Volunteer Appreciation Event
March 1st, 2023 we gathered, celebrated, and recognized many of our volunteers through our Seeds of Service – Volunteer Appreciation Event. We enjoyed a dinner of pulled pork sandwiches provided by Milwaukee Burger Company, soup from our kitchen and Piggy’s Restaurant, and a dessert of cookies from a donation by Hy-Vee. We also welcomed guest speaker Courtney Kramolis. Courtney serves as the La Crosse Area Family YMCA Food Program Director and is responsible for the coordination of all food access-related resources. Courtney has partnered with the local Salvation Army and Hunger Task Force to be able to provide meals throughout the community.
Though COVID is still a factor, this is one of the first times we have been able to gather as a large volunteer group, side by side, and enjoy the presence of one another. Salvation Army staff were able to thank and appreciate the volunteers for the thousands of hours they gave to our programs and services – 9,577 hours to be exact. More than that even, for the volunteers who give a little extra time that goes unaccounted for.
Each day, week, and year presents new opportunities to serve the La Crosse community, and our volunteers have proven they have the heart, consideration, and moral efforts to honorably do so. The Salvation Army of La Crosse County continues the fight each day to #LoveBeyond the barriers the individuals and families face, but we could not do it without our strong team of over 260 volunteers. It truly takes an army to continuously accomplish all of the good, and we at The Salvation Army of La Crosse County cannot thank the volunteers enough for their time, love, and consideration to this team of Doing Good.
The Seeds of Service – Volunteer Appreciation Event provided an opportunity to recognize some of our most consistent, dedicated volunteers from 2022.
2022 Volunteer of the Year: Lisbeth Reynertson
In recognition of your inspiring, ongoing volunteer efforts and outstanding commitment to the service of our community.
She was also recently awarded the Jefferson Award by WXOW.
2022 Meal Program Volunteer of the Year: Jim Benesh
In recognition of your extraordinary service, time, and dedication to assisting those in need and doing it with great genuineness and kindness.
2022 Thrift Store Volunteer of the Year: Ronald Rasque
In recognition of your outstanding hard work, commitment, and joy you bring to staff and those you help serve.
2022 Group of the Year: Trane Technologies
In recognition of your year-round dedication to serving the community and continually showing up to assist those we serve.
2022 Seasonal Group of the Year: Altra Federal Credit Union
In recognition of the bright attitudes and joy brought to the All Things Christmas programs and services. *Not pictured.*
2022 Bell Ringer of the Year: Dennis Stone
In recognition of your dedication, support, and joy you helped bring to The Salvation Army Red Kettles. *Not pictured.*
In addition to these awards, we also recognized a former Advisory Board member for Outstanding Leadership. Kurt Schuldes was awarded this for his years of service through the Advisory Board. Although he has retired from his role, the bases he set for us going forward will allow us to continue in a positive direction!
Lastly, an award that would usually have a ceremony of it’s own was given during this event as the person who received the award showed great volunteerism and honor throughout The Salvation Army. Before his passing, Larry Dittman was deeply involved in The Salvation Army’s Advisory Board. His wife, Amelia Dittman, was there to receive the Red Shield Award.
“I have witnessed and met some of the most genuine, good-hearted, and caring people of our community – and they called themselves volunteers of The Salvation Army. Lucky us! We are so blessed to have been gifted with the kindness of volunteers. Our community is blessed to have been gifted with those who care to be Doing the Most Good.
There are a lot of great and impactful programs and services volunteers help with throughout the year. It may be time given at the Thrift Store sorting donations that are given a new life when purchased or provided to residents and community members to assist in the rebuilding of their life. It may be time spent on one of our Committees, to help direct the needs and discuss the future of TSA. It may be time given to youth, through Feed the Kids, Coats for Kids, or Angel Tree. It may an afternoon spent serving meals to our friends in shelter or preparing lunch for our friends at the canteen window. It may be time spent and memories made while bell ringing with your family. It may be time given to picking up a kettle or counting money during the red kettle season, or picking up a food donation from a local restaurant, spending time with residents to help them spiritually, or interning and giving general assistance to our staff during everyday tasks or special events. Your time and generosity matter – to all people served. The really great thing is, is that no matter where you’ve volunteered you planted a positive seed for the growth of good to spur from. You’ve positively impacted someone and served good in their lives. But only because you are here, volunteering and giving your time, can these seeds grow into beautiful blossoms of their own over generations. This is why you all are so important to all we do here at The Salvation Army.
It truly takes an army to continuously accomplish all of the good, and we at The Salvation Army of La Crosse County cannot thank you enough for your time, love, and consideration to this team of Doing Good. We could not do it without you.” – Willow Pecha, Community Relations Specialist
Thank you to our amazing volunteers. We are always encouraging more volunteers to join our efforts of Doing the Most Good!
Volunteers were gifted with succulents, volunteer pins, a note from staff, and a chocolate bar!