Rake Up Green Bay logo

2022 Rake Up Green Bay

Announcing our newly reimagined Make a Difference Day event, now called Rake Up Green Bay!

This fall event, which will focus solely on raking this year, will assist the community members who need our help the most. Our goal is to target those in our neighborhoods who are unable to do this seasonal task due to a lack of family or friends in the area, a disability, limited resources, and/or financial constraints.

We are excited to continue partnering with the ADRC of Brown County, Brown County United Way, and UW-Green Bay. In 2022, we also welcome new partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin, Greener Bay Compost, and On Broadway Inc.

Volunteers will perform their service individually or in teams any time between mid-October and mid-November. Once they are matched with homeowners, the volunteers will contact them to arrange the day and time to rake the lawn(s).


Check back later for photos of volunteers in action!

We will post them as service takes place. Thank you in advance to all the volunteers generously giving of their time to help members of our community!


Thank You, Sponsors!

George Kress Foundation logo
Aon logo
Festival Foods

2022 Volunteer Expo

Volunteer Expo logo

September 20

Resch Expo, Green Bay

This fun, family-friendly event was hosted by the Volunteer Center of Brown County and presented by Fox Communities Credit Union. It featured nearly 50 nonprofits and was a great opportunity to learn about opportunities in our area to give back (for potential volunteers) or for nonprofits to showcase their organizations and recruit and engage volunteers!

Participants enjoyed networking and conversation with a variety of local nonprofits, learned more about the valuable work the organizations do, and discovered ways to strengthen our community by giving of their time and talents.

Scroll to the bottom for a list of participating organizations.


Images from the 2022 Volunteer Expo


Presenting Sponsor

Fox Communities Credit Union

Participating Organizations

  • AARP Tax Aide
  • Acts 1:8 Ministry
  • Aging & Disability Resource Center of Brown County
  • Altrusa House
  • American Red Cross
  • Aurora at Home Hospice
  • Baird Creek Preservation Foundation
  • Bellin Health Volunteer Services
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin
  • Brown County Health and Human Services Dept.
  • Brown County Historical Society
  • Brown County Library
  • Camp HOPE
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay Inc.
  • Ecumenical Partnership for Housing (EPH)
  • Encompass
  • Film Green Bay
  • Friends of the Brown County Library
  • Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes
  • Girls on the Run Northeast Wisconsin
  • Golden House, Inc.
  • Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Greater Green Bay YMCA
  • Green Bay Area Newcomers and Neighbors
  • Green Bay Botanical Garden
  • Green Bay Neighborhoods
  • HopeChats Community
  • Jackie Nitschke Center
  • Literacy Green Bay
  • Lovin’ The Skin I’m In
  • Lucky 7 Dog Rescue
  • Mandolin Foundation
  • National Railroad Museum
  • New Leaf Foods, Inc.
  • Newcap, Inc.
  • 9th Street Wellness
  • On Broadway Inc.
  • ProMedica
  • Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay
  • St. John’s Ministries
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • The Center for Suicide Awareness
  • The Community Blood Center, Inc.
  • Unity Hospice
  • Volunteer Center of Brown County
  • Volunteer Ombudsman Program
  • Wisconsin Humane Society-Green Bay Campus
  • Young Life Green Bay
  • YWCA Greater Green Bay

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.” In 2022, it took place on July 11, 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

  • 120 golfers took part
  • 18 holes of play at the beautiful Royal Scot Golf Course
  • Emcee during hors d’oeuvres: Shotgun from Y100
  • Great food, a chance to network with our nonprofit partners, and exciting new games and raffle prizes!

Thank You, Sponsors!

Constellation 2022 logo
American National Bank Logo
NICOLET BANK Logo
Hager Dewick & Zuengler
AK Logo
BMO Harris Bank
Fox Communities Credit Union
Wipfli logo
St Norbert College logo
Cherry Optical logo
Johnson Financial logo
Bay Lakes Commercial Real Estate logo
WPS Logo
Blaney Funeral Home logo

Thank You, Prize Donors!


Questions?

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

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
Autumn leaves clipart

2021 Make A Difference Day

Each fall, volunteers throughout the Green Bay area and around the nation take part in service whose purpose is to improve others’ lives. This involves helping seniors and others who need assistance with typical fall outdoor yard projects such as raking, trimming bushes, and washing exterior windows. The official date this year was October 23, but, though some volunteers served on that day, service can take place whenever it is convenient for the volunteers and the clients. Participants make these arrangements based on their own schedules.

The selfless giving embodied by the Make a Difference Day ideal strengthens our communities, and the Volunteer Center of Brown County once again coordinated local efforts, in partnership with the Brown County United Way and the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County.

This year, nearly 200 volunteers participated over several weeks, and over 50 homes in our area received assistance!

Make A Difference Day Kickoff Event

A brief kickoff ceremony was held in front of the Volunteer Center of Brown County the morning of October 23, where volunteers heard from Mayor Eric Genrich, met other volunteers and the Volunteer Center staff, enjoyed coffee and treats, and got motivated for the service that’s so valuable to our community!

A Glimpse of This Year’s Make A Difference Day Efforts

2021 Make A Difference Day

Thank You, Sponsors!

George Kress Foundation logo
Capital Credit Union Logo
WPS Logo

Schreiber Foods Logo
Festival Foods

Partner Agencies

Brown County United Way Logo

2021 Volunteer Expo

Make Your Heart Happy - Volunteer!

September 23, 2021

Two sessions offered: 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:00 p.m.
KI Convention Center, Downtown Green Bay

This fun, family-friendly event was hosted by the Volunteer Center of Brown county and presented by Fox Communities Credit Union. More than 300 members of our community who have been thinking about volunteering, but weren’t sure which organization was right for them had the opportunity to enjoy networking and conversation with more than 45 local nonprofits. They were able to learn more about the valuable work each organization does and discover ways to strengthen our community by giving of their time and talents. Participants enjoyed light snacks and refreshments, and morning and afternoon sessions were offered. New this year, several organizations provided hands-on volunteer projects where individuals were able to connect and give back on the spot!

Scroll to the bottom for a list of organizations that participated.

Thank you to everyone who joined us, as well as the volunteers who helped the day run smoothly and the organizations who staffed tables!

Fox Communities Credit Union
Presenting Sponsor

Back-to-School Book Drive

Reading Coaches for Kids, a program of the Volunteer Center of Brown County, collected donations of new and gently used children’s books to share with kids in our community. Learn more about Reading Coaches here (and consider becoming one!).

Participating Organizations

Click an organization’s name to view their Get Connected profile and their volunteer needs.

Looking for a full listing of available volunteer needs from these participating organizations? Click the button below to access the listing on our Get Connected platform. It will be live until Friday, October 8.

Thornberry Creek logo

2021 Volunteer Center Golf Classic

July 21, 2021

Our 26th Annual Volunteer Center Golf Classic took place at the beautiful Thornberry Creek at Oneida. This event helps us continue the services we provide to volunteers, our community, and over 180 nonprofits! Funds raised go toward building a stronger community by engaging volunteers to support nonprofit partners in our area.

  • 18 holes of play at Thornberry Creek, the area’s premier public golf course
  • Great food and exciting raffle prizes

Thank you to three of our nonprofit partners (American Red Cross, The Spine Project, and St. John’s Homeless Shelter/Micah Center/Wellspring) who joined us throughout the day! They shared information about their services and the many ways they positively impact our community.

And thanks to Shotgun from Y100 for joining us and giving his time to emcee our dinner program!

WNCY's Shotgun

Photos courtesy Paul D Manke Photography


Thank You to Our 2021 Sponsors!

Oneida Logo
American National Bank

Investors Community Bank
AK Logo
KerberRose updated logo

BMO Harris Bank
Hager Dewick & Zuengler
St Norbert College logo
Fox Communities Credit Union
Wipfli logo
Delaware North logo
Blaney Funeral Home logo
Sanimax logo
WPS Logo


Thank You to Our 2021 Prize Donors!

WPS Volunteer Awards logo

2021 WPS Volunteer Awards Recipients

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

On April 22, the Volunteer Center of Brown County hosted the 33rd Annual WPS Volunteer Awards. This year’s event was again held virtually, but, as always, the focus was on recognizing volunteers and the good work they do to support our community.

We are grateful to Michele McCormack and Tom Zalaski, of WFRV-TV Local 5, for being emcees this year. And we’d like to thank event sponsor Wisconsin Public Service, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, and our eight generous award sponsors (American National Bank, Aon, Constellation, The George Kress Foundation, Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay Packers Give Back, Schreiber, and UnitedHealthcare) for their support.

Award amounts are $1,000 for recipients and $500 for the runners-up, which is donated to the nonprofit organization of their choice. Youth awards are in the form of scholarships.

Thank you as well to our additional sponsors: A&K Pizza Crust, Associated Bank, Capital Credit Union, Cellcom, Festival Foods, Nicolet National Bank, Made Ya Look, and Schneider.


View 2021’s inspiring event on Facebook and YouTube!

And click here to see a list of all the individuals and groups who were nominated this year!


2021 Recipients and Runners-Up

Large Group Award
Recipient: Curative Connections’ Specialized Transportation Services Volunteer Drivers

Curative Connections Volunteer Drivers

Curative Connections’ Specialized Transportation Volunteer Drivers are unsung heroes who enable the elderly and those with special needs to maintain independent lifestyles by providing low-cost transportation to medical appointments, jobs, or other errands. With ready smiles and safe, warm vehicles, these drivers give their clients not only a sense of freedom, but also positive relationships and social interaction. Over the last 50 years, the program has provided a much-needed service to the community and supported countless individuals in meeting their goals for independence in a supportive and caring way. Since the program transitioned to Curative Connections in 2015, this group of dedicated volunteers has driven clients nearly three million miles, a truly astounding milestone!

While the Covd-19 pandemic could have easily prevented these drivers from continuing to volunteer, this group of “angels on Earth” (as one client put it) saw the need to continue to provide safe and clean rides to clients to attend medical appointments or receive other necessary services. The world stopped, but these exceptional volunteers did not. Instead, they provided nearly 40,000 rides over the course of the past year – a service that was especially needed at a time when other forms of transportation were not readily available. As the mother of a client who relies on these drivers to get to his job said, “We are so appreciative of the freedom, independence, comfort, and peace of mind that these services provide.” Thank you to all of the Curative Connections Specialized Transport Drivers for all they do.

Runner-Up: Homebound Meals (Meals on Wheels) Drivers

Homebound Meals on Wheels Drivers

The ADRC strives to “put people first and cultivate joy.” Their volunteers do just that through the Homebound Meal program, which delivers nutritious meals each day to the homes of older adults who are recovering from illness or otherwise cannot safely prepare meals for themselves. The statistics that demonstrate the acute need for this program and its volunteers are staggering, as Wisconsin ranks 46th in the nation for seniors suffering from food insecurity and 40th for risk of social isolation. In providing daily meals, the volunteer drivers not only give physical sustenance, but also nourish the souls of clients with a quick conversation and human interaction. What’s more, volunteer drivers are able to check in on clients to ensure that they are safe and healthy in their homes.

The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically affected the quality of life for many older adults who were isolated at home in order to avoid illness. In order to secure food and necessary supplies, those who otherwise may not have needed meals delivered to their homes began to take advantage of the services this program provides. This resulted in a 30% increase in the need for services, also increasing the need for volunteer drivers. Both long-term and new volunteers stepped up so that no one who needed food delivered would see a waitlist or interruption of their services. Even in the early days, when little was known about the virus, many volunteers showed up to, quite literally, keep the wheels turning. Thanks to this amazing group of volunteers, our community is able to buck the statewide trends and ensure that no older adult suffers from food insecurity.


Small Group Award
Recipient: Seymour Park Community Ministries

Seymour Park Community Ministries

Thousands of students in the Green Bay Area Public Schools rely on their schools for their meals every day. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down, the district had to reimagine how to support students and their families. Seymour Park Community Ministries, a faith-based organization, was one of the first to reach out to the school district to partner on ways to get food into the hands of families in need. They worked with churches to get additional volunteers, and immediately began assisting in securing drivers to bring food directly to homes. This model is what shaped the district’s current program, which serves families from all 42 Green Bay area schools.

As an organization that works closely with Fort Howard and Tank Elementary schools, Seymour Park Community Ministries volunteered to deliver food to these schools every weekday and expanded their reach with a weekly free bread program offered to anyone in need. We thank Seymour Park Community Ministries for bringing volunteers together for the common good and putting the food needs of students and families in the Green Bay Area School District first during a global pandemic.

Runner-Up: VIP Helpline Volunteers

Violence Intervention Project logo

The Violence Intervention Project (VIP) provides confidentiality and safety planning for individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse. A critical part of their service is the 24/7 helpline staffed by eight advocates and nine volunteers.

After extensive training, the VIP Helpline volunteers assist the paid advocates with answering crisis calls so the advocates may spend some well-deserved time with their own families. Not only do the volunteers answer crisis calls, they also become community resources, helping others in times of need. These volunteers step up to create change by offering help, providing hope, and supporting the victim and their family as well as our community. Each of these volunteers has continued to work or go to school, take care of their families during the pandemic, and assist in taking crisis calls. These calls are never easy — sometimes they are heart-wrenching, scary, and stressful. Most of the nine volunteers answer calls anywhere from three to 22 hours per week, contributing 2,182 hours to the agency. Each of these individuals is a crucial part to making the crisis helpline a success, and we thank them for their time, kindness, and passion for helping others.


Arts & Culture Award
Recipient: Tricia Adams

Evergreen Productions logo

A well-balanced community will thrive because of a strong foundation and representation in the arts. Evergreen Productions helps to fill this need in the Greater Green Bay area by providing entertaining and educational theater opportunities, all while being volunteer-driven. For the past eight years, Tricia Adams has dedicated herself to bringing the arts to life in our community through her involvement with Evergreen. In her role as the president of the board of directors for the last several years, Tricia provides guidance and motivation to fellow board members and volunteers. Not only has she volunteered in all roles relating directly to theater performances, but Tricia also manages the organization’s website and serves as the head of the development committee, where she works to secure sponsorships, partnerships, and crucial funding for the organization.

Tricia is always willing to take on additional roles, while also encouraging and teaching others to take the reins and find their own passion and spot within the organization. Not only have her efforts helped double the number of volunteers, but programming initiatives and outreach efforts have soared as well. In 2019, she designed and secured funding for a new STEM program for females to learn the technical side of theater. Because of Tricia’s leadership and expertise, Evergreen Productions has a better focus, more direction, and a more creative approach to programming, and we thank her for bringing arts and culture to life in our area.

Runner-Up: Kent Hutchinson

Kent Hutchinson

Henry David Thoreau once said that “the world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Kent Hutchinson, helps enable local youth to express themselves and bring their own canvasses to life. In addition to being a public artist and sculptor, Kent, through his role as a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club, empowers youth to use their creative voices to produce positive change in our community. Kent serves on art committees and coalitions including the Bay Area Arts and Cultural Alliance, United Arts, the City of Green Bay’s arts council, Unhinged, STEAM Engine, and Fab Collab – just to name a few.

Last summer, Kent dedicated endless hours to partner with teenagers at the Boys & Girls Club in creating a social justice mural project. His leadership and dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion work to empower local youth to take a stand against systemic racism and enable underrepresented individuals to be seen and heard through the arts. Kent’s approach to making Green Bay an inclusive community for all stems from his ability to use the arts as a language that all can understand and relate to. We thank Kent for his tireless work to advocate for today’s youth.


Adult Volunteer Award
Recipient: Cheryl Grosso

Cheryl Grosso

For more than 130 years, American Red Cross volunteers have been changing the world through their compassionate service. The Green Bay community relies on these volunteers to help those in need and fulfill the mission to serve those affected by disasters, support military members and their families, collect life-saving blood, and conduct health and safety education and training. For the past three and a half years, Cheryl Grosso has served as the Lead Screener for volunteers for the American Red Cross and manages a team of 12 other volunteers to ensure this mission is brought to life. While reports show that she has clocked more than 1,800 hours in her tenure, this number is not an accurate reflection. Cheryl’s volunteer work is so ingrained in her that she works throughout the day and night, and instead of accurately recording these hours, she incorporates them into her daily life. The Red Cross jokes that screening volunteers is as programmed as brushing her teeth.

Cheryl developed the entire Wisconsin region screening process, which has been recognized around the country and is now used as the national model for screening. She has even traveled to help train teams in other states, bringing the Green Bay community’s expertise and generosity to other regions. She has also stepped in to assist in other roles during this challenging time, taking on additional tasks to help the organization remain proactive and successful. Cheryl’s time and dedication are truly a gift. Red Cross staffers often find themselves asking where they would be today if it weren’t for her. She is a thoughtful leader whose skills and talents help make the Green Bay community and region a huge success. We thank Cheryl for her continued commitment to the American Red Cross and the people they serve.

Runner-Up: Casey Rentmeester

Casey Rentmeester

Green Bay Action Sports Organization helps youth learn about creativity, confidence, perseverance and how to function through fear. It has become a place of belonging for the youth in our area who do not always fit the mold of popular team sports. Casey Rentmeester has committed his time and talents to GBASO the past seven years as a role model and mentor. He is a key contributor to programming and was especially invaluable to the many changes that needed to be made in the past year.

Additionally, Casey’s talents go even further. He creates promotional videos that are used not only to raise awareness and funds for GBASO, but that also highlight local youth through the “60 Second Sesh” video series. Casey’s positivity radiates throughout the organization. He has personally made impacts on youth facing challenges that include anxiety and depression, helping them to find a way to feel more confident and secure through his mentorship, friendship, and videography. Casey is an important element to growing and sharing GBASO’s impact in the community, and we thank him for helping to positively shape young people in the Green Bay area.


Youth Volunteer Award
Recipient: Caragan Olles

Caragan Olles

Many students who are challenged with dyslexia find it difficult to receive the support and services they need to succeed, learn, and grow. School districts simply do not have the funding or resources to provide the reading and writing methodology that has been proven to help students with dyslexia understand how to manage their unique learning needs. Private tutoring for dyslexic students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can be cost prohibitive, and many students may never get the help they need to be successful in school. That’s where Caragan Olles and her organization, Bright Young Dyslexics, come in. Having dyslexia herself, Caragan understands firsthand how much her challenges have affected her self-esteem. In 2013, she founded Bright Young Dyslexics not only to support students and families, but also to provide necessary resources and training opportunities for schools to be better equipped to serve students with dyslexia.

Over the past eight years, Caragan and Bright Young Dyslexics have worked with teachers and learners to assist with first steps in understanding dyslexia, IEP development, college preparedness, and much more. Beyond that, Caragan has raised more than $200,000 to provide funding for tutoring specific to students with dyslexia and establish resource centers in the public library system. She serves as a living testament to the amazing capabilities students with dyslexia have to become avid and successful learners when provided with the right support. She is currently in college at the University of Miami studying entrepreneurship, and Bright Young Dyslexics’ reach has expanded to serve students on a statewide and national scale. We thank Caragan for the inspiration she provides those with dyslexia.

Runner-Up: Ava Van Straten

Ava Van Straten

Empathy is necessary for humans to truly flourish, and yet research shows that the world is facing an empathy crisis. Noticing a decrease in kindness within her own social network, Ava Van Straten took it upon herself to ensure that young people are given the tools they need to understand the importance of kindness, empathy, and inclusion. As a freshman in high school, Ava wrote and published her first book, Mary’s Heart, which had an embedded curriculum to teach young people the value of being kind to everyone they meet. As Ava researched the roles that smartphones and social media play in dividing our society and perpetuating racism and discrimination, she discovered that, through stories, young people could better understand how a mindset of empathy can help create a more just world. As a result, she was inspired to write a second book and accompanying curriculum called Parker’s Path.

Writing these books was just the beginning. Ave raised $17,000 to donate her books to more than 300 schools, local libraries, and Boys and Girls Clubs. As the Covid-19 pandemic hit and young students were forced to adapt to virtual learning, Ava adapted her empathy curriculum to the virtual space. Her books are also currently being translated into Spanish. She further inspired young people by writing her second book as part of an Eagle Scout project, earning her the honor of being the first female Eagle Scout in the region. Though young in age, we thank Ava for all she has done.


Volunteer in Education Award
Recipient: Annika Osell

Annika Osell

The national racial justice movement uncovered a need in northeast Wisconsin for community members to learn how to make change. Annika Osell created a six-week, virtual anti-racism workshop curriculum for the St. Norbert College community and members of other educational institutions. The curriculum helped members understand how they could serve as advocates in the community.

Annika’s work didn’t stop there. She continued this advocacy by engaging more than 350 St. Norbert College community members in the first-ever virtual Teach-In for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021. These workshops inspired individuals to go out into their community and perform a variety of services, particularly focusing on the need for racial justice and respect. Annika’s spirit is the conduit of many opportunities that have been brought to St. Norbert College and the greater community, and we thank her for her compassion, caring and devotion to her work.

Runner-Up: Kathy Rohde

Kathy Rohde

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 needed to prosper as individuals and community members. Kathy Rohde has been a valuable team member in ensuring the services at Literacy remain available to our community. She first became involved with Literacy in 2015 as a member of the board of directors. Shortly after, she realized that by becoming a volunteer adult tutor, she could gain a deeper understanding of the programs, opportunities and challenges facing the organization.

In 2017, Kathy’s spirit of leadership led her to the role of president of the board of directors, which she held for three years while also continuing her tutoring. She also volunteers at the Literacy Green Bay office, assisting with tasks such as mailings, data mining, and updating citizenship curriculum. Most recently, she became a student evaluator for Literacy, in which she administers and proctors tests for adult learners. We thank Kathy for her spirit of volunteerism, positive attitude and compassion for all of the learners that are a part of Literacy Green Bay. 


Volunteer Leadership Award
Recipient: Robert (Bob) Warpinski

Robert (Bob) Warpinski

Volunteering for the same organization for almost 30 years is a true testament to a volunteer’s commitment to the people he serves. Bob Warpinski began volunteering with Junior Achievement in 1992, working in local classrooms to teach curriculum around financial education, entrepreneurship, career preparation, and the value of staying in school. Working with more than 2,000 students during his tenure with Junior Achievement, Bob has used his own life experience not simply to teach the designed lessons, but also less tangible values like the importance of family and perseverance through failure.

In 1997, Bob joined the board of Junior Achievement and under his leadership the organization’s programs more than tripled. He also expanded their reach by establishing a Speaker Series, seeking out volunteer mentors for a Business Challenge event targeting high school students, and creating a Senior Advisory Board to make sure valuable perspectives and experiences are integrated into Junior Achievement’s programming. Bob has been a pillar of the local community in many ways, offering his exemplary leadership skills not just to Junior Achievement, but also to Encompass Childcare, the YMCA, and the American Red Cross. Northeast Wisconsin is lucky to have Bob’s boundless energy and big ideas, and we appreciate all he does.

Runner-Up: Tammy Hardwick

Tammy Hardwick

Sometimes, being a leader means stepping out of one’s comfort zone for the sake of the greater good. Tammy Hardwick began volunteering with 4th H.O.O.A.H, an organization that provides wellness and mental health support to military veterans, after the loss of her mother in 2011. Needing something positive to focus on, she initially joined the organization as an event volunteer, then increased her responsibilities by joining several committees and becoming a board member. When the board’s president and vice president were deployed to Afghanistan, Tammy stepped in to lead the organization and leverage each volunteer’s skills and talents to further provide veteran care. As president, Tammy has taken on a variety of responsibilities, including finding grant and sponsorship opportunities, innovating programs and events, connecting veteran clients with necessary resources, and advocating for 4th H.O.O.A.H. in as many public settings as possible. Through the organization’s Warrior Wellness Program, many veterans who were on the brink of suicide have found the support, services, and connection they need to take care of their mental health, and her leadership has helped make that possible. 

Despite working a full-time job with a long commute and caring for a teenage son as a single mother, Tammy dedicates several hours each day of the week to her work with 4th H.O.O.A.H. In stepping into a leadership role, she saved the organization, its volunteers, and the lives of countless veterans. We thank Tammy for being a truly remarkable person and an outstanding leader.


Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient: Kathy Krause

Kathy Krause

In eastern Wisconsin, 1 in 7 people are facing hunger. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is the largest hunger relief organization in the state, operating food banks in Milwaukee and the Fox Valley. Volunteers are the lifeblood of their mission. Each year, about 20,000 volunteers serve more than 70,000 hours to help them solve hunger. Kathy Krause has been a volunteer with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin since they first opened in 2015. Her efforts help provide food to those in the community with the most need. She works tirelessly to lead volunteer groups and brainstorm more efficient processes, while also playing a vital role in their office environment.

With Kathy’s help hosting large groups and facilitating large food sorts, Feeding America averages around 100,000 pounds of food coming and going per day, fulfilling the needs of the community. She has a great passion for her work and enjoys knowing that her actions, whether large or small, make an impact. In addition to Feeding America, she donates her time to Habitat for Humanity and serves on the Spiritual Care Ministry team at her church. Kathy truly reflects a heart of gold through her volunteerism and the impacts she makes, and we thank her for everything she does.

Runner-Up: Jean Quinnette

Jean Quinnette

The Encompass Foster Grandparent Program joins together two generations – seniors and children. The program enhances the quality of life for seniors and gives them a sense of purpose. Their presence in the classroom gives parents and children an extra sense of security. The children have a consistent grandparent figure who mentors and encourages them in social play and classroom activities. Jean Quinnette has been enrolled as a volunteer in the Foster Grandparent Program for five years and volunteers 15 hours a week. Prior to COVID-19, Jean completed her service in the classroom with the children. However, when Encompass started to discuss a new virtual volunteering program, she was motivated to continue volunteering and was actually the first Foster Grandparent volunteer to train in this new program. Jean welcomed the challenge of learning the ropes of this new virtual program, completed multiple trainings to learn the technology aspects, and has engaged in continuous communication with the director of the program to provide ideas and feedback that help this program continue to grow. 

Jean has now been engaged in virtual volunteering with her Encompass classroom for several months and does not plan on stopping. In this role, she interacts with the children virtually and provides skill development to them. She has also been the Foster Grandparent spokesperson for virtual volunteering and dedicates time outside of her regular volunteer hours to discuss the program with other volunteers who may be hesitant to start. Jean truly has a passion for the Foster Grandparent program and continues to share her passion with children, regardless if she is volunteering face-to-face or virtually. Thank you, Jean, for continuing to provide children and parents an extra sense of security during these times.

Autumn leaves clipart

2020 Make A Difference Day

Each year, volunteers throughout the Green Bay area and around the nation take part in a day of service whose purpose is to improve others’ lives. This selfless giving helps strengthen our communities by assisting the elderly and disabled with typical fall outdoor yard projects such as raking, trimming bushes, and washing exterior windows. On October 24, 2020, the Volunteer Center of Brown County once again coordinated local efforts.

  • Over 200 volunteers participated over several weeks, doing yard work, raking, and window-washing
  • 63 homes in our area received assistance (see what this reach looks like below)
MADD 2020 impact area

Make A Difference Day Kickoff Event

A brief kickoff ceremony was held at the Volunteer Center of Brown County on October 24, where volunteers heard Mayor Eric Genrich speak, met other volunteers and the Volunteer Center staff, enjoyed treats, and got motivated for a great day of service!

Scroll down for photos from the event, as well as candid shots of volunteers in action.

See WBAY TV 2’s coverage of the event, as well as interviews with volunteers here.

WBAY TV


Thank You, Sponsors!

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Rotary Foundation of GB

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2020 Volunteer Expo

The Volunteer Center’s 3rd Annual Community-Wide Volunteer Expo was an all-virtual event this year, which took place during the week of September 13-19. Read on for more details.


Hosted by the Volunteer Center of Brown County and presented by Fox Communities Credit Union

Volunteer Center of Brown County

Fox Communities Credit Union

Those looking to discover more about ways to volunteer were able to join us from the comfort of their homes to get connected with a variety of Brown County’s non-profits (see a list of participating organizations). Via Zoom and Facebook, we provided a virtual way for people to learn about each participating organization and their current in-person and/or remote volunteer needs.

The Volunteer Center also gifted $1,000 to a participating organization, which was based on voting done via a Doodle poll by Expo attendees. Congratulations to Freedom House Ministries on being chosen!

Zoom Session Recordings

Missed out on the live Zoom sessions, but want to learn more about some of the organizations that participated? Visit our YouTube page to watch recordings of the sessions.

See full details and a schedule of what took place here!


Participating Organizations

  • St. Vincent de Paul Green Bay
  • Disabled American Veterans Chapter 3
  • Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity/ReStore
  • Acts 1:8 Ministry
  • On Broadway
  • Brown County Volunteer Services
  • Hand of Hope, Inc.
  • St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter
  • Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, Inc.
  • Laundry Love Green Bay
  • Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
  • CASA of Brown County
  • New Leaf Foods
  • Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin – Sexual Assault Center
  • Service League of Green Bay
  • Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay
  • Brown County United Way
  • Board on Aging and Long-Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Program
  • NEW Zoo & Adventure Park
  • Brown County Historical Society
  • Encompass
  • Unity Hospice Resale Shoppe
  • ADRC of Brown County
  • Circles Green Bay
  • Literacy Green Bay
  • Freedom House
  • National Railroad Museum