Local Citizens Receive Governor’s Volunteer Award

Tom Ekland of Cedar Rapids and BirthdayCakes4Free-Linn County received a Governor’s Volunteer Award from Governor Kim Reynolds during a special recognition ceremony held August 30 in Cedar Rapids.

The two recipients nominated by Tanager Place for their outstanding service and commitment are Tom Ekland, strength and weight training coach, and BirthdayCakes4Free-Linn County, 33 volunteers who make special occasion cakes for children and families served by Tanager Place.

“Coach Ekland shares a weekly weight training program with children from the inpatient program,” explained Joan Hackbarth, Advancement Director.  “His energetic and motivational approach offers a wonderful opportunity for the children.  The BirthdayCakes4Free team are truly wonderful!  They share a customized birthday cake for hundreds of our children in our outpatient program. Their efforts are to be commended and celebrated.  These volunteers make a difference and we are most grateful.”

“Volunteerism is such an integral part of what it means to be an Iowan,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “I’m pleased to honor those who have given of themselves to meet the needs of others.  Their commitment helps improve the lives of those around them and consistently keep our state’s volunteerism rate in the top ten nationally.”

More than 600 awards are being presented this year during ceremonies held at several locations around the state.  It is estimated that more than 31,000 hours of service, with an economic impact of more than $727,000, were served by this year’s honorees during the past twelve months.

“Volunteering is win-win,” Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg said. “Not only does it have a positive impact on the individuals served, but also transforms the individuals giving.  The dedication of those selected for these awards often encourages others to get involved, and I’m happy to recognize them for their important contributions.”

Coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, the Governor’s Volunteer Award program—now in its 34th year—provides a means for Iowa nonprofits, charitable organizations, and government entities to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level award.  More information is available at volunteeriowa.org.

Are you interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities?  Contact Teresa Kurtz, Engagement & Outreach Specialist, 319-365-9165 X 372 | tkurtz@tanagerplace.org

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