Gov. Rick Snyder Announces 2017 Governor’s Service Award Winners

LANSING, MICH. – Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the 49 winners of the 2017 Governor’s Service Awards. The winners are individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that were selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“These individuals and organizations are role models for other people to follow. The impact they have on other people’s lives is incredible,” Snyder said. “They show us how to overcome obstacles and do good things for other people. They demonstrate tremendous spirit and we are thrilled to recognize them.”

The Governor’s Service Awards ceremony is an annual statewide recognition event acknowledging the contributions made by Michigan volunteers. The event is coordinated by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC), the state’s lead agency on volunteerism. The MCSC strives to engage all Michigan residents in volunteerism to address critical community challenges.

The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission on Monday, Aug. 21, at the Detroit Opera House. The event will also commemorate the Michigan Community Service Commission’s 25th anniversary.

The winners include: (Visit for more information on each).

Gov. George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award: Evelyn Brown (Detroit)

Lifetime Humanitarian Award: Richard Garber (Saginaw), William Holmes (Ypsilanti), Larry Hines (Muskegon), John Barfield (Ann Arbor)

Volunteer of the Year: Bonnie Raffaele (Sault Ste. Marie), Treger Strasberg (Birmingham), Tarence Wheeler (Farmington Hills), Sherman Neal (Detroit)

Senior Volunteer of the Year: James Bennett (Hamburg), Patricia Dishaw (Crystal Falls), William DeChavez (Sterling Heights), James Feliciano (Marquette), Magnolia Bodley (Kalamazoo)

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Abigail and Lillian Diuble (Manchester), Robby Eimers (New

Haven), Mac-Rufus Umeokolo (Bloomfield Hills), Aidan Sova (Jackson), Neha Seshadri (Ann Arbor), Sarah Maisano (Clinton Township)

Mentor of the Year: Paula C. Dirkes (Berkley), GM Cares team – Dawin Wright (Rochester

Hills), Marilyn Gripper (Southfield) and Tom Parkhill (Rochester Hills), Eric Miller (Detroit), Samuel Wells (Flint), Bobby Johnson (Detroit)

Outstanding Volunteer Program: Crim Fitness Foundation (Flint), Accounting Aid Society

(Detroit), IM Kids 3rd Meal (Ionia/ Montcalm), Bryan’s HOPE (Waterford), Henry Ford Allegiance Health (Jackson)

Outstanding National Service Program: Power of We (Lansing), AmeriCorps Urban Safety

Program (Detroit), MI GEAR UP VISTA (Mt. Pleasant), Michigan’s Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Program (statewide)

Corporate Community Leader: Firekeepers Casino Hotel (Battle Creek), Comcast (statewide),

Emergent BioSolutions (Lansing), Griffin Properties (Grand Rapids), Whirpool (St. Joseph), Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union (Alpena)

Education Service Leader: Mott Community College (Flint), Western Michigan University

(Kalamazoo), Books for Benefits (University Of Michigan, University Of Michigan- Dearborn,

Michigan State University and Wayne State University) Troy Athens High School (Troy), Cody Rouge Action Alliance (Detroit), Ionia Youth Advisory Council (Ionia)

Congratulations to each winner!


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