Nineteen volunteers were recognized at a ceremony on April 23 at Northwestern Norris Hall for their exceptional dedication to improving the Evanston community and for their leadership and commitment to serving the needs of others. The awards were presented by Rachel Haymen, member of the District 202 School Board; Sara Schastok, president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation; Evonda Thomas, director of health and human services of the City of Evanston; and Eugene Sunshine, senior vice-president business and finance of Northwestern University.
Keynote speakers Molly Day and Jane Doyle spoke of the value of volunteering.
Ms. Doyle, founder and executive director of Center for Independent Futures, said, “What CIF and other organizations have gained from volunteers is capacity. We are able to do things that we not otherwise be able to do.” She added that volunteers create a richer and more exciting environment for the agencies they assist.
The persons honored and the agency for whom they provided dedicated service as a volunteer are as follows: Olga Baron – Evanston Public Library; Marian Casey – Answers for Special Kids; Lloyd Corrigan – Campus Kitchens, NU; John ‘Joe’ Dunn – Over the Rainbow Association; Nancy Fang – Peer Health Exchange and Alternative Student Breaks; Joe Girardi – Evanston Public Library; Taryn Shelby Gross – ETHS Best Buddies Program; Julie Hagwood – Connections for the Homeless; Joe Hibdon – McGaw YMCA Project SOAR; Sean Klamm – ETHS; Joe Knuerr – ETHS Peer Services; Rogelio Macera – Evanston Latino Organization (OLE); Parag Mahajan – Youth Organization Umbrella (YOU); Josie Menkin – Senior Connections; Maddie Orenstein – NU Center for Student Involvement; Sara Pitt – ETHS Student to Student Program; Jerane Ransom _ Fellowship for Afro-American Men Basketball League (FAAM); Sara Shaaban – Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (Unity Church North Shore).
Mayor Lorraine Morton, whom Mr. Sunshine described as “volunteer-in-chief and cheerleader extraordinaire to the nonprofit and volunteer efforts of Evanston,” was given special recognition. Mr. Sunshine said, “The height of volunteer service is to leave the community better than how you found it. Mayor Morton, you’ve truly been an example of this kind of service. We thank you and know you will continue to serve Evanston in your next stage of life.”
Quoting her father, Mayor Morton said, “Only a life of service is a life worthwhile.”
The recognition ceremony was sponsored by NU Center for Student Involvement, NU Community Relations, NU Division of Student Affairs, Evanston Community Foundation, the City of Evanston and ETHS.