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Celebrating Volunteers 2021 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 last year’s 2020 awardees here.

Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 5 for an annual recognition of the Fox Valley’s outstanding volunteers, nonprofit-business partnership and promoting the community’s commitment to volunteerism.

Awards in six categories will be presented as part of the 24th Celebrating Volunteers recognition, sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and NBC26. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, instead of hosting an in-person or virtual event in spring of 2021, award recipients will be honored in new ways during National Volunteer Week April 18-24.

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, volunteer of the year, lifetime volunteer leadership, youth leadership, and a business/nonprofit partnership. For more information and the nomination form, visit The deadline for nominations is Feb. 5, 2021.

“Although we won’t be gathering in person, we still want to recognize those 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 for the Fox Valley Region. “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 effort recognizes individuals and businesses that go above and beyond to help make the community a better place with their gifts of time.

“It’s such an honor to be able to share stories of people going above and beyond in our community. It not only sheds a light on them but helps show others how great our community is during a time like this,” says Abigail Hantke, morning anchor and producer from NBC 26.

The youth award recipient receives $1,000 for a local charity and a $1,500 scholarship. All other award recipients receive $5,000 for a local charity. Since the event started in 1998, award sponsors have given $749,500 to local charities selected by their award recipients.

The award categories 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 Amcor
• Health Care Award sponsored by Ascension and ThedaCare
• Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award sponsored by Volunteer Fox Cities in partnership with Thrivent
• Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation

For more information, go to

The Celebrating Volunteers gala event honors the volunteer spirit of Paul and Elaine Groth of Appleton, who died in an automobile accident in 1997. Media sponsors include WHBY Radio, Insight on Business and The Post-Crescent.

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