Michigan's second lady,
Julie Calley, praised MCA volunteers as "tireless advocates, change agents and unsung heroes" in her keynote address at the annual MCA Day at the Capitol and Community Action Awards ceremony April 28. The event kicked off May's Community Action Month, as it recognized contributions of volunteers and the achievements of agency clients. Rep. Tim Greimel was presented with the Legislator of the Year award.
"You are the connectors, the resource generators, those who provide shelter and mentoring," added Calley, who is an Ionia County commissioner and chair of the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) board. Calley thanked MCA volunteers for all that they do across the state to change peoples' lives. As an example, she mentioned the help in her hometown of Portland after a tornado last year. Volunteers from all over Michigan arrived to provide shelter and resources to the affected families.
"Our state would not be what it is today without you," Calley said.
Consumers Energy presented Michigan Community Action with $293,000 in donations that employees and the company raised at more than 30 Walk for Warmth events across the state. The company matched each dollar that employees, family and friends raised for Walk for Warmth.
House Democratic Leader
Tim Greimel (D-29) was named Legislator of the Year by Michigan Community Action for his continued support of his local Community Action Agency, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA). Griemel was cited for his effort in the Walk for Warmth fundraiser,
his assistance in OLHSA's attempt to find funding for blight removal and his frequent visits to the agency's Head Start classrooms and board meetings.
"Rep. Greimel understands how Community Action Agencies help individuals and families become more self-sufficient," noted MCA President John Stephenson. "We appreciate his support of the many MCA initiatives that help people with workforce training, education and quality-of-life programs."
The following volunteers received awards:
Dale Huggler was nominated by North East Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) for his 34 years of service on NEMCSA's board.
Mathew Dziadosz was recognized by Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency's (OLHSA) Pontiac Office for his dedication to the Early Childhood Services Department as a volunteer, especially his help with Walk for Warmth, after he joined to repay the help he received when he had health issues.
Stella Ingraham received an award for her 10 years of volunteering in Community Action's Foster Grandparent Program
and more than 50 years of volunteering in the Homer school system.
Gary Cuthbert was nominated by Monroe Community Action for driving more than 500 hours last year to deliver food to pantries and shelters that helped contribute to Monroe County Opportunity Program's distribution of food in 2015.
Boys and Girls Club of Alpena-Youth Volunteer Corps was recognized by North East Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMCSA) for logging more than 560 hours in 2014-2015 packing food boxes for distribution in the agency's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
Five CAA clients were also recognized:
received an award by Blue Water Community Action (BWCA) for her volunteer efforts in the Head Start Policy Council and Board of Directors. She took agency classes such as "Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World," which led to her renovating a building and opening her own business.
Sara and Tim Enszer were nominated by Mid Michigan Community Action Agency (MMCAA) for enrolling two children suffering from cystic fibrosis in MMCAA's Early Head Start program, which included weekly home visits, speech and motor skills evaluations, emergency training and information on how to budget time and resources.
Ericka Filonczuk was nominated by the Monroe County Opportunity Program (MCOP) for her involvement in the agency's Individual Development Account (IDA), which helped her complete her associate degree and move out of subsidized housing into a home she purchased.
Francesann Lowery was nominated by Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (WMCAA) for her involvement in the financial literacy training at the agency's Financial Empowerment Center, which resulted in her buying her own home and boosting her credit score to almost 800.
Silas and Marie
were nominated by Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA) for their participation in the Individual Development Account's (IDA) matched savings program, which helped them move their family of seven from a house trailer to a Habitat for Humanity home.