Volunteer Voices

Live by choice, not by chance. Make changes, not excuses. Be motivated, not manipulated. Work to excel, not compete. These are ways that people inspire us and help us to grow into the “best versions” of ourselves. At the 11th Annual Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration on April 25, we’ll honor volunteers that inspire us to be the best that we can be.

The Volunteer Center is now accepting nominations for the 11th Annual Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration, sponsored by Ministry Door County Medical Center. Keynoting this year’s event are Casey and Nicole Rabach. As Door County natives, Casey and Nicole will address their charity work during Casey’s 10 years in the NFL and why they’ve chosen to return to Door County to begin the “5th Quarter” of their lives.

Casey Rabach, along with his wife Nicole, will address his charity work during the 10 years he spent in the NFL at the 11th Annual Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration.

Last year, 26 individuals and groups were nominated for the Golden Heart Award in five categories—Adult, Arts & Culture, Group, Youth and Lifetime of Service. The work that these volunteers do is truly inspiring as is the event itself.

Gina Wautier, winner of the Adult Golden Heart, was honored for her volunteer management position with the Family Centers of Door County. Steve Graf, winner of the Arts & Culture category, was actually nominated for his work with two organizations – Isadoora Theatre Company and Third Avenue Playhouse. The Group award winner was Leadership Door County for their educational series designed to train and enhance the leadership skills of individuals in our community. (The Volunteer Center was actually a class project back in 1992-93.) Matthias Olson was awarded the Youth Golden Heart for his work with the Red Cross Blood Drives as well as his involvement with “God’s Global Barnyard,” a project that raises money to send farm animals to impoverished families in third world communities. Gloria Dernbach was awarded the prestigious Lifetime of Service award for the hundreds of hours she has volunteered with Neighbor-to-Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers. From serving on the board of directors to being a peer companion to their clients, Gloria continues to see needs and finds a way to fill them.

By nominating a volunteer that you know, you’ll allow us the opportunity to thank these individuals for consistently giving of themselves for the benefit of others and to “shine a light” on the work that they so graciously do. Frequently volunteers believe that they’re “not doing that much” and really don’t want the recognition. But as a community, we want to thank these people for the work that they are doing and share their inspirational stories; we want to know more about them as individuals and thank them for their incredible service. It’s been said that people rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Imagine how good someone would feel knowing that you value his or her volunteerism.

To download a nomination form, visit and click on the ‘Golden Heart’ link, or request forms by contacting the Volunteer Center at 920.746.7704 or [email protected].