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10 Things Heard at Celebrating Our Volunteers

Posted on Apr 20, 2016, by

Nearly 600 people gathered in the grand ballroom of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel April 19 to honor volunteers in eight award categories at the Celebrating Our Volunteers gala. Here are some of the highlights of the things they heard.

  1. Leah Witthuhn, Youth Volunteer honoree, on her nonprofit Music Mission:
    “To be able to have an impact on someone’s life, to be the cause of something great, that is what we’re here for.”
  2. John McFadden, Health Care Volunteer of the Year honoree with wife Susan, on the Fox Valley Memory Project:
    “We believe that when we view dementia as a disability that can be accommodated with patience, understanding and kindness, our community becomes a better place for everyone.”
  3. Jennifer Johnson, Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts honoree, on working in the local arts community:
    “So many groups and organizations join to create a whole that is much greater than the parts.”
  4. Kris Teofilo of Make-A-Wish, awarded the Business Partnership of the Year Award with Bergstrom Automotive, quoting a potential recipient:
    “Every hour of my life seemed at times too great a challenge to bear. So I dreamed my wish!”
  5. Mary Poulson, recipient of the Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award:
    “My life has been filled with exciting opportunities and the privilege of working with hundreds of energetic, intelligent young people in high school and college settings.”
  6. Tom Prosser, Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award honoree:
    “I was told there are two kinds of people in the world – leaners and lifters. I concluded I want to be a lifter.”
  7. Lesley Thao, a member of Zero Tolerance: Harbor House’s Peer Education Troupe:
    “One of the most important things we want people to know is that they are not alone.”
  8. Diane MacDonald, recipient with husband Drew of the Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award for work with the Old Glory Honor Flight for veterans:
    “There are just so many caring people out there. I don’t know of a lot of organizations that have wait lists for volunteers.”
  9. John McFadden in announcing the selection criteria for category for which he and his wife, Susan, were the honorees:
    “… And if a male, handsome and entertaining.”
  10. The nearly 600 people in attendance to O.C. Boldt:
    “Happy birthday dear O.C., happy birthday to you.”

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