To serve with love

Banquet held to honor volunteers who serve community veterans


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The D. J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans held its 37th annual Volunteer Banquet at Northern Michigan University’s Vandament Arena Thursday evening. Ryan Engle, the administrator at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, said that this event was a small way to say thanks and to honor all the volunteers who serve the area veterans.

“We are honored to recognize and thank the outstanding individuals and organizations that make an incredible impact in the lives of our veterans,” Engle said. “Our volunteers are essential in making the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans a true ‘home’ for our members as they work alongside staff to provide excellent care and quality of life for the finest men and women who have served our nation.”

The awards presentation honored 200-plus volunteers who donated over 11,000 hours of service at the DJJHV in the last year. Certificates were presented to each volunteer.

“I get paid to come to work every day — they don’t,” Engle said. “They do this out of the goodness of their heart, because they recognize the people we serve have done a lot for us and that’s pretty special.”

Nine Milestone Service Awards were presented to volunteers who have met major mile markers during the last year for lifetime accumulation of volunteer hours at the DJJHV, including a 5,000-hour award.

Volunteer Grace LaValley, who reached the 5,000 hours milestone this year, said that she enjoys working with veterans and it gets her out of the house.

“It’s just something that I like to do,” LaValley said. “And it’s better than crying and whining all the time.”

Planned attendees included the Michigan Veterans Home Board of Managers; Deputy Director of Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency Tim Loney; representatives from our state and federal legislators; and Chief Operating Officer for the Home Steve Rolston.

“I would like to thank and honor all those veterans that do support the Jacobetti Home,” Engle said. “As a veteran myself, it’s incredibly important to me professional but personally, because I am a veteran who one day might need care in a state veterans home, and it takes a village to take care of those who have served us.”

For information on how to volunteer for the DJJHV contact Sarah Johnson at 906-226-3576

Corey Kelly can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is