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Shawano Volunteer shares her passion for her community

Pictured: Todd Raether, former Shawano board chair, Jon Meyers, current board chair and master of ceremonies, and volunteer Wendy Crawford.

During the Shawano Area Community Foundation’s annual Harvest Moon Soiree event on Sept.18, the Herb Rycroft Volunteer Award was presented to Wendy Crawford for her outstanding work in the Shawano community. Wendy shared her story with us about why this award means so much to her:

“I started volunteering when I was in high school and have continued ever since. My mom was an active volunteer, so I followed in her footsteps. Volunteering is very rewarding; there is the direct satisfaction of helping people, but the aspects of learning, problem solving, networking and meeting other like-minded people has enhanced my life in countless ways. It feels right to be a participant in my community instead of a bystander.

This award is particularly special to me. Herb Rycroft was on the selection committee when I was hired as program ocordinator of Leadership Shawano County (LSC) in 2005, a job I held and loved for 15 years. Herb worked at CRI (now GENEX), and was an LSC alumni; he became active in helping me with LSC fundraisers, some which were held at CRI. Herb was smart, generous, fun loving, and very community minded, even though Shawano was not originally his home. Herb died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2012. In 2013 I met Herb’s widow Marisa through LSC, and around 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Marisa did not have family in Shawano, so a few of us in town became her “Shawano family.” Having been a cancer survivor myself, I could not imagine going through treatments alone, so my role in this group was to arrange a carpool to her treatments, and accompany her to oncology appointments to take notes. Marisa’s battle with cancer ended in 2018.

Having known the Rycrofts personally, I accept the Herb Rycroft Volunteer Award with great honor and respect.

I have selected Boys & Girls Club of Shawano to receive the $1,000 grant award. As a founding member of the Boys & Girls Club, I was involved in the planning stages since 2013, and have been an Advisory Council member since 2017. I have witnessed first-hand the difference the Boys & Girls Club has had on youth in our community. The core programs include elements of Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, The Arts and Sports & Fitness; all necessary to develop healthy and productive young people.”

On behalf of the Shawano Area Community Foundation, congratulations again Wendy and thank you for commitment as a volunteer in our community!

The Shawano Area Community Foundation is one of five geographic affiliates we partner with in the Fox Valley. Our other partners include Brillion Area Family of Funds, Chilton Area Community Foundation, Clintonville Area Foundation, and Waupaca Area Community Foundation.

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