WPS Volunteer Awards logo

2022 WPS Volunteer Awards

WPS Logo
Volunteer Center of Brown County
Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Logo

Hearts

The annual WPS Volunteer Awards is always one of our area’s most inspirational events, as it highlights the amazing things that can happen when people selflessly give of their time, talent, and energy. We gathered with over 500 attendees in person at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay on April 21, 2022, to recognize our more than 900 nominees and shine a spotlight on the winners and runners-up in eight different award categories. The award amounts are $1,000 for recipients and $500 for the runners-up, which will be gifted to the non-profit of their choosing. Youth receive these amounts as scholarships.

Scroll down to read the stories of all the winners and runners-up!

About the Volunteer Awards

Made possible by event sponsor Wisconsin Public Service, along with the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and our generous award sponsors – American National Bank, Bellin Health, Constellation, The George Kress Foundation, Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay Packers Give Back, Schreiber, and United Healthcare – this event celebrates volunteers and highlights the work they do to give back to our community and assist nonprofits in our area to fulfill their missions. Additionally, funds raised before, during, and after the event allow the Volunteer Center to continue our mission of creating a stronger community by engaging volunteers to support nonprofit partners.

If you’d like to support this mission, you can donate now.


2022 WPS Volunteer Awards Video

Want to relive your favorite moments or weren’t able to attend? Click below for a recording of the event.


Photos courtesy of Mark Hawkins


2022 Nominees

A list of all the volunteers and volunteer groups who were nominated this year can be found HERE!


2022 Winners and Runners-Up

Large Group Award

Sponsored by Green Bay Packers Give Back

Winner: Afghan Refugee Resettlement Volunteers

Large Group winner - Afghan Refugee Resettlement

Imagine suddenly leaving your country behind and resettling in another country with a totally different language and culture, with no resources to help you make the transition to a new life. This has been the reality for thousands of Afghan refugees who have sought safety in the United States. Since October 2021, more than 100 have arrived in Green Bay, and they have been welcomed with open arms by the Afghan Refugee Resettlement Volunteers through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay. From meeting them at the airport or bus station, to providing rides to medical appointments and assisting with job skills, these volunteers have shown each refugee the care they deserve. They have assisted with securing safe housing, helped them get food from resources like Paul’s Pantry, and ensured they are receiving quality medical care, truly living up to the call to welcome the stranger.

Runner-Up: Circles Green Bay

Large Group runner-up - Circles GB

As their nominator put it, “When the people who need help the most get better, Green Bay gets better!” Circles Green Bay works side-by-side with people and households experiencing poverty in Brown County to change the lives of generations to come. Through relationship-building, Circles volunteers get to know their clients and serve in a variety of roles, from acting as an ally and friend, to advocating for change, to planning events and activities that educate the local community about poverty. As a direct result of these volunteers’ time and compassion, the organization has seen measurable improvements for those in poverty in Green Bay, including finding safe and stable housing and transportation, seeking employment, becoming first-generation college students, and developing the courage and support to leave negative relationships.

Small Group Award

Sponsored by American National Bank

Winner: Food Pantry Distribution – Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay

Small Group winner - Food Pantry Distribution

When the pandemic hit, many tried to isolate themselves as much as possible. However, people still needed to get food, and this group of volunteers stepped up to make sure everyone in this area had access. They had been helping to distribute food to low-income families long before COVID, but when the pandemic hit, the program had to go through a major transformation. Instead of people picking out their food, the volunteer team had to pack up boxes of meat, bakery items, and hygiene products to be placed in the cars of people in need. In 2021, this group helped distribute nearly 8,000 boxes and bags of food, including in the dead of winter when temperatures were below zero. Throughout it all, these volunteers always showed up with smiles on their faces, giving encouragement to the Salvation Army staff and the clients they worked with.

Runner-Up: Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary’s Retail Team

Small Group runner-up - HEA Retail Team

Several years ago, HEA formed a retail team to sell merchandise for animal lovers to wear, and these three ladies stepped up to take on the challenge. They have been instrumental in creating a solid stream of both revenue and awareness, designing merchandise, planning sales events, establishing e-commerce, and fulfilling all orders. Having volunteers do these tasks not only raises money for HEA, but it also allows the staff to focus on other initiatives like donor stewardship, recruiting more volunteers and, most importantly, educating the community. In addition, these ladies volunteer for the shelter’s other fundraisers, take care of animals at the shelter, and design and put together the organization’s magazine publications and annual report.

Arts and Culture Award

Sponsored by Bellin Health

Winner: BEAM Team (Bellin Expressive Arts in Medicine)

Arts & Culture winner - BEAM Team

Studies show that patients benefit from integrating the arts into the healthcare experience due to the calming, nurturing environment it produces. The BEAM team volunteers offer free art projects and create painting demonstrations for patients when they receive chemotherapy. Members also play musical instruments in the lobby and infusion room, and hang art exhibits for patients to enjoy provided by local school children. This volunteer team includes 25 men and women and five pet therapy dogs. Many of these individuals have overcome cancer and are now paying it forward. Others have retired from professional fields and now share their talents with those receiving treatment. Patients involved in an art project, live music, pet therapy, or simply a craft project find that it temporarily takes their mind off their worries, while also lowering stress and anxiety, and above all, bringing more peace and joy.

Runner-Up: Civic Symphony of Green Bay

Arts & Culture runner-up - Civic Symphony

This group of volunteers is steadfast in their commitment to providing opportunities for both performers and audience members in our community. It allows local musicians to perform orchestral music in a friendly, fun setting while continuing to nurture their skill and passion for music. The orchestra meets weekly from September through April, and the volunteer board of directors meets monthly. This group has been in place since starting as a grassroots organization in 1995 by the late Gerald Mattem of the St. Norbert College music faculty. Prior to COVID, the orchestra performed at an annual concert, which children from local schools were invited to attend. By seeing their teachers and other community members perform live, students discovered that there are opportunities to perform in our community after they graduate.

Adult Award

Sponsored by Georgia-Pacific

Winner: Margi Kvitek

Adult winner - Margi Kvitek

Literacy Green Bay is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help adults and families acquire the reading, writing, math, English language, computer and workforce skills they need to prosper as individuals and community members. Margi has been a valuable behind-the-scenes team member in ensuring that Literacy’s services remain available to our community. She volunteers four to seven hours weekly, assisting with various tasks such as maintaining the tutor library, preparing mailings, and assisting with fundraiser events and grant reporting. Her cheery, professional disposition makes her a joy to be around and makes those around her feel welcomed and valued. Margi is a very dedicated volunteer willing to help with projects with little or no guidance, and the work is always done in a timely and accurate manner. Her efforts do much for the English language learner community in our area.

Runner-Up: Diane Wilson

Adult runner-up - Diane Wilson

Diane volunteers as a greeter at the Jack and Engrid Meng Hospice Residence on Unity’s campus. She welcomes visitors with a smile and also is available if a family member or friend of a patient needs someone to talk to. In addition, Diane is a member of Unity’s team of vigil volunteers, who sit with hospice patients during their final hours of life when a patient doesn’t want to be alone. They are also used in cases where the patient is content and comfortable, but the caregivers are having a difficult time with the dying process. Then, Diane is available as a supportive presence, someone the family can lean on. Some days she simply sits quietly, a strong presence in an otherwise silent room. At times, she reads or prays softly, often eliciting no response from her mostly silent audience. Diane does not actively seek recognition or reward for her volunteer work. She agreed to the WPS Volunteer Award nomination not for personal promotion, but because it would benefit Unity through increased awareness of the work hospice volunteers do in the community and the hope it would inspire others to volunteer.

Youth Award

Sponsored by United Healthcare

Winner: Grace Fuss

Youth winner - Grace Fuss

Battling cancer is a difficult and scary journey. While some patients have great support systems, others may not have family or friends around them to provide comfort and cheer them on. At just 15 years old, Grace is a bright light in the dark night of cancer for both patients and healthcare workers. She began her non-profit, Fighting Cancer with Grace, three years ago with the goal of putting together care packages for those touched by cancer. Year-round, she works to raise funds for the packages by making and selling candles, serving in a food booth at Packer games, and presenting to local business leaders and philanthropic organizations. Over the past three years, care packages have been given to 375 patients. After her mom was diagnosed with cancer, Grace learned firsthand just how much hope small acts of kindness can provide. Through Fighting Cancer with Grace, she has given many people the courage to keep fighting, no matter what.

Runner-Up: Huw Griffiths

Youth runner-up - Huw Griffiths

Through his service in an English language learning classroom at East High School, Huw has helped his Spanish-speaking peers improve both reading proficiency and language skills. In cooperation with the E.L.L. teacher, Huw administered guided reading groups. He learned key skills to assist students in developing their reading ability, including how to correct pronunciation errors and ask reading comprehension questions to help guide the lessons. As a direct result of his work, the students in the classroom raised their reading scores by 50% in just one trimester. Huw’s affable personality and easygoing nature made his peers feel comfortable conversing and connecting with him in a different way than they would with a teacher. Those relationships have continued outside the classroom, and the students know they have a friend in Huw.

Education Award

Sponsored by The George Kress Foundation

Winner: Jack LeDuc

Education winner - Jack LeDuc

Not everyone has the same opportunities growing up, but Jack has been working to even the playing field for students at Howe Elementary School in Green Bay for 24 years. Many of the students at Howe come from low-income families or families whose first language is not English. As a result, many lack the experiences some other kids have. As part of Howe’s Rock and Read program, Jack spends the entire afternoon reading to 4th grade students. Not only that, but he also really listens to them and encourages them to pursue their interests and dreams. He goes out of his way to find books and materials for each student at a level they can understand. Jack has also encouraged his friends to support the reading program. He is a member of the Downtown Optimist Club, and during COVID-19, he secured the copyrights to several books and encouraged his fellow Club members to record themselves reading the books, which the kids could then view at home. The Club also purchased some of these books and distributed them to the students so they could follow along at home.

Runner-Up: Valerie Dantoin

Education runner-up - Valerie Dantoin

Many of us never realized before COVID-19 how fragile the food chain is. Valerie not only realized the problems facing our food industry before the pandemic, but has been working for decades to make sure the land we farm today can be suitable to farm for generations to come. Since 2008, Valerie has been an instructor at NWTC, teaching future farmers and food producers how to shorten supply chains. She was also part of a team that, when the pandemic hit, helped create and teach free online courses to over 400 people on how to start a garden. Valerie has been a New Leaf Foods volunteer board member for the last 11 years, sharing her expertise and knowledge for the good of the community.

Volunteer Leadership Award

Sponsored by Constellation

Winner: Sherrill Revolinski

Volunteer Leadership winner - Sherrill Revolinski

As one of her many nominators so aptly put it regarding Sherrill, “She is remarkable and inspiring in the ways she uses her daily hours to support positive community growth and well-being.” Sherrill serves in leadership positions and volunteers for an impressive array of organizations, all of which serve very different, yet equally necessary, needs in our community. She serves as a board member for both the Oral Health Partnership and the Volunteer Center of Brown County; she chairs the board for the Friends of the Brown County Library; she utilizes her expertise as a CPA to benefit Golden House as its board treasurer; and she serves on the marketing committee for Evergreen Theater, Inc. The common denominator among all her activities is that Sherrill is joyful, organized, energetic, and creative, all traits that are essential to being a strong leader. But more than just superlatives, she gives of her time and of herself in so many ways. Sherrill embodies the idea of “see a need, fill a need.” She believes we can all make a difference and is leading many in our community to do just that.

Runner-Up: Kim Diaz

Volunteer Leadership runner-up - Kim Diaz

Audrey Hepburn once said, “If we begin by respecting plants, it’s inevitable we’ll respect people.” Kim is the very embodiment of respect for both plants and people. Through her work with New Leaf Foods, New Leaf Garden Blitz, Baird Creek Parkway Preservation Foundation, Sustainable Green Bay Food & Health Team, Helfenstein Soup Council, and Veterans Manor, she has brought together her passions for environmental sustainability, cultivating community, access to healthy food, and caring for one’s mental and physical health. Kim has served tirelessly as a board member for New Leaf Foods for the past 11 years, during which time she proposed and implemented the New Leaf Garden Blitz, an urban food gardening program that inspires families to grow their own food by building and distributing garden boxes and offering support and mentorship through the growing season. Since 2014, more than 800 garden boxes have been distributed to individuals, families, businesses, non-profit organizations, and schools. Kim is truly changing our community and leading us into the future by teaching us the importance of understanding where our food comes from and the impact it has on our bodies and our environment.

Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Schreiber

Winner: Bill Jartz

Heart of Gold winner - Bill Jartz

Most often, volunteers give of their time and talent to one or a few organizations. Bill, however, has no problem ‘sharing the love’ with many different nonprofits and charitable groups in our area, and in the process, has helped support countless fundraisers and events that make greater Green Bay a thriving place to live, work, and play. Over the last couple of decades, Bill has been volunteering an average of one night or weekend during most weeks out of the year to support dozens of community organizations annually. He consistently brings his passion, energy, and humor, making any event or fundraiser, no matter how big or small, a highly engaging and memorable experience for all. Bill easily volunteers 250 hours or more each year for local charitable causes, which adds up to over 5,000 hours of service to his community to date and growing. He has helped raise over $1.6 million for the Boys & Girls Club alone! That’s not to mention the dollars he brings in from emceeing the local CP Telethon or supporting the area’s Ducks Unlimited chapter. Bill simply does not say “no” to any charitable cause or opportunity where his time and energy can make a difference. His professional schedule alone is grueling, and the volunteer work he does can be exhausting, yet he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Runner-Up: Sister Mary Berg

Heart of Gold runner-up - Sister Mary Berg

St. John’s Ministries’ mission is to honor the dignity, restore the hope of and create lasting change for those who are homeless or at-risk in the greater Green Bay community. They believe each person is as unique with inherent value and worth as the day they were born. Sister Mary has prioritized volunteering throughout her life, and currently gives her time weekly at both St. John’s Shelter as an office reception volunteer and at Wellspring, St. John’s Daytime Resource Center for Women, as a hospitality volunteer. She also tutors English as a Second Language weekly to adult women through St. John’s Literacy Council. She helps foster tangible skills that allow students to navigate everyday components of life more effectively. Sister Mary also serves other sisters at St. Francis of the Holy Cross, helping drive them to appointments as needed. She serves about 300 hours per year just for St. John’s Ministries, having been with the shelter since its inception in 2005, and at the women’s resource center since 1998. Sister Mary’s lifetime hours of volunteering are surely in the thousands, but more importantly, she has made an impact on countless lives. In her nomination, she stated “the best thing about volunteering is hearing people’s successes and joys.” Throughout her time spent with St. John’s, she has been witness to many of both.


In addition to our award sponsors (named above), the Volunteer Center appreciates these sponsors’ generosity and support as we recognize the powerful impact volunteers have within our area communities:

Community Impact Sponsor

Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Logo

Volunteer Champion Sponsors

AK Logo
Associated Bank Logo
Capital Credit Union Logo
Schneider Logo

Volunteer Impact Sponsor

Cellcom Logo

Matching Sponsors

Festival Foods
NICOLET BANK Logo

Hearts

2022 Volunteer Center Golf Classic

Through funds raised at the annual golf classic, the Volunteer Center of Brown County is able to continue our mission of “creating a stronger community by engaging volunteers to support nonprofit partners.” This year, it will take place on July 11, 2022, at Royal Scot Golf Club in New Franken.

This fun event assists us in helping thousands of people in the Brown County area during the year, through the volunteers we enlist and the nonprofits we partner with. We are grateful to those who help improve our community, and we thank all the golfers, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters who make it possible!

Outing Highlights

  • Individuals and foursomes welcome
  • 18 holes of play at Royal Scot
  • Emcee: Shotgun from Y100
  • Sponsorship opportunities available
  • Great food, a chance to network with our nonprofit partners, and exciting new games and raffle prizes!

Outing Schedule

  • 9:30-11:00 a.m. – Registration
  • 11:00 a.m. – Shotgun start
  • 4:30 p.m. – Networking and hors d’oeuvres
  • 4:45 p.m. – Raffles close
  • 5:00 p.m. – Short program, including award announcements and recognition

Ways to Support the 2022 Golf Classic

We are currently seeking raffle donations, volunteers, sponsorships, and golfers. Learn more about each of the support options below:

Raffle Donations

Volunteers

  • We are seeking volunteers for the day of the event to assist with check-in, selling raffle tickets, and other tasks throughout the day. If interested, please contact Melissa using the information below.

Sponsorships

  • Click the button below to visit the registration page and learn more about sponsorship opportunities and levels.

Golf With Us!

  • Click the button below to register yourself or your foursome.

We appreciate your consideration and support!

Questions?

Contact Community Development and Special Events Director Melissa Jagodinsky at 920-600-0185 or melissa@volunteergb.org