Consumers Employee and NW Students Named Volunteers of the Year.
Dennis Parshall, President of Utility Workers Union of America Local 101 at Consumers Energy, has been named Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Jackson County.
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The local nonprofit organization also named Andrew Maynard and Hannah Locke, both students at Northwest High School, as Youth Volunteers of the Year.
The honorees were announced at UWJC’s annual Volunteer Reception on Jan. 21.Nearly 100 people attended the event at Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson.
“Volunteering is one of the best ways to connect our community for the common good,” said Ken Toll, President and CEO of UWJC. “Jackson County is fortunate to have hundreds of committed, compassionate volunteers, and we’re proud to celebrate them.”
The financial impact of volunteerism in Jackson County is huge, Toll said. According to the Independent Sector, a one-hour work commitment from a single volunteer is worth $23.07. In 2015, United Way volunteers racked up 10,378 hours in Jackson County. Thus the financial value of those volunteer hours alone totaled $239,420, Toll said.
Parshall is a pivotal member of the United Way workplace campaign team at Consumers Energy, having participated for more than 10 years. Well known for his efforts to engage colleagues in the work of United Way, he was feted as a respected voice for creating change in the community. With Parshall’s leadership, Consumers Energy and its employees raised more than $860,000, the highest amount in more than 15 years. Parshall also volunteers with the Labor Participation Committee and is a member of the United Way board of directors.
Locke, a junior, was honored for her volunteerism with Energizing Education, an early grade reading and family engagement initiative. She is especially involved in family nights, which connect kids with family members to encourage success in school. Locke was honored for her three-year involvement and her personal efforts to engage with family members.
Maynard, a senior, was feted as well for volunteering with Energizing Education, including active participation with family nights over the past three years. Known for his devotion and consistent involvement, Maynard volunteered in excess of 70 hours in 2015, which came on top of his own educational activities.
In addition to Maynard, Parshall and Locke, volunteer award nominees included Ishwar Laxminarayan, Jean Yohe, Kathy Schmaltz, Martha Glover and Anne Conners. Sponsors were Michigan Automotive Compressor Inc. (MACI) and United Way’s Labor Participation Committee.
To find out more about volunteering through United Way, visit the Volunteer Center.