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Health Care

Announcing our Health Care Volunteer Award for 2021!

Congratulations, Vicki Vogel!


(By NBC26)

Masks have become something many of us haven’t lived without over the past year. As a part of our Celebrating Volunteers series with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, here’s a woman who has helped sew together a community during a time of need.

After retiring two years ago, Vicki Vogel never thought her 40-plus years in sewing and design would lead her to making masks for the community. But when the pandemic hit, that’s just what she knew, needed to be done. Vicki actually got a head-start on making masks for a healthcare friend in Pennsylvania. So when the pandemic hit the Fox Valley, she was ready.

With her needle and her thread, she brought together a community of Fox Valley sewers, a group that would come to be known as the ThedaCare Mask Makers.

“It wasn’t just about her sewing masks for our patients, for our team members,” said Paula Morgen, the director of community health for ThedaCare. “The impact Vicki had in this community, she was a lifesaver, literally a lifesaver.”

From producing thousands of masks to socially distanced sewing sessions in her driveway, to online sewing tutorials and sewing machine maintenance programs, Vicki made a difference. Because of her work in the Fox Valley she was chosen for the 2021 Health Care Volunteer award sponsored by ThedaCare and Ascension.

“I was overwhelmed to say the least,” Vicki said. “For somebody who has done design and sewing all their life, I still get choked up. It’s a great honor.”

With the award, Vicki was given $5,000. She said because this award is not just hers, but the ThedaCare Mask Makers, she wanted to donate it to a group that represents their mission. So, she chose St. Joe’s Food Pantry in Menasha.

Thank you to our Celebrating Volunteers partners, NBC 26 and The Post-Crescent, who are featuring our winners this week. View the Post-Crescent’s story here.

Here’s that wonderful moment Vicki Vogel received the surprise news that she is this year’s winner of the Health Care Volunteer Award, sponsored by Ascension and ThedaCare:

Sponsors since 2000:

Who Qualifies?

Individual or group who meets the above criteria and who volunteers to improve the health and well-being of others through direct care or the creation of programs. Candidates must reside or do the majority of their volunteer work in Outagamie, Calumet, Waupaca or northern Winnebago counties.

Nomination form


  • A volunteer or volunteer group who demonstrates continued leadership and commitment to improving the health and well-being of others.
  • A volunteer or volunteer group with a distinctive passion for health and the well-being of others in a health care setting can be documented in a measurable way.
  • A volunteer or volunteer group who helps individuals or groups of individuals or creates programs to benefit the health and well-being of others.

Congratulations, Betsy Rachubinski!

Past recipients

2020: Betsy Rachubinski
2019: Kayla Schuh
2018: Jim and Sue Spierings
2017: Lee Hillstrom
2016: John and Susan McFadden
2015: David Bond
2014: Dr. John & Sally Mielke
2013: Christine Cornell
2012: C. Raymond Durkee
2011: Dr. Francis Van Lieshout
2010: Richard Bauer
2009: Rick Hilsabeck
2008: Nadia Avellan
2007: Ruebin Olson & Richard Metzig
2006: Ken Grode
2005: Dr. Blaine Claypool
2004: Dr. William Sickels
2003: Lester Laedtke
2002: Dr. Montgomery Elmer
2001: Rita Ristau
2000: Mr. & Mrs. Don Brouillard