50 Years Community Strong Logo

50th Anniversary Campaign

Celebrating 50 Years Community Strong!

Since its inception in 1973, the Volunteer Center of Brown County has been a pillar of community engagement. Our mission is to create a stronger community by engaging volunteers to support nonprofit partners.

Join us as we commemorate five decades of making a difference in our community. The Volunteer Center of Brown County proudly announces its 50th Anniversary Campaign, a year-long celebration of volunteerism and service.

A Legacy of Service: Join Us In Celebration

For the past 50 years, the Volunteer Center has been the driving force behind countless acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity. We have fostered a culture of volunteerism, inspiring individuals of all ages and backgrounds to lend a helping hand. Together, we have built a stronger, more connected community.

Throughout the year, we have planned a series of exciting events and initiatives to mark this monumental milestone. From special volunteer projects and fundraisers to community-wide celebrations, there will be numerous opportunities for everyone to get involved and honor the Volunteer Center’s rich legacy.

Get Involved

Are you ready to make a difference? Join us as a volunteer and be part of the legacy. Whether you have a few hours to spare or want to commit to a long-term engagement, we have a wide range of volunteer opportunities to suit your interests and skills. By lending your time and expertise, you can contribute to the ongoing success of our programs and services.

Spread the Word

Help us reach more people and inspire them to join our cause. Share the Volunteer Center’s 50th Anniversary Campaign on social media, invite your friends and family to participate in our events, and encourage others to discover the joy of giving back.

Make a Donation

Support our mission and ensure our impact continues for the next 50 years. Your generous contribution will enable us to expand our programs, enhance our volunteer matching services, and create even more opportunities for individuals to engage in meaningful service. And each donation up to $10,000 is being matched by the Otto Bremer Trust!

Join us as we celebrate half a century of volunteerism and service. Together, we can continue to shape a brighter future for our community.

WPS Volunteer Awards logo

2024 WPS Volunteer Awards

WPS Logo
Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Logo

This inspiring and heartwarming event, held on April 25, 2024, at the Lambeau Field Atrium, brought together over 600 people to focus a spotlight on area volunteers who give selflessly of their time and the nonprofits whose missions they fulfill. All individuals and groups who were nominated were honored, and award recipients and runners-up were announced in eight categories.

Scroll down to read their stories!

Want to relive your favorite moments or weren’t able to attend?
A recording of the event can be found on our YouTube page.


About the WPS Volunteer Awards

Made possible by event sponsor Wisconsin Public Service, along with the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and our generous award sponsors – Community First Credit Union, Constellation, Festival Foods, Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay Packers Give Back, Schreiber Foods, The George Kress Foundation, 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.

The award amounts are once again $1,000 for recipients and $500 for the runners-up, which will be gifted to the nonprofit of their choosing. Youth receive these amounts as scholarships.

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.


2024 Nominees

A list of all the individuals and groups that were nominated can be found HERE!


2024 Recipients and Runners-Up

Large Group Award

Sponsored by Green Bay Packers Give Back

Recipient: Laundry Love with Helping Hands

Large Group recipient - Laundry Love with Helping Hands

Having the ability to wear clean clothes, sleep in clean sheets, and shower with clean towels is something many of us take for granted. But for low- or no-income families and seniors, doing laundry can take away from funds they need to purchase food, medication, or other basic essentials. Laundry Love with Helping Hands removes that financial barrier, ensuring that everyone can have access to clean laundry. LLHH holds three events per month at Express Laundry and one monthly event for seniors at Fort Howard Apartments. Each event requires upwards of 15 volunteers committing 5 hours each. On a practical level, volunteers assist participants with assigning machines and putting in the money and laundry soap. However, volunteers do much more than that. They help create a warm and welcoming environment where participants feel comfortable and cared for. While laundry is in the washer and dryer, volunteers provide a listening ear and share stories, laughs, and friendly conversation to help pass the time. Participants leave with clean clothes and a renewed spirit. At the senior events, volunteers take their duties even further by actually doing laundry for seniors who may have limited mobility. These events also include a warm meal served by LLHH volunteers and a sense of community for those who can sometimes feel isolated. In 2023, LLHH volunteers assisted 6,000 of our neighbors doing 11,300 loads of clean laundry. The service they provide is invaluable to the dignity of all those who attend the Love events.

Runner-up: Curative Connections Volunteer Drivers

Large Group runner-up - Curative Connections Volunteer Drivers

In 2023, Curative Connections’ volunteer drivers transported older adults and those with special needs 530,612 miles – quite literally, to the moon and back! The volunteer drivers meet a real need for those they transport to medical appointments, jobs, grocery shopping and other errands, social events, and more. Unlike public transportation, riders are taken door to door, ensuring their safety and making it easier for those with mobility challenges. Specialized transportation services are fully accessible, removing barriers for riders who use wheelchairs or have other physical needs and may not be able to use other forms of transportation. Giving of their time in every weather condition, volunteer drivers provide support to some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Often, they not only drive them, but also walk them safely to the door. Some will bring in treats for members, and many provide a listening ear and friendly conversation during the ride. Curative Connections volunteer drivers not only drive “to the moon and back,” they also show their love for the members they serve in the same way.


Small Group Award

Sponsored by Festival Foods

Recipient: Volunteers through Violence Intervention Project

Small Group recipient - Volunteers through Violence Intervention Project

Violence Intervention Project (VIP) is a non-profit agency that provides support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, teen-dating violence, bullying, and elder abuse to individuals in Kewaunee County. They support survivors by believing them, providing resources, making referrals, staffing a 24-hour helpline and providing some of the basics needed in Northeast Wisconsin like coats, hats, and blankets. This small group of volunteers has logged hundreds of hours to provide emotional and physical support for the individuals who utilize Violence Intervention Project’s programming each year. They even bake, providing delicious baked goods for fundraisers. Several members of this group of volunteers have completed or are working on the training needed to provide direct service to victims, a difficult volunteer position to fill due to the stress and emotions that arise when helping victims. Fundraising for Violence Intervention Project is a critical part of the work of this group, as 100 percent of the proceeds VIP receives goes directly to support survivors. Their nominator writes, “Terms like domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are often difficult to hear and make it challenging to recruit and retain volunteers. With this group as an example of how volunteers make an impact, I know that we will continue to support survivors.”

Runner-up: TAY Mentors

Small Group runner-up - TAY Mentors

Started as a pilot program by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), the Transition Aged Youth (TAY) Mentoring Program serves young adults ages 18 to 21 who have aged out of living in foster care. The program has grown from two to seven young adults in just eight short months. TAY’s mission is to empower through mentoring and to guide young adults as they develop the life skills essential for self-sufficiency. When youth age out of foster care, they often feel they have lost their support system and need to learn how to ‘adult’ on their own. Many young people are not prepared for the challenges of finding housing, dealing with food insecurity, and navigating healthcare. TAY mentors are there to guide young adults through the transition to adulthood. At its core, TAY mentors are continuously working on building relationships with their mentees and helping them learn how to advocate for themselves. These volunteers provide the support and care that makes a lasting impact.


Arts and Culture Award

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union

Recipient: Ecumenical Partnership for Housing Garden Team

Arts and Culture recipient - Ecumenical Partnership for Housing Garden Team

Culture is all the ways of life for a group, including the arts, language, clothing, the food we grow or buy, and how we eat it. Through vision and creation, this local group has taken seed to table, in both ideas and food, changing the way people access, taste and enjoy the bounty of their gardens. Hundreds of hours are spent planting, tilling, cultivating and harvesting to provide fresh, organic, nurturing fruits and veggies. Creativity and love guide the brainstorming, planning, and plotting specifics each year, and family needs are a priority. Recipes that are simple and quick, matching specific produce grown in the gardens, are sought out by the team. In their own kitchens, the team tests recipes, making improvements before they share them with families. In the future, they hope to see a community kitchen where families can gather for cooking and baking classes with their produce. What better way to cross bridges in the community than to share a kitchen and a family meal? Their nominator writes that this group always carries the sunshine with them and “they leave their traces of creation in so many lives around them.”

Runner-up: Curt Christnot

Arts & Culture runner-up - Curt Christnot

Volunteering is one thing, but having a great influence on the next generation is another. Curt does both. He began by serving in different leadership roles for Evergreen Productions for 10 years, but that was not enough. He helped found the Evergeen Young Actors Summer Program and has not missed a production since! For the last decade, he has been a mentor to the aspiring young actors and actresses, teaching them in summer classes and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone. Evergreen Theater’s Tricia Adams says, “Once a young person works with him, they can’t wait to work with him on the next show.”


Adult Award

Sponsored by Georgia-Pacific

Recipient: Jacquie Lewaren

Adult recipient - Jacquie Lewaren

Working in a thrift store can be an arduous job, as each day different donations come in. However, this 80-year-old volunteer is always up for the challenge. Jacquie treats the clients at St. Vincent de Paul with kindness and respect. She understands that many of the clients are coming to the organization at one of the toughest times of their life. Be it a refugee family from Ukraine looking for assistance to clothe their children, a mother and daughter living out of their car until they can get back on their feet, or someone who just lost everything in a house fire, Jacquie is there to help. Her nominator writes, “This person chose to give of herself but has given more to all of us than she could possibly imagine. She has become a friend to our customers, but also a cheerleader for our employees, making sure their hard work and efforts never go unnoticed.” Her nominator goes on to write that Jacquie shows us that at any point in our lives and at any age, we can share the best parts of ourselves with our community, and that there is a place for each one of us.

Runner-up: Mary Rowan

Adult runner-up - Mary Rowan

When a person retires, they can pick up a hobby, move to Florida or just rest on their laurels. Not this lady! After serving as a staff member for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Brown County (CASA), she had not had enough. So, after retiring, she became a volunteer for the organization. Prior to her visits with a child, Mary checks in with staff to see what changing needs the child might have and brings that knowledge to the meeting, along with an activity the child is sure to enjoy. After attending the court hearings for her CASA children, she submits her report, humanizing the children she serves and illustrating their specific needs and wants. Mary has a unique gift of making each person she encounters feel special. Whenever she comes into the CASA office, the first thing she does is extend a compliment. Each time a child has moved, her first question is, “When can I see them next?”, because she knows how extremely important it is that a child doesn’t go too long without seeing a familiar face.


Youth Award

Sponsored by United Healthcare

Recipient: Suabnag (Bella) Kong

Youth recipient - Bella Kong

Bella is an inspiration to her West High School classmates through her work on a diverse group of projects, from the Red Cross to St. Jude Parish. You may find Bella announcing at sports and pep assemblies, selling egg rolls for the Asian Club, raking sand at track meets, participating in Play 60 at Elmore Elementary School, tutoring freshmen, or being a lunch buddy for new students. If you attend a West High School basketball game, she may be selling concessions or singing the national anthem. Bella loves to express and advocate for her Hmong culture. She performs Hmong dances at community events to help others understand her culture and learn more about the Hmong people. The efforts of a volunteer like Bella, who divides her time between many organizations, may go unnoticed. In everything she does, her efforts lead back to her ’cause’: the whole West High community and the people and places in her neighborhood. As Bella has gotten older, she has become more and more of a leader in the school and community, and it will be exciting to see what is next for her.

Runner-up: Dominic Springstroh

Youth runner-up - Dominic Springstroh

Dominic is a volunteer at the NEW Community Shelter, a facility that houses over 100 residents and provides daily meals for individuals in our community. While other young people are busy with homework or sports, Dominic spends every other Saturday volunteering. The shelter relies heavily on volunteers seven days a week; however, weekend volunteers are harder to find, and Dominic’s commitment to volunteering on Saturdays helps meet that weekend need. He uses his time at the shelter for a variety of projects, from the not-so-pleasant, like trash removal and washing windows, to the fulfilling tasks like serving desserts to the residents. Dominic understands that volunteers can really add to the enthusiasm and culture of an organization. He gets there early (before the staff arrives) and takes it upon himself to start a project he knows needs to be done. His volunteering at the shelter has also helped him develop as a person. When he first started, he was a bit quiet, doing his work but not saying much. Now he interacts with the staff and residents, and they appreciate his work ethic and friendly demeanor.


Volunteer in Education Award

Sponsored by The George Kress Foundation

Recipient: Marie Sumnicht

Education recipient - Marie Sumnicht

The volunteer-based Refugee Youth and Adult Empowerment Initiative (RYAEI), identified the need for the over 1,500 Congolese refugees in Northeast Wisconsin to become fluent in English so they could live more productive lives. As a reading specialist by degree and a compassionate volunteer, Marie answered the call for volunteers to teach English. She didn’t stop there, though. She and a few other volunteers began tutoring some of the children of the refugees. Marie realized that the refugees’ lack of background social knowledge created an obstacle for them in learning English. Rising to overcome this obstacle, she enlisted a translator to provide the background needed on various English concepts. She also recruited others to assist with needed transportation services and driver’s education, arranged donations of food, winter clothing, and use of vehicles, and even hosted a motivational speech by a fluent English-speaking Congolese community member to encourage refugees to learn English. Marie spends over 300 hours a year teaching adults and helping children, and she has recruited others who, combined, provide another 1000+ hours of service each year. Marie’s efforts have helped the refugees feel more a part of the community by bringing them to the market in the summer, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, and exposing them to various musical events in the area.

Runner-up: Jeanne Bonacci

Education runner-up - Jeanne Bonacci

Retiring didn’t mean that Jeanne was done with the classroom at Anne Sullivan Elementary School. Three to five days per week you will find her back in the third-grade classroom as a reader extraordinaire! She will rearrange her schedule if she can be of help on a field trip or during a class project when she knows an extra set of hands is needed. The students love when she comes because they get more individual attention. She helps students with anything they are stuck on and listens when students read aloud, aiding in student comprehension. Former students greet her in the halls and always include her in the classroom birthday treats. Jeanne makes sure that each student feels valued and respected. The third-grade teachers don’t take her time for granted and feel they are blessed having her in their classroom. Because of Jeanne, the classroom environment feels calm and relaxed, with a lot of good learning taking place.


Volunteer Leadership Award

Sponsored by Constellation

Recipient: Melissa Wass

Volunteer Leadership recipient - Melissa Wass

Dedicated. Reliable. Innovative. These are qualities that any organization would seek in a volunteer, and New Leaf Foods has found them in Melissa. As a board member for New Leaf Foods, Melissa has actively sought collaboration with community partners and developed several initiatives that support healthy food access and build a thriving local food system. She was instrumental in establishing the Brown County Seed Library, an initiative which provides local and culturally appropriate seeds for our gardeners. The seeds are curated so that they are suited for success in our Northeast Wisconsin growing region and are available free of charge to anyone interested in planting vegetables, fruits, and pollinator-friendly plants. As a master gardener, Melissa is able to offer her expertise and guidance to support other New Lead Foods initiatives. She is one of the original members of the Brown County Food Forest Coalition, working with the Seymour Park Food Forest project, which aims to help alleviate food insecurity and food deserts within the City of Green Bay by growing healthy local food in a way that is sustainable, costs less money over time, and reduces maintenance for the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department. She also is part of the team that helps manage the Children’s Edible Garden at the Brown County Central Library. As a veteran of the United States Air Force, Melissa puts the leadership skills she learned through her military service into action every day to support our community. Her nominator estimates that she dedicates upwards of 20 hours per week to the many initiatives that support and educate others on sustainable food culture and access to healthy foods. According to her nominator, “Melissa is not only a great volunteer leader, but she is also someone who, I predict, will assume ever greater responsibility as a leader in Northeast Wisconsin’s healthy food access goals for the foreseeable future!”

Runner-up: Quench Mufano

Volunteer Leadership runner-up - Quench Mufano

Unique lived experiences often enable us to empower others on a similar journey. Starting a new life as a refugee in America can feel overwhelming, and Quench understands those challenges firsthand. As a child navigating a new life in a new country while his family lived in a refugee camp, Quench needed to learn English, understand the U.S. educational system, and provide support for his family. As a result, he understands the most pressing needs faced by refugee families, especially children. In 2022, he worked with leaders in his East African community to envision and form the Refugee Youth and Adult Empowerment Initiative (RYAEI), a non-profit organization providing assistance to refugees and immigrants in Northeast Wisconsin. As the president of RYAEI, Quench has identified and begun to address the top needs of our refugee neighbors in Brown County, including relocation assistance, residency guidance, English language education, youth education and support, and cultural opportunities. He has engaged volunteers to teach English language classes, fill out government forms and prepare tax returns, provide job search support, and coordinate field trips to stores and supermarkets. Additionally, Quench has placed a focus on providing recreational activities for refugee youth and celebrating East African music and culture with our entire community. RYAEI has become a hub for Swahili speaking families, connecting them to multiple services and opportunities. His nominator writes, “As a leader, Quench keeps his eye on the needs of his community while never becoming embittered about those needs not yet met or the ‘no’s’ and ‘not yets’ he encounters. He is a wholehearted leader we are lucky to have in our community.”


Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Schreiber

Recipient: LaVon Rader

Heart of Gold recipient - LaVon Rader

LaVon has spent her lifetime in service to others. Fifty-eight years ago, she says she “woke up” to the racism in this country, and she has been a tireless activist for those without a voice ever since. Beginning down South in the 1960s when she helped bring the Head Start program to the underserved children of Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement, she selflessly served without hesitation despite the dangers it might place her in. When LaVon moved to Northeastern Wisconsin, her passion for helping young people came with her on the moving truck, and she became a reading buddy and mentor in the Howard, Pulaski, and Suamico school districts. She also created an art appreciation program for children in grades K-8, recruiting, training, and supervising parent volunteers. Her church, St. John the Baptist, is important to her, and she has served on the church’s Social Justice and Human Concerns Committee, sung in the choir, lectured at Sunday masses, and read to a visually impaired parishioner every Monday for 17 years. LaVon has also volunteered for the Red Cross, served meals at the NEW Community Shelter, and makes weekly visits and calls to elderly neighbors and those with special needs through the Aging and Disability Resource Center. She and her husband, Dennis, have also taken Notre Dame Academy students back to Mississippi to help build a home for a rural family. For many years, LaVon has been a volunteer at Wellspring, serving women who are homeless, at risk, living with addiction or mental illness, or simply looking for a place to belong. She not only lends an ear and offers guidance to clients when they seek it, but also helps with fundraising efforts, washes dishes, cleans toilets, and anything else that needs attention. Her love of plants even led to Wellspring’s beautiful perennial flower garden. Wherever LaVon has been, she has recognized a need and given selflessly, walking alongside the people she served, supporting them with compassion and leading by example.

Runner-up: Al Derenne

Heart of Gold runner-up - Al Derenne - not pictured

We have all heard of the guy who appears around Christmas time, wearing a red suit and going by the name Santa Claus. Well, Al is a close second, volunteering for Green Bay’s St. Vincent De Paul for over 25 years and earning the title of the “Christmas King.” Al helps process the thousands of Christmas items donated to St. Vincent de Paul each year and then displays them in the store for customers to purchase. Last year, the sale of Christmas and other holiday-themed donations raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the organization. As a result of Al’s work, St. Vincent de Paul was able to double the amount of assistance they could provide to those in need in Brown County. Al selflessly volunteers five days a week and has put in an astonishing 11,000 hours of service. He also served on the organization’s board of directors for five years and has been instrumental in modernizing their retail structure and optimizing their revenue stream by expanding one store and opening another. Colleagues say, “Without his focus and dedication, many opportunities may have been missed that have benefited the organization. He is also a valuable mentor to staff.”


2024 Award Sponsors and Categories

United Healthcare Logo

United Healthcare Youth Volunteer Award
For an individual who is 18 years old or younger. Students who are older than 18, but still in a high school special education program, also qualify for this category. The recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award will receive a $1,000 personal education scholarship and the runner-up will receive a $500 personal education scholarship.

Georgia Pacific Logo

Adult Volunteer Award
For an individual who is 19 years or older.

George Kress Foundation logo

The George Kress Foundation Volunteer in Education Award
For an individual who volunteers specifically in the area of education for pre-kindergarten through college.

Constellation 2022 logo

Constellation Volunteer Leadership Award
For an individual who demonstrates community impact through a leadership role. This award is often given to a person who is a current or past member of committees, task forces or boards of directors.

Schreiber Foods Logo

Schreiber Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
For an individual whose lifetime of service exemplifies notable achievement in serving the community. The award has typically been given to a volunteer who is 60+ years of age.

Community First logo

Community First Credit Union Arts and Culture Volunteer Award
For an individual or group that has provided service to organizations and activities that promote arts and culture in our area.

Festival Foods

Festival Foods Small Group Award
For a group of 2-10 volunteers whose combined volunteer efforts have strengthened the community.

Green Bay Packers Give Back Logo

Green Bay Packers Give Back Large Group Award
For a group of more than 10 volunteers that has enhanced the community through their volunteer achievements.


Thank You to Our Other Sponsors!

Schneider Logo
Volunteer Champion
Associated Bank logo
Volunteer Champion
Aon logo
Volunteer Impact
Capital Credit Union logo
Volunteer Impact

2024 WPS Awards Judges

Emily Beier / Anchor, Reporter / WBAY
Kelly Engelbert / Alumni Relations and Campus Events Coordinator / Bellin College
David Howell / Board Member / Volunteer Center of Brown County
Amy Jepson / Lead Analyst – FI Systems and Regulatory Planning / WPS
Jacob (Jake) Jirschele / Senior Vice President, Private Banking Relationship Manager / Associated Bank
DJ Kast / Cinematographer, Photographer / Shift Visuals
Mary Sue Lavin / Director, Phuture Phoenix / University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Killian O’Donnell / Catering Manager / Delaware North Sportservice
Zianya Saldana / Director of Equity and Community Initiatives / Greater Green Bay Community Foundation
Monica Stage / Executive Director / JJ Keller Foundation
Meghan Weycker / Senior Director, Technical Client Directions / Breakthrough

Rake Up Green Bay logo

2023 Rake Up Green Bay

This fall event mobilizes volunteers to provide the important service of raking the yards of 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.

Volunteers performed their service individually and in teams. Once volunteers were matched with homeowners, the volunteers contacted them to arrange a mutually agreeable day and time between October 21 and November 12 to complete the service.


2023 Volunteers in Action

Thank you to all the volunteers who generously gave of their time to help members of our community!


Thank You, Sponsors!

George Kress Foundation logo
Festival Foods
Aon logo
Volunteer Expo logo

2023 Volunteer Expo

September 19

3:00-6:00 pm, Stadium View Banquet Hall, Green Bay

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

Participants enjoyed a cash bar and refreshments as they networked with the nonprofits and learned more about the valuable work they do, while discovering ways to strengthen our community by giving of their time and talents.

For 50 years, the Volunteer Center has been serving local nonprofits and creating a stronger community by engaging volunteers to support nonprofit partners, and the Volunteer Expo is one of the ways we form these vital connections.

Images from the 2023 Volunteer Expo

Presenting Sponsor

Fox Communities Credit Union

Participating Organizations


Royal Scot Logo

2023 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, on July 12, it took place 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

  • 18 holes of play at the beautiful Royal Scot Golf Course
  • A chance to meet representatives from some of the nonprofits we work with and learn about their efforts in our community
  • Sponsorship opportunities
  • Great food, a chance to network, and exciting games and raffle prizes!

Scenes from the 2023 Golf Classic


Thank You, Sponsors!

Constellation 2022 logo
Title Sponsor
BMO Harris Bank
Cart Sponsor
KerberRose updated logo
Beverage Sponsor
Alive & Kickin logo
Golf Ball Sponsor
Fox Communities Credit Union
Corporate Sponsor
Blaney Funeral Home logo
Hole Sponsor
WPS Logo
Corporate Sponsor
Wipfli logo
Corporate Sponsor
Hager Dewick & Zuengler
Dinner Sponsor
Hole Sponsor

Thank You, Prize Donors!

35th WPS Volunteer Awards logo

2023 WPS Volunteer Awards

WPS Logo

This inspiring and heartwarming event, held on April 27, 2023, at the Lambeau Field Atrium, brought together nearly 440 people to focus a spotlight on area volunteers who give selflessly of their time and the nonprofits whose missions they help fulfill! All individuals, groups, and nonprofits who were nominated were honored, and award recipients and runners-up were announced in nine categories. Scroll down to read their stories!

Hearts

About the WPS Volunteer Awards

Made possible by event sponsor WPS, along with the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and our generous award sponsors, Capital Credit Union, Constellation, Festival Foods, The George Kress Foundation, Georgia-Pacific, Green Bay Packers Give Back, Nicolet National Bank, Schreiber, and United Healthcare.

The award amounts (for all but the Nonprofit Impact category) are $1,000 for recipients and $500 for the runners-up, which will be gifted to the nonprofit of their choosing. Youth receive these amounts as scholarships. In the Nonprofit Impact category, three organizations will be awarded $1,000 each, sorted by level of annual operating budget (up to $299,999; $300,00-$999,999; over $1 million).

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.



Want to relive your favorite moments or weren’t able to attend?
Click below to watch the event on YouTube.


2023 Nominees

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


2023 Recipients and Runners-Up

Large Group Award

Sponsored by Green Bay Packers Give Back

Recipient: Miracle League of Green Bay Buddies

For kids with special needs, physical and cognitive challenges can sometimes prevent them from being part of traditional sports teams. The Miracle League of Green Bay removes barriers and allows kids with special needs, ages 4 to 19, to experience the joy of baseball. All Miracle League players are paired with a volunteer ‘buddy’, someone who mentors the player, helps them get the necessary equipment, and assists with batting and fielding. On a practical level, the buddy’s main job is to keep their player safe and help meet whatever physical, cognitive, or social needs they might have. However, being a buddy is also about building relationships, so the player feels like they are a part of the team. It’s about celebrating the player’s amazing abilities and building up their self-esteem. And most importantly, it’s about cheering on the player and giving them the freedom to enjoy America’s pastime! While those with different abilities are sometimes viewed as ‘other’, the Miracle League Buddies show their players that they are a part of a community that values them for who they are and what they bring to the team. They give so much to the players on the field every game and are truly ‘Angels in the Outfield’.

Runner-Up: Unity Veteran Volunteers

Large Group runner-up - Unity Veteran Vols

Veteran volunteers provide regular companionship to veterans on hospice care and support their families through a difficult time. Often during these visits, veterans begin to talk about their service experience, sometimes sharing stories they may never have told anyone before. With their brothers and sisters in arms present, they may feel more comfortable speaking about what they’ve been through, providing peace and closure as they near the end of life. These volunteers also conduct pinning ceremonies, at which the veteran is given an American flag pin and a pin representing their branch of military service. This meaningful recognition shows deep gratitude for the sacrifices the veteran and their family have made in service to their country.


Small Group Award

Sponsored by Festival Foods

Recipient: Sunshine Crew at St. John’s Ministries

These cooks, the Sunshine Crew, started giving of their time at St. John’s Ministries’ main homeless shelter downtown and now make breakfast for guests at the Wellspring location on Walnut Street. This group of volunteers uses whatever food is available to create amazing breakfast meals. These ladies not only fill the stomachs of the homeless, but also help meet the social and emotional needs of the guests, as many clients are socially isolated and without close friends or family to talk to. This group of ladies does it all with a smile, serving others with servant leadership and humility. Many winter mornings start out cold and gray, but the Sunshine Crew brightens it up for guests and staff alike, making a huge difference in the lives of homeless women.

Runner-Up: Bread Run Drivers – Salvation Army

Small Group runner-up - Bread Run Drivers

No matter the weather, the Salvation Army Bread Run Drivers make six to nine stops a morning five days a week, picking up overbaked goods and extra food products. The food then goes back to the Salvation Army where it is given out to its 150 clients through its food pantry or used to supplement the noontime meal. Not only is this group helping to feed the homeless, it is also reducing food waste. In the last year, the Bread Run Drivers spent nearly 700 hours picking up food five days a week. Many of this group’s volunteers have been helping out for over 10 years. This group realizes they are on the front lines working with businesses like Festival Foods, Big Apple Bagels, and Kwik Trip. If they are late for pickups or don’t communicate well with these businesses, it could put future donations in jeopardy.


Arts and Culture Award

Sponsored by Nicolet National Bank

Recipient: Lynn Liddle-Drewiske

Arts and Culture recipient - Lynn Liddle-Drewiske

A symphony consists of many individual instruments that, while beautiful on their own, come together to create something magical. Lynn makes many different contributions to the Civic Symphony of Green Bay that would be remarkable on their own, but when looked at collectively, are truly impressive. She has performed with the Civic Symphony for 20 years, leading the flute section through four concerts a year, with rehearsals in between. As a former music teacher, Lynn knows how instrumental education can be in sparking an appreciation for music, especially in young children, so, as co-chair of the education committee, she has also spearheaded the children’s concert, bringing 700 local schoolchildren to enjoy live orchestral music, an opportunity that they otherwise may not have had. She also designed a curriculum to help make the students more engaged in the symphony’s performance and has served as a board and program committee member.

Runner-Up: Jean Jostad-Shonkwiler

Arts and Culture runner-up - Jean Shonkwiler

Evergreen Theater, a nonprofit theater company dedicated to offering professional-quality productions and advancing the arts in our region, produces eight shows each year, with cast sizes ranging from 10 to 50-plus. For the past six years, Jean has served as the company’s photographer, capturing cast and crew headshots and photographing performances. Jean’s photos, offered to Evergreen completely free of charge, help to market the productions, enticing audiences to enjoy live theater and support the arts in our community. Photos from Evergreen’s last 31 seasons are protected in the organization’s archives, ensuring that the magic of each production lives on. Jean plays an integral role in continuing that tradition.


Adult Award

Sponsored by Georgia-Pacific

Recipient: Diane Mangan

Adult recipient - Diane Mangan

Ribbon of Hope was founded by four breast cancer survivors who felt the need to help local women and men struggling with the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis. Diane has unselfishly taken on whatever task was needed by the foundation, from secretary for the board of directors to office manager to Request Committee ‘expert’. The Request Committee is made up of 10 breast cancer survivors who are responsible for executing all financial requests. In 2010, when the Ribbon of Hope Foundation lost everything in a devastating fire, Diane was one of the first on board to help find a new office. During the search for new space, she moved the Request Committee to her house so their work could continue. As a cancer survivor, Diane knows the challenges patients face. With compassion as her trademark, she is always ready to help recipients by lending an empathetic ear.

Runner-Up: Deb Johnson

Adult runner-up - Deb Johnson

Deb started volunteering with Unity Hospice in 2003 and has logged over 1,600 hours, mostly as a companion visitor. She visits patients in private homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. Deb understands that holding a hand or providing a light touch on a caregiver’s shoulder can often convey a much stronger message than words. It can be a very trying time for family members or friends, and Deb is always available to listen and to talk with them when they reach out. She does not actively seek recognition for her volunteer work and agreed to being nominated only because it would benefit Unity through increased awareness of the work hospice volunteers do and the hope it would inspire others to volunteer.


Youth Award

Sponsored by United Healthcare

Recipient: Luis Raya Torres

Youth recipient - Luis Raya Torres

Luis participates in N.E.W. Scholars, an after-school college readiness program offered by CollegeReady that empowers over 200 Green Bay students with resources, support, and tools so that they can be the first in their families to go to college. As part of the program, students are asked to volunteer, and Luis has dedicated his time to issues he cares about, including assisting with trash pickup and greeting guests at the Downtown Green Bay Farmer’s Market, participating in a neighborhood cleanup project, and providing translation and other services to parents and families at a workshop for N.E.W. Scholars. Luis is setting an example for young people that volunteering teaches valuable skills and plants seeds that will continue to grow and impact our community for years to come.

Runner-Up: Delaney Gallagher

Youth runner-up - Delaney Gallagher

The frozen tundra of Green Bay presents a harsh environment for those members of our community living without shelter. Recognizing that, Delaney created a program called Long Johns for St. John’s to collect warming items such as long johns, coats, hats, gloves, and boots for the clients and guests of St. John’s Ministries. Since 2020, she has collected more than 3,000 warming items and raised an astonishing $10,000 to provide comfort, shelter, and resources for homeless individuals! She seeks in-kind and financial donations, works with the media to spread awareness, and promotes the program on social media. Wise beyond her years, Delaney has become a force for good and an advocate for those in our community who are all too easily forgotten.


Volunteer in Education Award

Sponsored by The George F. Kress Foundation

Recipient: Crystal Trejo

Education recipient - Crystal Trejo

Three years ago, as a math teacher in the Luxemburg-Casco School District, Crystal saw that some students who originated from Central American countries were not doing as well as their fellow students who were born in the US and who spoke fluent English. She started an after-school program, called Centro de Actividades y Servicios Altruistas, to help solve this problem. It provides Spanish-speaking students with a place to go after school to get help with their homework and share cultural experiences with peers. In addition, Crystal now also volunteers her time offering adult English classes on weekends. Her efforts are clearly visible in the students’ positive actions and attitudes, and in their planning for the future.

Runner-Up: Bill Wright

Education runner-up - Bill Wright

English is one of the most difficult languages to learn and Bill is very patient and compassionate as he helps students make the adjustment to living in America. He has logged more than 600 volunteer hours for Literacy Green Bay over the last 10 years. In addition, he helps improve Literacy’s adult tutoring program by sharing the lessons he’s learned. For example, it’s important to keep in mind that some of the people trying to learn English are doctors, lawyers or engineers in their native countries and often speak more than one language. Many of Bill’s ideas and suggestions have been adapted into the training given to new tutors. He can also be spotted working at several other nonprofit organizations in the area.


Nonprofit Impact Award

Sponsored by Capital Credit Union

Recipient (Budget up to $299,000)

Foster the Village provides aid to the foster care community in Brown County, supplying free clothing, shoes, diapers, and other care items to children who arrive in foster care without adequate supplies. Volunteers process and organize incoming physical donations and stock the shelves with basic needs items. They can also be found cleaning the rooms used by the public. Most importantly, they talk with the children who come in to better understand their needs and help them find that perfect winter coat or pair of new shoes. The volunteers strive to connect with each child to make them feel comfortable, safe, and welcome. In 2022, their volunteers went above and beyond, donating hundreds of hours of time to pack up the contents of the former location and move into a new building.

Recipient (Budget $300,000-$999,999)

Nonprofit Impact - CASA

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Brown County is a volunteer-based nonprofit that provides a voice for children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect and are under the legal protection of the court system. A CASA volunteer, after being trained, will visit regularly with a child and submit a monthly report on the child’s safety and well-being to the judge, who then uses this information to make important decisions about the child’s future. In 2022, volunteers logged approximately 2,500 hours of service to children who often need a consistent adult in their life after experiencing abuse and/or neglect. CASA volunteers build a special relationship with the child, and the child is then more likely to get help with other services, spend less time living in foster care, find a safe and permanent home, and do better in school.

Recipient (Over $1,000,000)

Nonprofit Impact - St. John's Ministries

St. John’s Ministries recently expanded gender-specific services with the opening of their women’s overnight shelter. Volunteers, along with a variety of service groups, helped move furniture and supplies, build beds, and set up the kitchen, laundry, and donation room spaces. This represented hundreds of hours of volunteer time and laid the foundation for St. John’s to serve some of the most vulnerable women in our community. In addition, St. John’s recently started the Joseph Project, a faith-based employment training program that prepares individuals for full-time careers. Volunteers designed and led workshop sessions on things like budget and finance, interview skills, life skills and more. These volunteers invest time and talent into the future of our region’s economy by preparing the participants for successful employment. The respect and care St. John’s’ volunteers show is especially important to those experiencing homelessness and housing instability, who are so often marginalized and overlooked. Whether cleaning, feeding, teaching, or leading, these volunteers provide hope, honor dignity, and effect lasting change.


Volunteer Leadership Award

Sponsored by Constellation

Recipient: Daniel Vermeulen

Volunteer Leadership recipient - Daniel Vermeulen

Dan lives next to a retired De Pere firefighter, and one day, he asked the neighbor if he had ever seen any kids sleeping on the floor when he was working for the fire department. The former firefighter responded that, yes, he had seen kids sleeping on the floor or on piles of clothes during his time on the job. That was all Dan needed to hear in deciding to start a group he’d heard about on the internet called Sleep in Heavenly Peace. This group builds and gives beds to any kid in need ages 3-17. In 2020, Dan recruited friends, family, and church members to build the organization’s first six beds at Calvary Lutheran Church in Green Bay. They quickly outgrew their space and now hold six to eight builds a year. Dan coordinates over 100 volunteers who saw, drill, and put the beds together. The beds are then delivered to kids being served by Brown County Social Services, families being resettled because of domestic abuse, Catholic Charities’ Afghan refugee program, and foster parents. Dan also helps out at food drives, serves on the church grounds committee, gives blood, and provides comfort with his trained therapy dog at schools and hospitals.

Runner-Up: Jake Jirschele

Volunteer Leadership runner-up - Jake Jirschele

It is not an exaggeration to say Jake puts in over 100 hours a year volunteering in support of several organizations. He has been a member of the Allouez Optimist Club for 11 years, helping the club increase funding and volunteerism with 22 different youth-focused organizations. For the last 10 years, he has volunteered at Miracle League games and serves on their board of directors, helping to raise money to support the program. Jake also supports Court Appointed Special Advocates of Brown County, spending dozens of hours mentoring and guiding children to help make sure they feel safe and have hope. In addition, he is also on the board of directors for Junior Achievement, where he is always willing to help with strategy and other related discussions to help move the organization forward. His depth of commitment and the energy he brings to serving so many influences others to do the same and makes him stand out among community volunteers.


Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Schreiber

Recipient: Sister Annice McClure

Heart of Gold recipient - Sister Annice McClure

Sister Annice has had service modeled to her since childhood, and those early lessons have served her well, as she has dedicated her life to the service of others. At 90 years young, her level of engagement is remarkable. Each week you’ll find Sister Annice at the front desk of St. John’s Ministries’ Micah Center and leading a monthly meal team. Over the last 15 years, her meal team has provided well over 5,000 meals to guests in the shelters. Numerous times, Sister Annice has taken on the task of cooking additional meals to celebrate holidays, using food items on hand to create a feast. Her old-fashioned hospitality communicates warmth and care to guests, staff, and community members. She enjoys building rapport with others, and her goal in volunteering is to bring a sense of goodness, joy, and blessing into the lives of the guests she serves. In addition, she worked at Hospital Sisters Health System well into her late eighties. Sister Annice, saying she’s grateful to still be able to do this, has been a role model of selfless service for our entire community.

Runner-Up: Sister Sally Ann Brickner

Heart of Gold runner-up - Sister Sally Ann Brickner

Sister Sally Ann has been volunteering with Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program since its inception in 2020. Since then, she has spent over 400 hours with refugee clients, taking them to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping or to English classes. She guides refugee clients with gentle compassion as they settle into their homes and their new life in our community. Sister Sally Ann also assists Catholic Charities with data gathering, office organization, and document filing. Her help allows employees to have more time to focus on meeting the needs of the community. The faith and joy she brings to any volunteer service is remarkable. The refugee clients that Sister Sally Ann serves absolutely adore her, and she has taken great care to build strong relationships with them to help ease their transition and feel welcomed by our community.


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:

Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Logo
Community Impact Sponsor
AK Logo
Volunteer Champion
Associated Bank Logo
Volunteer Champion
Schneider Logo
Volunteer Champion
American National Bank
Volunteer Impact
Cellcom Logo
Volunteer Impact
Volunteer Impact

Hearts
Rake Up Green Bay logo

2022 Rake Up Green Bay

This is our annual Make a Difference Day event reimagined — 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 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).


Volunteers in Action

Thank you to all Rake Up Green Bay volunteers generously giving of their time to help members of our community!

Click HERE for an NBC26 story on volunteers raking and making a difference.


Thank You, Sponsors!

George Kress Foundation logo
Aon logo
Capital Credit Union 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

Royal Scot Logo

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