Last weekend, I attended the seventh annual Evening of Thanks dinner at the Serbian Social Center in Lansing. The event is organized by the Lansing Volunteer Recognition Committee, made up of eight individuals who make contact with the many churches, schools and civic organizations in Lansing in planning the evening. At the event, a special volunteer, who has usually been nominated by the peers in their group, is presented with an award for their volunteer efforts.
At this year’s dinner, 45 awards were presented. One was given to a husband and wife team, so there were actually 46 recipients. It was the largest crowd yet, with 347 people in attendance.
Bonnie Cuthbert, of the Lansing Volunteer Recognition Committee, said those who were recognized were people who are generous with their time and talents in other areas, as well.
“It showcases all of the doers and movers in Lansing. I don’t know how some of them have time to breathe.” She said the biographical introductions written on the nominees are so extensive they have to edit them down to fit into the program book.
She also mentioned that it was great to have involvement this year by some members of the Lansing Youth Center. Those from the youth center that manned the coat room donated their tips, a total of $92.24, to the Lansing Food Pantry.
The ATHENA Award was also presented at the dinner and the recipient is kept secret until the announcement. The award recognizes someone in the community for their volunteer efforts and leadership role in encouraging women to reach their potential. This year the honor went to Dr. Kerri Katsalis, a veterinarian. She was also recognized that night as a special volunteer for the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.