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Twelve individuals will be honored for their volunteerism at a ceremony and luncheon at the Architect Hotel & Conference Center (formerly the Racine Marriott) on Friday, April 15, 2016. A reception and silent auction will be held from 11:30 a.m. to Noon.

The lunch is from Noon to 12:45 p.m. and concludes after the awards program. The twelve were chosen based on volunteer accomplishments; impact on an individual group or community; and leadership from nominations submitted by area individuals and nonprofit organizations. The Volunteer Center in conjunction with the Corporate Volunteer Council will recognize the business of the year in terms of service by their employees.

Agriculture Award – Sponsored by CNH

Walter Ott – Nominated by Michelle Gabor

Wally Ott has been associated with the River Bend Nature Center for nearly ten years. He was a key member of the original coterie that shepherded the transition of River Bend from YWCA ownership to a non-profit organization. Wally is a pivotal organizer of the annual Pancake Breakfasts, one of River Bend’s major fundraisers.

Arts & Culture Award – Sponsored by Butter Buds, Inc.

James Wardrip – Nominated by Don Schumacher and Michelle Ortwein

Jim Wardrip began as a Racine Art Museum/Wustum Museum docent in 2005. He also works in RAM’s Exhibitions Department installing and removing the RAM’s showcases. Before he retired from teaching art in the Racine Unified School District. Jim designed displays for RUSD’s Art Shows. Jim has served Preservation Racine in various capacities.

Economic Development Award – Sponsored by We Energies

Jim Deibler – Nominated by Pat Widmaier

Jim Deibler applies what he knows best from his professional life to his volunteer projects. As the owner-operator of Sew ‘n Save of Racine, Jim has opened up his store to members of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Racine to create and sew pillowcases which are donated to several Racine County agencies. Jim was recognized as an Achiever and Believer for the ARC Agency in Racine.

Education Award – Sponsored by Educators Credit Union

Michael Frontier – Nominated by Connie Hohlfeld– Molbeck

Michael Frontier arrived in Racine in 1968 as Director of the War on Poverty’s Project Follow-Through. In 1975, he started a 24 year career as a principal for the Racine Unified School District (RUSD). He is a member of the RUSD Board of Education and is a founding member of the steering committee for Re-visioning Racine.

Environment Award – Sponsored by Insinkerator

Emily Papara – Nominated by Bob Oertel

Emily Papara was a founding member of KOBO – Keep our Beaches Open, an enterprise that addresses causes of beach closures to swimmers. Emily also was a charter member of Sustainable Racine – Lakeview Community Action Group and was instrumental in reopening the “Zoo Path.”

Good Neighbor Award – Sponsored by State Farm Insurance Racine County Agents

Ellen Martino – Nominated by Marta Kultgen

Ellen Martino is a 20 year veteran volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and is a 43 year member of the Racine Junior Women’s Club. Ellen has worked with Intergenerational Fairs since 2001 and served on the Board since 2009. She has volunteered at the John Paul II Academy since 1973.

Health Services Award – Sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare– All Saints

Kathleen Bialecki – Nominated by Maria Radomski

Kathleen Bialecki has been with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Inc. since 2008, where she has logged over 2300 volunteer hours. Kathleen became the Volunteer Blood Drive Coordinator in March of 2012 at St. Lucy’s parish where, under her guidance, the number of donors increased by over 60%.

Heroic Award – Sponsored by S. C. Johnson A Family Company

Jayden Jaramillo – Nominated by Nicole Jaramillo

In October 2015, Jayden Jaramillo was aboard his usual bus on the way to Trinity Lutheran School. The bus driver started coughing and was unable to breathe. Jayden ran to the front of the bus and spoke with a dispatcher on the bus radio giving directions to the bus’s location. The bus driver was released from the hospital later that day.

Human Services Award – Sponsored by Racine Dominicans

Ralph Malicki – Nominated by Lou Barrera and Pat Adams

Ralph Malicki is the owner of Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly on Washington Avenue in Racine, which is often the center of his community outreach. Ralph’s store hosts the Veterans’ Café that serves breakfast to more than forty Racine County veterans every Thursday morning. Ralph is a board member of “Thoughts for Food”, Neighborhood Watch, Racine Theatre Guild, the Hospitality Center and Crime Stoppers.

Senior Award – Sponsored by E. C. Styberg Foundation

Alan Winter – Nominated by David Kramer and Lynn Mullis

Al Winter is the primary caretaker for his mother, yet he finds the time to donate to many projects benefitting local veterans. He is a City of Racine Veterans Service Commissioner, and a member of VFW Post 10301, the Vietnam Veterans Inc. #767 and the Purple Heart Association.

Veteran Award – Sponsored by Marlo, Inc.

Richard Fear – Nominated by Pat Adams

Richard Fear served three tours of Vietnam while in the U.S. Army and the U. S. Navy. Richie has been a Commander with the Department of Wisconsin – DAV, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and VFW Post 1391. He has been recognized as VFW Post 1391 Man of the Year.

Youth Award – Sponsored by Johnson Bank

Hannah Van Sloten – Nominated by Carolyn Van Sloten

Hannah has volunteered at the Volunteer Center of Racine County as a volunteer administrative assistant on the SafeAssured ID project and the Volunteer Center’s Regency Mall gift wrapping fund-raising project. Before volunteering in Racine, Hannah had volunteered at the Shalom Center in Kenosha with her youth group, making and serving food for the homeless and crafting Christmas projects and cards of encouragement for senior citizens in assisted living and nursing homes.

Corporate Award –Sponsored by Corporate Volunteer Council

Insinkerator – Nominated by Lynn Olle and Melissa Dixon

Since 1927, Insinkerator has been producing disposers for the world and has contributed to the quality of life in Racine. Close to 25% of the ISE workforce is currently involved in volunteer projects including “Toys for Tots”, The Heart Walk, Relay for Life and Bowl-a-thons for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Junior Achievement. ISE supports the United Way annual campaign ($200,000) The Schools of Hope tutoring program, and the annual Day of Caring.