MARQUETTE – In conjunction with national Volunteer Appreciation Week, the Northern Michigan University Volunteer Center will hold a community awards ceremony from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Westwood Mall. Awards will be given out to Marquette County volunteers in the following categories: youth, adult, organization, pet, business, senior, group, family and service to youth.

            NMU individual and group volunteers will be recognized separately at the student leadership banquet, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at the University Center.

            Although exact numbers for how many individuals have volunteered are not available, the Volunteer Center reports that 120 NMU students logged their volunteer hours, which totaled 7,380 for the year.  Seventy-nine student organizations have also logged their hours, which total 12,334. 

            “We are definitely impressed with the number of volunteers this year,” said Sierra Boyle of the NMU Volunteer Center.  “A record number of volunteers signed up for Make a Difference Day this year, and for the first time in six years NMU beat Michigan Tech in the blood drive.  Plus the number of volunteer hours that individuals and groups put in this year has increased since last year, so everyone deserves some recognition this week.”

            Several agencies and organizations have benefited from the volunteer efforts, including Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, Norlite Nursing Home, Marquette General Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alzheimer’s Association, U.P. Children’s Museum, Bay Cliff Health Camp, Salvation Army, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and local schools. Individual events also benefit, such as Finn Fest, the U.P. 200, the Kiwanis chicken barbeque, Relay for Life, blood drives and bone marrow drives.               

Prepared By
Becky Kratz