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Celebrating Volunteers 2020 is ready for nominations!

Do you know local volunteers who put their hearts and souls into serving others in the Fox Valley? Nominate them for a well-deserved award! The Celebrating Volunteers nominations are now open. Check out the 2019 awardees here.


Nominations are being accepted for an annual event celebrating some of the Fox Valley’s outstanding volunteers and nonprofit-business partnerships and promoting the community’s commitment to volunteerism.

Awards in six categories will be presented during the 23nd Celebrating Volunteers event, sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and NBC26 on April 21 at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in downtown Appleton.

Nominees must reside in or do the majority of their volunteer work in Outagamie, Calumet, Waupaca or Northern Winnebago counties. The awards include health care, mentoring, leadership in volunteerism, youth leadership, and business partnerships with the nonprofit sector. For a full list of awards and a nomination form, visit celebratevolunteers.org. The deadline for nominations is February 3.

“This event brings together several hundred people who volunteer their time to ensure the Fox Valley continues to flourish and be a great place to live,” says Curt Detjen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We’re lucky so many feel volunteering is a valuable part of their lives, and we honor that community spirit of service with these special awards.”

The event recognizes individuals and businesses that go above and beyond to help make the community a better place with their gifts of time.

“These awards not only honor individuals for their volunteer impact, but they pay it forward too,” says Stacy Engebretson, assistant news director and anchor from NBC26. “The recipients select a local nonprofit to receive a donation on their behalf. The volunteers give so much in terms of time and talent, and it’s wonderful to recognize their efforts with a financial donation as well.”

The youth award recipient receives $1,000 for charity and a $1,500 scholarship. All other awards include $5,000 for charity. Since the event started in 1998, award sponsors have given $723,500 to local charities selected by their award recipients.

The award categories and sponsors are:

  • Business Partnership Award sponsored by SECURA
  • Youth Scholarship Award sponsored by Community First Credit Union
  • Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by the Amcor Foundation
  • Health Care Award sponsored by Ascension and ThedaCare
  • Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award sponsored by Thrivent Financial
  • Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation

Media sponsors include WHBY Radio, Insight on Business and The Post-Crescent.

This event is open to the public, and registration information will be available by March 1. For more information, go to celebratevolunteers.org


The Celebrating Volunteers gala event honors the volunteer spirit of Paul and Elaine Groth of Appleton, who died in an automobile accident in 1997. In addition to The Post-Crescent, media sponsors include NBC26 and WHBY radio. Additional support for this event comes from Associated Bank, Bemis, Katapult and Kimberly-Clark.

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