Honoring and Celebrating Giving from the Heart
Each spring, hundreds of people in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin come together to celebrate volunteerism and honor those who go above and beyond to help make the community a better place with their gifts of time.
Volunteer awards in eight categories were presented during the 20th Celebrating Volunteers community gala May 2 in downtown Appleton.
New this year, the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley’s Communication and Theater Arts 106 class produced videos about each award recipient.
Kaylie Bittner – Youth Scholarship Award, sponsored by Community First Credit Union. She receives a $1,500 scholarship and she directed her $1,000 prize to the Neenah Menasha Emergency Society.
Marie Waddell – Dan P. Spalding Volunteer Educator Award, sponsored by School Specialty. She divided her $5,000 prize between CASA of the Fox Cities and the Ferber Elementary School endowment.
Jane Dwyre Garton – Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award, sponsored by Thrivent Financial. She divided her $5,000 prize between Friends of the Appleton Library and the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region.
Sally Podoski – Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award, sponsored by Mielke Family Foundation. She directed her $5,000 prize to Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha.
Lee Hillstrom – Health Care Volunteer Award, sponsored by Ascension and ThedaCare. He directed his $5,000 prize to Us TOO Fox Cities prostate cancer support group.
Mary Downs – Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by The Post-Crescent. She divided her $5,000 prize between mental health organizations NAMI Fox Valley and CHAPS.
Carolyn Ragusett – Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in Arts, sponsored by Thrivent Financial. She divided her $5,000 prize between Attic Theatre and the Fox Valley Symphony.
Thanks to the generosity of award sponsors, each award recipient receives $5,000 for their favorite Fox Valley charity (youth recipient receives $1,000 for charity plus a $1,500 scholarship).
Since 1998, award sponsors have given $660,000 to local charities selected by their award recipients!
Hover over a recipient to learn more