GLYCD awards given at nonprofit conference

Two Marquette County residents and a business are among outstanding volunteers honored during the ninth annual U.P. Service Awards program at the U.P. Nonprofit Conference. The awards are given by Grow and Lead: Community and Youth Development to recognize exemplary volunteer efforts throughout the U.P. in the categories of youth, under 21; adult, ages 21-64; senior, ages 65 and above; volunteer program and business community leader. Honorees were presented with plaques in a luncheon program during the conference at Northern Michigan University. “The Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and talent for the benefit of others,” said GLCYD Associate Linda Remsburg. “The U.P. Service Awards program is a way to recognize their many contributions and to inspire others to serve.” Jim Matteson of Marquette received the award in the senior category. Matteson is active with church, civic engagement and helping people, especially in areas of education, poverty and working conditions. At 82, his age does not deter him from making his community a better place. A few of the organizations that have benefited from his volunteerism include Room at the Inn, Bay Cliff Health Camp, Peter White Public Library, Marquette Transit Authority, Marquette Rotary West Foundation, Marquette Hope United Methodist Faith Community, NMU Center for Lifelong Learning, Marquette Choral Society, U.P. Land Conservancy and North Country Trail Association. Thomas Willey of Ishpeming received the award in the adult category. Willey is an assistant scout master with Boy Scout Troop 302. Over the last year, he spent 110 hours in troop meetings, 24 hours in committee meetings, 100 hours in training, 50 hours with the annual popcorn event and countless hours in camping events. He is at every troop meeting and every Bay Lakes Scouting event which sometimes includes traveling hours from home. He also serves with Ahmeek Lodge 150 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming. Upper Peninsula Health Plan received the award in the business community leader category. UPHP guides its members to quality, cost-effective care through a network of providers, improving the overall health of the communities it serves. Founded in 1998 with six employees, the organization has grown to more than 150 employees–all of whom are encouraged to be active in the community beyond their professional roles. Each month, employees contribute more than 250 combined personal hours to civic, school and church projects. In 2016 alone, UPHP committed $120,000 in charitable giving and sponsorships. Madison Hundley, 17, of Crystal Falls received the award in the youth category. Hundley is involved in numerous activities and organizations ranging from highway litter clean-up to helping organize a father/daughter dance, from serving as statistician for the high school girls’ basketball team to serving on the local Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council, from organizing homecoming spirit week to sharing her love and expertise of farm animals with young children. Project Give of Stephenson received the award in the volunteer program category. Project Give organizes and implements charitable projects, bringing together those who want to help and those who need it. The nonprofit exemplifies its tagline: Small Town United. The organization was born from the belief that there are many people willing to help others, but they are unsure of how to start. With projects that alleviate hunger and childhood bullying, empower women, celebrate being a Yooper and promote local, small businesses, it seems that almost no one is beyond the impact of its efforts and there truly is a cause that anyone can get behind. Above, recipients of U.P. Service Awards pose with their plaques after an awards luncheon during the U.P. Nonprofit Conference in Marquette Oct. 12. From left are Melissa Holmquist, Chief Operating Officer of Upper Peninsula Health Plan, recipient of the award in the business community leader category; Jim Matteson of Marquette, recipient in the senior category; Madison Hundley of Crystal Falls, recipient in the youth category; Thomas Willey, recipient in the adult category; Marina Dupler, nominator of Project Give, recipient in the program category and Rick Rhoades, Vice President and General Manager of WLUC-TV, gold sponsor of the U.P. Nonprofit Conference.