Ski Anderson addresses local volunteers as the keynote speaker
United Way’s 22nd volunteer recognition luncheon took place on the 2nd of May at Outpost Catering. Originally founded by the volunteer bureau in 1996, the luncheon is organized every year to spotlight and express gratitude to volunteers at nonprofits across Greater Lafayette. This year’s event, themed “Honoring Our Shining Stars,” awarded over 169 volunteers with certificates in honor of their service to the community. As with previous years, the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette were both in attendance to recognize and show appreciation to volunteers for their selfless investment into the community.
At this year’s event, all the volunteers, nominated by eighteen nonprofits, received Community Service of Excellence certificates which were signed by the mayors. Some individuals were also selected by the Volunteer Engagement Committee, constituted of other volunteers, and were specially recognized with awards for their outstanding and impactful service in the community. The recipients of two other awards, the Tippecanoe county award and the Mayoral award were selected by the county crew and the mayors’ office respectively. Many of the recipients were not anticipating their awards, and Amy Wood, United Way director of volunteer engagement described it as “heartwarming” when they realized they were the ones being recognized.
This keynote speaker for this year’s event was Ski Andrews who works for Star City broadcasting. Volunteerism holds special significance for Andrews who spoke about passing on the torch of service to his own children. Star City broadcasting will also be collaborating with Jefferson Awards to recognize volunteers locally and eventually, nominate them to the national stage.
The Master of Ceremony at the event was Mike Piggott, Community Relations Director at Purdue University. Also the announcer of graduates at Purdue University’s commencements, Piggott paid great attention to detail and was conscientious in ensuring that the names of volunteers were pronounced clearly and correctly as that they received their most deserved recognition.
Director of the Volunteer Engagement Center at United Way, Amy Wood said it was satisfying to see selfless volunteers being brought into the spotlight. “All nonprofits, including United Way, needs volunteers to survive,” she said. “Volunteers are our shining stars for the work they do.” Click here to learn more about the award winners.
Writer: Tiwalade Adekunle, UWGL Marketing & Commuication Intern