United Way of Southwest Michigan rewards community volunteers – Leader Publications

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN – Each year, United Way of Southwest Michigan recognizes volunteer leaders from Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. This year, the awards were handed out and recorded “prize patrol” style in June.

United Way of Southwest Michigan honored outstanding volunteers who serve Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties with their hard work and commitment and who create lasting impact in the community.

“There is a long tradition of service in Southwest Michigan, and this year’s recipients have helped keep volunteerism at the forefront of improving our communities and our region,” said Debbie Ramirez, director of United Way of Southwest Michigan volunteer engagement. “These winners are the creme de la creme of local volunteers and represent what it means to have a real impact at the individual and corporate level. Hats off to them for their dedication to their communities and for inspiring others along the way.

The winners were:

Judge Susan L. Dobrich Volunteer Leadership Award for Cass County

Winner: Chris D. Bergen

Chris helped grow Ross Beatty High School’s first robotics team into one of Michigan’s top 400+ teams. In this role, Chris is there every day, teaching student members how to use tools, make design changes, organize the workspace, plan game strategy, provide transportation, make robot parts in his machine shop and more to count. He organizes the team to participate in the annual Cassopolis Memorial Day Parade. “Chris is a tireless volunteer and a citizen of Cass County,” said Fritz Kucklick, a robotics team mentor who nominated Chris. Chris also volunteers with the VFW, Sheriff’s Department, Penn Township Fire Department and others.

For the winner of this great honor, $3,500 will be donated to a non-profit organization serving the residents of Cass County. The winner will choose from a list of agencies or organizations that serve Cass County. The monetary portion of this award is provided by the McLoughlin Family Foundation.

Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award

Winner: Kathy Rossow

Kathy has helped build the community volunteer landscape in Southwest Michigan, particularly in Niles and Buchanan. For nearly 30 years, she has been one of the outstanding figures of volunteerism in the region. In 1977, the Niles Service League asked him to lead a volunteer exchange center (which would become the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan) that grew to cover the tri-county area, serving more than 260 nonprofit organizations. profit, 50 religious communities, 30 businesses. , and each school district. In the mid-1990s, she ran for and secured a position with the National Council of Volunteer Centers, regularly sharing her local wisdom with her national counterparts in Washington DC at the Points of Light Foundation. She has helped national organizations see the power of grassroots and locally organized community engagement.

$3,500 will be donated to the non-profit organization chosen by Rossow.

United Volunteer Service Impact Award

Winner: keith stevens

Stevens has volunteered with the Berrien County Cancer Service for three years. He spends his time there leading art play workshops and creating design art exhibits. The Art Play workshops are especially important for children who are living with or affected by cancer, as they provide them with an emotional outlet through play. “His philosophy is instead of complaining about what needs to be done, you should get involved. and effect change with the talent you have,” said Nancy Church, RN, OCN, president and CEO of the Berrien County Cancer Service, which nominated Stevens for the award.

Stevens will receive $1,000, which will be donated to the local nonprofit organization of his choice.

Volunteer United Business Partner Impact Award

Winner: Honor Credit Union

“Honor Credit Union team members show up in all of their communities, volunteering their time and talents to dozens of organizations and municipalities. [serving on local councils, chambers, etc.]and work hard to make these communities strong,” said the person who nominated them for this award.

Honor Credit Union provides its employees with paid time off monthly to volunteer for organizations of their choice, which includes volunteering for events, special projects, churches, schools, organizations, agencies, councils, etc. administration and much more. Their employees are seen throughout Southwest Michigan and in every community in which they live, work and play.

They will receive $1,000 which will be donated to the local non-profit organization of their choice.

Comments are closed.