet at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Mount Carmel Methodist Church Hall on Mountain Road.
Co-sponsors for tomorrow's event include Pastore's of Pasadena, True Value food stores, V. Jordan Lumber Co. of Glen Burnie and I.N.R.Grocery and Prudential Preferred Properties, both in Pasadena.
The honorees will receive a meal prepared by the Ladies of Mount CarmelChurch. The Satyr Hill Band will perform folk and country music.
Volunteers can be any age, said Eileen Smith, office manager at the park, located at the end of Mountain Road on John Downs Loop.
The youngest volunteer donating time and energy to the park is age 12; theoldest is 82.
Downs Park has a list of 300 volunteers. The 156 honorees, who have been constant in their volunteering through the years, will be awarded certificates by Park Superintendent Rick Holt.
Holt also will be handing out 10 special surprise awards at the seventh annual event to outstanding volunteers. Winners will be chosen by the park staff, which includes three rangers and seven permanent employees.
One award is the William Wilson Award, named for the one-armed estate gardener who created the Victorian Garden that has been used as the site for several weddings at the park. Wilson's handiwork predates the park.
"We honor him every year," Smith said.
The Wilson award, she said, will go to the person who has worked the most hours at maintaining the garden.
"Without the volunteers, we wouldn't have the garden at all," she said.
The Golden Trowel Award willhonor the person who has dug and planted the most -- "The one who isalways there," Smith said. Three others will be honored for dedication in taking care of the garden.
The Golden Hammer Award will be given to the volunteer who helped most with construction during the Fourth of July and Halloween activities.
The Special Service Award will be given to the person who has given outstanding service to the park. The Volunteer of the Year Award will be chosen for efforts over the years to Downs Park.
Other awards include Most Hours Worked and Special People awards.
A complete list of the winners will be printed in next Friday's "Pasadena Neighbors" column.
Volunteers canhave any interest, Smith said.