Thursday, January 11, 2018
Marie Waddell, the 2017 Dan P. Spaulding Volunteer Educator Award Honoree with her family at the 2017 Celebrate Volunteers event.
Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities
Volunteers are the difference-makers in our community. We all know people who dedicate their time to help others. And, the Celebrating Volunteers event that will be held on April 26 at the Paper Valley Hotel, is a perfect opportunity to say "thank you" to those volunteers who are so deserving of our recognition.
The award categories include community service, health care, youth leadership, mentoring, business/nonprofit collaboration, the arts, and education, so there is a niche for everyone. Thanks to the generosity of award sponsors, each award recipient receives $5,000 for their favorite Fox Valley charity (the youth recipient receives $1,000 for charity plus a $1,500 scholarship). Since 1998, award sponsors have given $660,000 to local charities selected by their award recipients.
I encourage you to take some time and nominate a friend, co-worker, family member, or neighbor for an award. It is an easy process – you can do it online. It is highly encouraged to include up to three letters of support for your nomination. The letters really help tell the story, and I have found that people are eager to share their support and enthusiasm for the work of the volunteer.
My favorite part of the Celebrating Volunteers event is when the videos on each recipient are shown. I guarantee they will touch your heart and stay with you long after the event is over. So, put on your thinking cap, and nominate! February 5th is the deadline and it will be here before we know it. You can go straight to the online nomination form or explore more details about the event at www.celebratevolunteers.org.
The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and Post-Crescent Media have sponsored Celebrating Volunteers for 20 years. Award sponsors are: Ascension, Community First Credit Union, Mielke Family Foundation, School Specialty, SECURA, ThedaCare, and Thrivent Financial.