WATERLOO --- The 33rd annual Mayors' Volunteer Awards were presented by the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley Tuesday at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
The awards program, which recognizes outstanding volunteers in the Cedar Valley, included a luncheon with 130 attendees. Award categories this year included the Volunteer Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding volunteers regardless of age or years of service; the Outstanding Emerging Volunteer Award, open to those age 19-35; and the Lifetime Achievement Award, open to any nominee with more than 20 years of volunteerism in the Cedar Valley.
Nominees must not have been recognized frequently in the media or and they cannot have been a recipient of the award in the past 10 years.
The 2011 nominees were Cindy Braatz, nominated by Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls; Donna Brown, nominated by Big Brothers Big Sisters; David Carmichael, nominated by Anne and Dick Melick; Patty Cutts, nominated by Boys & Girls Club of Black Hawk County; Julie Deery, nominated by Birthright; Arlo Doughty, nominated by American Red Cross; Amy Dutton, nominated by Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau; Jack Eherenman, nominated by Dr. Nancy Hamilton and Marguerite Prindle; Muriel Galloway, nominated by Sally Goodenbour; Kent Guild, nominated by Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children's Theatre; Barbara Klabunde, nominated by Orange Elementary School; Billie Kleppe, nominated by Sally Goodenbour; Christa Miehe, nominated by Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls; Rick Reuter, nominated by Larry Walters; Kevin Sittig, nominated by Black Hawk County 4-H Program; Linda Smith, nominated by Cedar Valley Hospice; Michelle Henny, nominated by Birthright; Kyle Uhen, nominated by Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa; Joel Zummak, nominated by Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children's Theatre; Uyntha Duncan, nominated by Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity; Gayle Hodgson, nominated by Friendship Village; Patricia Harper, nominated by Jean Seeland; Billie Johnson, nominated by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare; Beverly McCusker, nominated by Waterloo Community Playhouse/Black Hawk Children's Theatre; Virginia Shimpach, nominated by American Red Cross; Dave Vandeventer, nominated by Waterloo Community Schools; and Sandra Williamson, nominated by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.
In 1997 Smith completed Cedar Valley Hospice patient/family volunteer training. For years she provided comfort to more than 30 patients and families in the form of companionship, socialization, respite breaks for the caregivers, assistance with small tasks and running errands. In 2007 she retired from patient/family services and began dedicating her services as an office volunteer.
She volunteers on a weekly basis for the war grief and finance department. In 2010 Smith donated nearly 400 hours to Cedar Valley Hospice.
Doughty has been a volunteer in the Cedar Valley and an active volunteer with the American Red Cross since September 1992, when he joined the disaster action team. He is a case worker who provides emergency services to local disaster victims. In May 1993 he became a member of the Disaster Human Resource System and has gone on 36 national disasters, including 9/11 relief efforts in Washington. In 1996, Doughty became a lieutenant for the DAT. He currently takes care of disaster and service vehicles and is the coordinator of the Red Cross warehouse.
He also is involved with the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum and volunteers his time driving a shuttle service van for local hospitals.
Brown is a very active member of her community and church, serving on several committees and boards in addition to mentoring and other volunteer work. A few of the organizations are Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Cedar Valley Sertoma Club, Northeast Iowa Food Bank and Circle of Support and Accountability
Brown has been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa since 2005. She always has had an interest in working with and helping others.
Eherenman is responsible for initiating and co-directing the University of Northern Iowa wheelchair sports camp, which began in 2007. He finds kids in Iowa who want to get into sports, gathers staff and provides equipment and then works with them at camp and during the year.
Eherenman is responsible for assisting the first wheelchair athlete to compete in high school cross country in Iowa.
He is a member of the Iowa Chariots Wheelchair Basketball Team, even though his own sons no longer play. In addition, Eherenman started an adaptive sports clinic at the YMCA for people with lower limb disabilities.
Cutts is involved in Rotary, where she chairs the Hops and Grains fundraising event for several nonprofits in town. She also is involved in other Rotary projects including the Shoebox Program that provides Christmas gifts to children in Third World countries.
She currently serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Black Hawk County and volunteers there every week teaching children how to read. In addition, Cutts is an involved volunteer at the University of Northern Iowa and donates her time at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.
In her church, Kleppe has organized a "Senior Coffee" for the entire community of Evansdale/Elk Run Heights.
She also volunteers her time at Allen Hospital as a patient escort and helps with an assortment of duties at the hospital.
The South Waterloo farmer has been involved his community for more than 35 years.
Sittig has been on the Black Hawk County extension Council for 15 years and has served as chairman. He has been involved in the Black Hawk County 4-H program for the last 30 years as a 4-H leader for the Orange King's 4-H club and the Orange Boosters for more than seven years. He shares his knowledge of agriculture with club members teaching them about woodworking, crops and different species of livestock. He also is one of the main volunteers helping with the 4H and FFA swine Derby weigh-in each spring and the 4-H and FFA swine shows at the county fair.
Sittig also has been involved with the Black Hawk County pork producer. As a part of that group he is a delegate to the state pork producers convention in Des Moines. He has been very involved in promoting pork locally and around the state and has done grilling at the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA fairs. In addition, he has done promotional grilling at Fareway Grocery Stores for the past six years to benefit the Jerry Lewis telethon. He also helps with the planning of the annual Black Hawk County Pork Producers Banquet.
Sittig has been involved with the South Waterloo Church of the Brethren, serving on committees, cleaning the church and working on the grounds.
Outstanding Emerging Volunteer Award
Uhen is a logistics analyst at John Deere in Waterloo and has served as the Junior Achievement classroom volunteer coordinator at John Deere since 2010.
During the 2010-2011 school year, he helped to recruit more than 100 volunteers from John Deere to teach Junior Achievement programming, as well as teaching himself.
Uhen also has been an instrumental fundraiser for JA this year, working on the Bowl 4 Education event.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Hodgson's volunteer work dates back to 1950 when she volunteered in an Australian refugee camp with individuals displaced from Germany.
This year marks her 25th year of service to Covenant Medical Center, where every Monday afternoon she assists the social services department. She files documents and does follow-up phone calls and is a lifetime member of the Covenant Auxiliary.
After retiring, Hodgson began donating blood and baking cookies for the American Red Cross. As a member of the South Waterloo Church of the Brethren she is chair of the quilting circle.
In conjunction with other women at her church, she will begin making baby diapers from discarded T-shirts for babies in Haiti. She also does service sewing for other projects within her church and at her home, Friendship Village.
In addition, she volunteers at the Village serving as chair of the Auxiliary Activity Volunteers and is the resident welcoming liaison. Hodgson has walked in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk as a part of the "Memory Milers" team for 14 years.
Duncan has been active in the Cedar Valley since 1981 in the health field as trainer and caregiver. She has served as the Health Ministry's training coordinator for the Waterloo Urban Ministry for the United Methodist Church, chaired many recognition and fund-raising activities for various nonprofit organizations and has been active on many boards, including Cedar Valley Hospice, Hawkeye Chapter of the American Red Cross, Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Family & Children's Council and Visiting Nurses Association.
Duncan currently is the biomed chair for the American Red Cross, foundation chair for the Visiting Nursing Association and sits on the board of Wheaton Franciscan Health Care. She also is active with the Metro Area Character Counts Program and at Walter Cunningham Elementary School in Waterloo.
She continues to serve and develop fund-raising activities for various nonprofit agencies in the Cedar Valley through the nonprofit Don Duncan Family Foundation Agency.
David Vandeventer is president of the board for the TeamMates mentoring program in the Waterloo Schools. He has volunteered to help with mentor training workshops, been interviewed on TV and radio promoting mentoring and has lobbied at the state capitol for youth mentoring. He currently mentors two young men.
He is past board president of the Conestoga Council of Girl Scouts, serving five years and a board member for 13 years. A Realtor, Vandeventer has given a lot of time to the Waterloo Board of Realtors. He is a past president and current member of Toastmasters. He serves as a Waterloo-Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce ambassador.
He donates his time and talents to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, is a fundraiser for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers Scholarship Club and is a past board member of the Waterloo Community Playhouse.
Vandeventer also is an active member of the First Congregational Church.
Harper has consistently joined committees and boards that foster the welfare of children and the elderly in the Cedar Valley.
She is chair of Cedar Valley's Promise Elementary Education Task Force, is actively involved in the income tax preparation for the elderly and impoverished sponsored by RSVP and is past president of the board of Grin and Grow Day Care. She serves as an advocate for CASA and has been on the boards of the Family and Children's Council and the YWCA. She also serves as a reader on the Judy Fossell PRIDE scholarship committee.
Harper serves on the state Ethics and Campaign Disclosure board and is a member of the American Democracy Project at the University of Northern Iowa. She moderates candidate and legislative forums in the Cedar Valley and is a mediator for the Black Hawk County/RSVP Mediation Program.
Leonard Katoski Award
Mayor Buck Clark awarded Bob Molinaro with the 2011 Leonard Katoski Award.