article and photos by Cindy Germain
Outstanding work of the clients, staff and partners of Sunshine House was recognized Monday night at their Annual Awards Dinner at Stone Harbor Resort. The well-attended event is in its 47th year of the Sunshine House’s long history as the premiere service provider for Door County’s citizens with special needs and disabilities.
Cindy Weber, CEO of Sunshine House, gave the audience a glimpse of things to come for the organization, highlighting the campaign of “Spreading Our Roots.”
Weber is excited about the upcoming capital funding effort to renovate and revitalize their facility over the next several months and said the updated facility will “reflect the level of service that they are providing and give the clients a great space to come to every day.”
In addition, this campaign is expected to expand some of their services including those for seniors, people with autism and the clients of Sunflower Cottage. They will also roll out the Sun Seeker program, an engagement program focused on young people in the community.
Sunshine House recognized two clients for their contributions, male and female, and this year’s recipients for Outstanding Achievement Awards was Brenda Dellemann for her work in personal care and Orlando Bermudez Jr. for his six-year involvement leading up to his current part-time work at the House.
Awards recognizing Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime of Service went to couples this year. For their work at the Sunflower cottage, Mike and Karen Nelson were the recognized volunteers and the Lifetime of Service award was given to Cindy and Mark Ferroly for their many good works during 10 years of service.
Outstanding work by a staff member was also awarded and recognized Kristin Ducat for her extraordinary commitment to the clients of Sunshine House. Community partnerships are also recognized, and this year’s recipients were Char Oswald and Jennifer Daubner of Green Door Thrift for their support in training and employing Sunshine House clients in their new store.
Jennifer Mikle, vice president of the Sunshine House Employee Council, is one of Green Door Thrift’s newest full-time employees. Mikle came to Sunshine House eight years ago, has worked many different part-time jobs at the facility and although she is excited about her work at Green Door, she says she will be proud to remain active at the Sunshine House.