Wisconsin Public Service Volunteer Awards Breakfast
Outstanding community volunteers were celebrated at the 21st annual Wisconsin Public Service Volunteer Awards, which took place on Tuesday, April 14th at the KI Convention Center. The event is orchestrated by the Volunteer Center and sponsored by Wisconsin Public Service.
Nearly 650 people attended the event where nearly 150 nominees were honored. A runner-up and a recipient were announced in seven categories. The categories are:
“Congratulations to all those nominated and to all those whom serve selflessly. It is their special day and rightfully so,” Christine Danielson, executive director of the Volunteer Center said.
- Associated Bank Heart of Gold Award
- Schneider National Foundation Volunteer Leadership Award
- Prevea Health Adult Award
- Green Bay Packaging Volunteer in Education Award
- Green Bay Packers Large Group Award
- Bellin Health Small Group Award
- Schreiber Foods Youth Award
Download the program (PDF)
Thank you Sponsors!
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The Vincent Group
Each of the seven awards was sponsored by a local company or foundation. Below is a summary of the accomplishments of each of the recipients.
Green Bay Packaging Volunteer in Education Award
Ange Baeten has helped shape the vision and direction of her school and district. Baeten served two terms as the president of parent organization at Abrams Elementary School and one term as its secretary. She has chaired or co-chaired its Fall and Spring Break Book Fairs for eight years. Ange has been a leader in promoting school-parent partnerships and communication. She initiated and served as a moderator for a “Candidates’ Forum,” where candidates for the Oconto Falls School Board could answer questions and share their positions on issues of importance to the district. She has served on the district’s “Long Range Strategic Planning Committee,” and has been a reasonable and convincing voice in encouraging the School Board to maintain small class sizes in the school. Ange has also worked directly with students as a tutor and chaperone to enhance their educational experience.
Schreiber Foods, Inc. Volunteer Youth Award
Paige Kassner is only ten years-old but already has created a impact in her community. One day on the way to school she forgot her mittens. Rather than feeling sorry for herself, she became inspired. Kassner started an organization called, “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts,” whose mission is to collect hats and mittens for children in need. She has enlisted the help of fellow classmates in Kewaunee County to create drop boxes that were placed in schools. Furthermore, she developed a Web site to create greater knowledge of this organization. They have been receiving mittens and hats from across the United States almost every day. In the past seven months, Kassner and her ten year-old colleagues have gathered nearly 700 mittens, gloves and other items. Aside from “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts,” Paige also has collected books and stuffed animals during the past two years. These items were donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as the Kewaunee Public Library.
Prevea Adult Volunteer Award
Nadine Knight is an essential volunteer for Freedom House, a homeless shelter for families that do not have a place to call home. She is currently the Volunteer Childcare Coordinator, a role that she created after seeing the need to minister and reach out to the children residing there. Knight has taken the Childcare program to a new level. She pledged many hours in completing a 12 to 15 lesson program which is utilized during class nights. All with whom she teaches, look forward to lessons from “Miss Nadine.” Knight’s program empowers other volunteers by giving them the tools to provide meaningful lessons to the children. Through Knight’s dedication, the children living at Freedom House are learning about God, love, hope, respect, safety, and kindness
Bellin Health Small Group Award
The six members of Ribbon of Hope Request Committee have personally experienced breast cancer. The committee they created serves to help those suffering from breast cancer with the necessary emotional, financial and professional support they need. Referred to as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bag,” the members have provided nearly $450,000 in financial support to some 344 individuals throughout Brown and Kewaunee counties. Information about their program is distributed through local hospitals and clinics that provide cancer treatment. The “sisters” can spend upward of 40 hours per month to review and assist grant requests, most of them are working full-time jobs on top of that. There is no paid staff to take on these duties, so 95% of the funds raised go directly to the program’s participants. In addition to providing financial support to those under treatment for breast cancer, the members of Ribbon of Hope can provide insight that comes through having survived the same challenge.
Green Bay Packers Large Group Award
Many low-income families find themselves putting new socks and even underwear at the bottom of their shopping list in order to pay for food, shelter, medicine, etc. That is why “A Pair and a Spare,” was started. “A Pair and a Spare- Brown County’s Undercover Challenge” aims to collect new socks and underwear for low-income children and adults. The Challenge is coordinated by the Brown County Homeless and Housing Coalition. People are asked to buy a pair of socks or underwear for themselves, and then buy a spare to donate to help others in the Brown County area. The first annual “A Pair and a Spare Challenge” was conducted in fall 2008, involving collections at more than 100 sites such as businesses, schools, agencies and churches. The result was more than 11,000 donated pairs of new socks and underwear in only two weeks!
Schneider National Foundation Volunteer Leadership Award
Triella Talbott-Williams brings our community “a strong, quiet passion for social justice.” Talbott-Williams is the president of the Northeast Wisconsin African American Association (NEWAAMA) and also Vice President of the Board of Directors for Justice Organization Sharing Hope and United for Action (JOSHUA). She has initiated an increase in the participation of African-American congregations in JOSHUA. She also began new ways to help broaden horizons for JOSHUA members by inviting them to participate in the annual celebration of African-American culture named “Juneteenth,” which is sponsored by NEWAAMA. Talbott-Williams displays tremendous courage and determination in the face of a debilitating rheumatic disorder that forced her to retire several years ago from a 30 year-long career as surgical technician. She is always dependable, cheerful and focused on what is best for others.
Associated Bank Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
Honor guards provide military funeral honors to veterans who gave so much of their lives protecting the freedoms of this nation. Harold “Butch” Zelten has stepped forward to organize and lead the De Pere VFW Post #2113 Veterans Funeral Honors Guard. With more than 20,000 veterans in Brown County and because there isn’t an active duty military installation in the area, deceased veterans did not have access to military honors…that is until Butch and his fellow honor guard volunteers began doing it 31 years ago. Butch and his loyal army of patriots provided over a total of 110 veteran’s funerals in 2008, about nine each month. Regardless the weather and their “shoe-string” budget, Butch leads the way in providing this very special recognition to veterans whom otherwise would not receive them.
A runner-up was also announced in each category. They were:
Green Bay Packaging Volunteer in Education Award: Terry Auger, Red Smith k-8 School
Schreiber Foods, Inc. Youth Volunteer Award: Benjamin Keighly, Aurora Bay Care
Bellin Health Small Group Award: Sister Jeanne Jarvis and Sister Carlotta Ullmer, Literacy Green Bay
Green Bay Packers Large Group Award:R-PAWS rehabilitation program at Bay beach Wildlife Sanctuary
Prevea Health Adult Volunteer Award: Gerri Gribi, Friends of the Brown County Library
Schneider National Foundation Volunteer: Nick Arlt, De Pere Citizens Academy
Associated Bank Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award: Irene Pranica, Unity Limited Partnership