To read the comments of Cheri Duchrow’s nominator for a Celebrating Volunteers award you would think volunteering is more natural to her than breathing.
She tells others, “Every moment and every person that stands in front of you is a volunteer opportunity to help or mentor someone to make a difference and change someone’s life.”
Cheri’s volunteer activities take her to schools, churches and kitchens. Cheri has volunteered with Kids Forward, Feeding America, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, the Neenah High School band, singing at area churches, the Girl Scouts, youth mentoring and international charities concerned with human trafficking and fair trade in third world countries.
The range and sheer volume of her volunteering earned her the Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by The Post-Crescent. It is one of seven volunteer awards being presented at the annual Celebrating Volunteers community gala April 26 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The event is sponsored by the Community Foundation and The Post-Crescent.
“Her compassion, passion for helping others and spirit of goodness radiates from her humble, warm, caring persona,” said her nominator, co-worker Theresa Lehman.
A student who worked with Cheri on projects at church called her a “beacon of light” and a mentor. “Cheri has created awareness of needs beyond ourselves and, as a product, the community around us has been educated on how they can lead a life of serving others,” the student said.
Another church friend added, “Cheri has always pushed me to make the world a better place.”
Cheri will receive $5,000 to distribute to a favorite local charity or charities.
Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts – Renee Ulman
Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award — Bob DeKoch
Youth Scholarship Award — Rachel Miserlian
Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award — Cheri Duchrow
Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award — Nancy Heykes
Health Care Volunteer Award — Jim and Sue Spierings
Business Partnership Award — Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs and McMAHON