United Way announces Volunteers of the Year

Five outstanding volunteers were recognized this morning at the annual United Way Volunteer Breakfast in Cedar Rapids.

"It's great to see some of our outstanding volunteers be recognized," said Sue Driscoll, United Way of East Central Iowa's volunteer manager. "Nonprofits could not make it without the help of the thousands of volunteers in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas. Congratulations!"

Each of our winners today will receive a $500 donation to a nonprofit of their choice. Thanks to Rockwell Collins for making this possible.

The winner of the Youth Category is: Katie Schlegel

Katie works with the Linn-Mar High School Best Buddies Program. She takes time out of her day – during school hours and outside of school – to spend time helping students academically and building friendships and relationships. Each day she works with kids on everything from math and reading to social skills and daily living skills.

The winner of the Adult Category is: Lesa Ackman

Lesa is the facilitator of Young Parents Network’s Newborn mom’s group on Thursday evenings. Lesa teaches curriculum to the parents so they can learn healthy parenting skills. She also educates parents of newborns about the development of their child.

The winner of the Senior Adult Category is: Henry Davison

Henry founded the HD Youth Center in 1997 when he saw a need to offer kids a safe and supervised building. The center also provides free hot breakfast to the homeless and those in need. The center was flooded in 2008 but Henry has continued to volunteer and is helping to finish the new location on Mt. Vernon Road.

The winner of the Group Category is: Metro High School

12 students and 2 teachers deliver up to 40 bags of groceries each week to clients who live in the Metro High School neighborhood. The volunteers provide their own vehicles and gas and delivery all the meals without any staff assistance from Meals on Wheels.

The winner of the Business Category is: Cargill

Cargill works with Horizons Meals on Wheels. Since 2007, Cargill employee volunteers have delivered meals in the neighborhood near the company’s corn mill one day per week. Each employee volunteer provides a nutritious meal, a safety and security check, and a few minutes of socialization for older, homebound adults.

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