By Marianne Boerigter
It was Volunteer Appreciation night at the Dogwood Center on Saturday, June 16.
Dogwood volunteers provide countless hours of service that help make the Dogwood Center the strong cultural resources that it is. Over the past year, over 40 community member from all of our communities in Newaygo County helped with fundraising, ticket sales, technical needs, ushers and greeters, and all components necessary in providing such a wonderful venue.
Dogwood volunteers were treated to complimentary tickets to the Christian Howes Quintet concert as a special thank you for their help over the past year. That evening, Dogwood Board of Directors stepped into the volunteer roles of box office personnel, ushers and greeters.
The Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to the volunteer whose service, dedication, and commitment embodies the Dogwood Center’s spirit. This award is dedicated to Don Heaven. Since the inception of the Dogwood Center, Don has worked tirelessly to make it not only a reality but also an excellent asset to Newaygo County. Over the past years, the Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award has been awarded to: Irene Baker, Henrietta Van Meekeren, Marcia Eib, Julie Vanderboegh, Sandy Saliers, Shirley Hooker, Tom Shoecraft, Maxine McBride, Sandy Cruzan, Nevonda Lankhorst, and Dwight Austin. The 2018 Don Heaven Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Georgia Paxton.
Georgia is appreciated for all of the time and extra effort she puts in to make the Dogwood experience special for everyone. She has been volunteering at the Dogwood for four years and works at any volunteer position that needs to be filled.
Georgia and her husband, Dr. Robert Paxton had been supporters of the Dogwood Center even before the building was built. After Dr. Bob passed in 2015, Georgia and her family began the Dr. Robert Paxton Memorial Fund for greater accessibility into the Dogwood.
This fund, along with the Lila Rynberg Memorial Fund spurred the implementation of our current improvement plan that incorporates ease of access, covered drop-off point on the north side of the building, push-button handicap entrance doors, and increased designated walkways and crosswalks. This is an exciting project and will be a great addition to the Dogwood Center for years to come.
The Dogwood Center staff and Board of Directors appreciate and thank all of the wonderful Dogwood volunteers for all that they do! For information on how you can volunteer at the Dogwood Center, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
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