Green Bay Packaging Volunteer in Education Award
Lauren Senour is the Volunteer Center’s “Health, Wellness and Service Coach.” She is helping area children exercise their hearts through both physical exercise and service. Senour was once a chubby, inactive child herself. She became more self-confident as a result of volunteering, and subsequently more concerned about her health. Lauren has helped connect kids from pre-school through college to both physical fitness activities and service projects- including dog treats to donate to the Humane Society, planting a community garden, connecting hundred of volunteers through Global Youth Service Day, and more. Lauren has “turned stumbling blocks into stepping stones.” Her mother was ill most of Lauren’s life, and passed away just a couple of days after Lauren accepted an offer to attend St. Norbert College. Because of her mother’s condition, Lauren has always played a very maternal role in the lives of her sisters. It isn’t surprising that she would take on a role as a volunteer that would involve nurturing and teaching kids. She has been doing this since she was a child herself.
Schreiber Foods, Inc. Volunteer Youth Award
Melissa Ricker was selected as the recipient of the Schreiber Foods Youth Volunteer Award for the depth and breadth of her service to the community as a whole, and her school community at Notre Dame Academy. She is a leader in Notre Dame’s ASTRA Club, a service organization that works with organizations like ASPIRO, Altrusa House, Cerebral Palsy, and others. Melissa has gone on spring break service trips to Omaha, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Mississippi. By volunteering with children, both at St. Mary’s Hospital and at a camp for children with disabilities, Melissa found her professional calling. She’s going to be a pediatrician; and although still in high school, she is already making plans to undertake medical missions in Africa and South America.
Georgia-Pacific Adult Volunteer Award
Meg Fay-Steinhardt, a breast cancer survivor, used what she learned by going through the disease to improve the circumstances and outcomes for other women battling cancer. She is one of the founders of the Ribbon of Hope Foundation which provides information, emotional support, and financial resources to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Since the foundation was established 10 years ago, Meg has been instrumental in leading a small startup group into a thriving powerhouse of over 150 volunteers who tirelessly champion this cause. The Ribbon of Hope Foundation has given financial assistance to women for expenses such as medications, wigs, gas, and other expenses. One million dollars in such requests have been made. In addition, Meg tirelessly works with newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and often accompanies them, especially young mothers, to their doctor appointments. She is there to ask questions and to provide the kind of encouragement and strength that can only come from someone who has faced the same challenges.
Bellin Health Small Group Award
Pat and Mary Schrickel have served in just about every role imaginable with the Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity. They have volunteered at build sites both in the Green Bay area and at our-of –state builds, and served in leadership capacities that have strengthened the organization. Pat was the “mover and shaker” behind the establishment of the ReStore, where donated building materials are sold, and the profits are used towards the construction of new homes. Mary has helped the organization become more efficient, including helping to secure an AmeriCorps volunteer to serve at Habitat. Nominator Kristin Jeanquart wrote, “The Schrickels are everything an organization could want in volunteers. They are committed, passionate, dedicated, visionary, and humble. Our organization is truly blessed to have these amazing volunteers.”
Green Bay Packers Large Group Award
CASA volunteers are matched with children who are in foster care because they have been removed from their parents’ custody due to abuse or neglect. They are appointed by the court to be the ears and eyes of the judges. The volunteers share their observations with the judges, who will make decisions about whether the child can eventually be returned to their parents’ custody, or if parental rights will be terminated, and a new living situation will be found for the child. In either case, the process can take years. Nominator Connie Greenawald said that the emotional consistency that the volunteers bring is essential, but it can be difficult for the kids to trust their CASA. “Sometimes it takes weeks, or even months of showing up and just continuing to be there and available. But our volunteers are determined. They don't give up. They show up. And keep showing up. And eventually these children learn another important lesson: They can trust their CASA.”
Schneider National Foundation Volunteer Leadership Award
Bob Garfinkel has been the driving force behind Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County since it was established in 2006. The organization provides one-to-one tutoring for adults who are seeking to improve their reading, writing, and English speaking skills. Not only does Bob lead the organization, he has worked with a team of volunteers to manage the daily work of the Literacy Partners. Bob volunteers 50-60 hours a week, leading the board of directors, spearheading fundraising efforts, recruiting, training, and managing the volunteer tutors--- and also tutors participants himself. The impact of Bob’s efforts through the Literacy Partners has included not only enhanced literacy skills, but students who have passed their US Citizenship test, gotten their GEDs, and gained employment or gotten promotions.
Merrill Lynch Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert Mongin, age 90, has been described as the "mighty oak" of the gardening community in Green Bay. Not only has he worked with others to establish and maintain several beautiful public gardens in the area, he has helped teach the community about the relationship between people and the natural environment. Bob was one of the people that envisioned what came to be the Green Bay Botanical Garden, and he worked almost 20 years to make that dream a reality. It blossomed into a community treasure that welcomes 90,000 people to its beautiful grounds and educational programs every year. Bob continues to be involved with the Botanical Garden, and shares his skills as a gardener through the Master Gardeners program of the UW-Extension.