Dean Ledbetter works for the Internal Revenue Service. And when he's not at work, he's volunteering in the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. He has personally helped nearly 750 taxpayers, driving more than 500 volunteer miles.

The VITA program serves low-income elderly, military, non-English speaking or handicapped individuals with their income tax preparation at 13 Utah sites. Carol Fay, district director of IRS, said, "Believing that the essence of leadership is the willingness to do that which is required of others, he was more than a figurehead, sacrificing lunch times, late-night hours and weekends to give tax assistance."He has given special tax assistance to military families attached to Operation Desert Shield.

He promoted the 1990 U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Program and personally collected nearly 200 donated toys for underprivileged children. Because many Marine Reservists were mobilized for active duty during November and December for Operation Desert Shield, he expanded his volunteer efforts to help the program, which was short-staffed.

Ledbetter also teaches a Sunday School class, visits veterans and senior citizens at rest homes, manages and coaches athletic activities as a volunteer and still manages to spend some time with his family.

The Volunteer Center recognizes that there is a growing number of fully employed people who use their expertise and training to help others. Ledbetter is a good example of this type of specialized, caring volunteer, according to Rita Inoway, director of the Volunteer Center.