Volunteers honored in north central Iowa

Published 7:25 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

Volunteers throughout north central Iowa were honored for their years of service to their communities during RSVP’s annual volunteer celebration in June, according to a press release.

RSVP of North Central Iowa staff presented 30 Outstanding Volunteer awards to individuals who volunteer in the six counties RSVP serves: Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth.

The volunteers honored serve in a variety of programs, such as Reading Buddies or Reading Coaches, helping elementary and middle school students improve their reading skills; Pen Pals, writing letters to fourth- and fifth-graders; Breakfast Buddies, visiting with students at school-sponsored breakfasts; Walking School Bus volunteers, escorting children to school; International Friends, making North Iowa Area Community College’s international students feel at home in Iowa; and reading to the blind on KCMR radio.

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Terry Schumaker, dean of continuing education at NIACC, welcomed more than 120 volunteers and their guests to the afternoon event and thanked the volunteers for their dedication and service in their communities.

“The impact you have made this year warrants recognition and a celebration like the one we are having today,” said guest speaker Steve Schulz, president of NIACC, as he showed his appreciation to all 338 volunteers who committed a total of 6,280 hours of their time this year.  “Whether you volunteer in one of our many school programs, the Red Cross, emergency preparedness, volunteer at IRIS or serve as an international friend, you are enriching lives and improving the communities in which you serve.”

RSVP Director Molly Anderegg and Volunteer Coordinator Theresa Price presented the Outstanding Volunteer awards, which are based on cumulative hours served by a volunteer over a lifetime. Three levels of awards were given: Bronze for 100 to 249 hours of volunteering, Silver for 250 to 499 hours and Gold for 500-plus hours.

Area volunteers honored included: Marcia Kraft of Northwood, who started volunteering with RSVP in 2004, where she served as a Reading Buddy, Reading Coach and Pen Pal; and Stephen Converse of Northwood. Kraft received a gold standing and Converse received a bronze standing.

“Today is about celebrating all of you and the service you provide in your communities,” she said. “No matter what you do with RSVP, thank you for your service to others — you truly are improving the lives around you.”

Anderegg reviewed progress on the expansion into Franklin and Mitchell counties, and recognized retiring RSVP staff members: Volunteer Coordinator Linda Willeke and administrative assistant Connie Ciccetti, as well as retiring advisory council members Verla Perry of Northwood and Tony Coloff of Forest City.