Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good as Gold Ceremony honors over 40 community and campus volunteers

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), the University of Illinois Springfield Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center and the Junior League of Springfield hosted the Good as Gold Ceremony, a recognition event to acknowledge community members and organizations for their volunteer efforts.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday, April 18, in the lobby of the Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus. More than 40 people were recognized during the event for their achievements and efforts.

Jack Sunderlik, a One Hope United Foster Grandparent was honored with the Distinguished Volunteer Award. He volunteers 40 hours a week at Dubois Elementary. According to his nominator, Sunderlik is called “Grandpa Jack” by all 430 students at Dubois. He meets a critical educational need for the students and provides special needs students with the individual special attention that they need to improve their academic, social, and behavioral skills. Students with the most serious behavioral and academic needs are paired with him each year. Sunderlik is a retired high school teacher and coach of 40 years.

Finalists for the Distinguished Volunteer included Virginia ‘Jenny’ McFeeters and Lynn Wilson, both American Red Cross volunteers; Lori Coultas, a volunteer at the Inner City Mission, and Mike Kennedy, a volunteer from Friends of Sangamon Valley. Jewel Richards, a One Hope United Foster Grandparent volunteer and Frank Fegan and Betty Lou Hicks, both American Red Cross volunteers were nominated for the award.

UIS student Justin Rose was honored with the Star Student Award and employee Jan Kirkham with the Star Staff Award for their exceptional commitment to service and volunteerism. Rose devotes at least 20 hours a week to volunteering with youth in the local Springfield Community. He created an initiative with Boys and Girls Club to mentor at-risk youth males on Saturdays, he’s a big brother, and in addition to these efforts off campus, he is a mentor to first-year first-generation college students at UIS. In her role as the Director of Experiential & Service-Learning Programs at UIS, Kirkham has been a career long advocate for service as part of the college experience. She has helped faculty create Service-Learning classes, helped incorporate service into the general education requirements, and fostered the Applied Study Term program. She spends time volunteering on campus and in the community.

Community members Isis Thompson, Logan Quance, Lance Quance, Melina Hale, Noah Siltman, and Nina Bishop were honored with Youth Volunteer awards. As part of the 21st Century Program, the teens have collectively volunteered over 200 hours in after-school programs this year. They provide teachers with hands on quality assistance, mentor children on the playground, and help to make sure the children stay on task.

Thirty-four local volunteers were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award. Recipients included: Linda Bradbury, Charles Beard, Alison Cappellin, Elizabeth (Liz) Dady, Judson DeVore, Karen Giannone, Rose Haas, Robert Hall, June Harmon, Joan E. Ingram, Wimer Kern, Louise Lee, LeGrand L. Malany, Elizabeth Muench, Deshanee Miner, Diana Odin, Fannie Patheal, Renee Piphus, Brenda Rauscher, Jean M. Reader, Jim Richbark, Michelle Ryan, Glenna Schlemm, Dick Smith, Donna Stimage, Joan Swearingen, Gail Tucker, Cecelia Upshaw, Carl and Roberta Volkmann, Julie Waldrop, Christina M. Whitehorn, Brenda Will, Mary Yokem.

The West Side Christian Church, genH Coalition, and First Christian Church, Springfield were also honored with Organization Awards for their contributions to the community.

For more information about the awards, please visit, email or call 217/ 206-7716.

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