22nd Annual Event Celebrates Volunteers May 1

Fox Valley community invited to recognize volunteer spirit

Published Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The community is invited to celebrate the volunteer spirit and service of Fox Valley volunteers at the 22nd annual Celebrating Volunteers community gala on Wed., May. 1, at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in Appleton. The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and The Post-Crescent sponsor the event.


Individual registrations can be purchased for $35. A table of 10 may be reserved for $350. A limited number of complimentary reservations are available for local nonprofits who wish to honor and bring their organization’s volunteer of the year. Registration deadline is Friday, April 19. Register online at celebratevolunteers.org. Questions may be directed to (920) 574-3477.


The reception starts at 5:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6 pm and the awards program at 6:45. A social opportunity to congratulate the winners wraps up the evening.


Seven sponsoring organizations and local businesses will recognize a category of volunteering that helps make the Fox Cities a great place to live. This year’s award winners include:

  • Community First Credit Union and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center — Business Partnership of the Year Award sponsored by SECURA Insurance
  • Sydney Olmsted — Youth Scholarship Award sponsored by Community First Credit Union
  • Cindy Reffke — Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by The Post-Crescent
  • Kayla Schuh — Health Care Volunteer Award sponsored by Ascension and ThedaCare
  • Sharon Hulce — Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award sponsored by Thrivent Financial
  • Karla Huston — Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts sponsored by Thrivent Financial
  • Dick Calder — Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation

Awards include $5,000 for charity. The youth award recipient receives $1,000 for charity and a $1,500 scholarship. Since the event started in 1998, award sponsors have given $691,000 to local charities selected by their award recipients.


The event honors the volunteer spirit of Paul and Elaine Groth of Appleton, who died in an automobile accident in 1997. In addition to The Post-Crescent, media sponsors include NBC26 and WHBY radio. Additional support for this event comes from Associated Bank, Bemis, Katapult and Kimberly-Clark.