Kosciusko County Community Foundation hosted its annual Heart of Gold Awards ceremony tonight in Warsaw, at which they recognized 48 individuals for extraordinary acts of service and volunteerism.
Recipients of the awards are nominated by others in the community. At the reception, those nominated received a certificate of recognition, a Heart of Gold pin, and the opportunity to recommend a community foundation grant to the area non-profit of their choice, in their honor.
This year, 10 people out of 48 nominees were recognized for a Heart of Gold. This year’s recipients are: Charles Haffner, Ot Schroeder, Terry Wentz, Carole Delp, Ron Donkers, Brooke Smalley, Diana Davis, Karen Hill, Robert Harkness and Jay Clark.
Haffner was nominated by Lana Wilson, for his many volunteer efforts aimed at helping area preschoolers, daycare children and Beaman Home residents, and for his efforts to help people in poverty in Mexico.
Schroeder was nominated by Brett Boggs, Cindy Cates and Sariah Morgan for his efforts to help at-risk students graduate from high school.
Wentz was nominated by Ashley Wentz for the many ways he serves others, whether it be the homeless, those in jail, or people otherwise in need.
Smalley was nominated by Pam Cook for her work as a missionary nurse in a medical clinic in Haiti where she has been for the last three years. Brooke’s parents, Gary and Deb Smalley, represented their daughter.
Delp was nominated by Carmen Flores for her service to students at Lakeland Christian Academy, to needy families served by Combined Community Services and to mothers and their children.
Donkers was nominated by Ot Schroeder for his leadership role in chairing the Optimist Triathalon which raises money for area youth projects, for his service to United Way and as a fundraiser for people with disabilities through the annual Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive.
Davis was nominated by Tim Sprankle for her weekly help to a young mother, for teaching English to 15 Hispanic women and for the two evenings a week she stays with a Hospice patient.
Hill was nominated by Michelle Boxell for her volunteer work with Cardinal Services.
Harkness was nominated by Mackenzie Cloutier for his service to children and the community through his work with CASA, American Red Cross and the Lions Club.
Clark, nominated by Bill Leslie, was recognized for his volunteer service to the clients of Combined Community Services for the past three years.
In addition to individual recognition, two new awards were presented this year. The Non-Profit Award was presented to North Webster Community Center and the Service Club Award was presented to the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club.
The Community Foundation hosts the Heart of Gold Awards event each year to celebrate people who give of their time and talent to serve others.