Mike Doyle and Shannon Heads, Doyle & Ogden Insurance Advisors: Del J. & Jean B. Doyle Family Foundation
The Del J. and Jean B. Doyle Family Foundation was started in 2005 to honor the legacy of Doyle & Ogden co-founder Del J. Doyle and his wife Jean. While they were alive, they worked tireless to help those who were less fortunate and to make their community a better place to live. They instilled this commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism in their 12 children and many grandchildren. Through the foundation’s Coats for Kids program, they provide brand new winter coats to students at four local elementary schools.
Adam Jackson, Ron Jackson Insurance Agency: Open Doors Kalamazoo
Open Doors Kalamazoo was founded in 1970, as a drop-in center for urban young people. Since then, it has evolved into three distinct programs for people in need of homes. These residential programs serve homeless men and women, as well as low-wage individuals and families priced out of the housing market. Through their programs, partnerships, and advocacy, Open Doors provides affordable housing, support, and resources needed for success.
Ben Rathbun, The Rathbun Agency: Ele’s Place
Ele’s Place was founded in 1991, after the death of 11-month old Helen Louise Snow Stover (Ele). Her three siblings, ages three to seven were grieving and their parents wanted to help them deal with the loss of their sister. After extensive research of other children’s grief centers across the country, it was determined that peer support was the best way for kids to learn to cope with their feelings of grief, sadness, anger, and loss. Ele’s parents, Betsy and Woody Stover, along with a group of mental health professionals and concerned community volunteers created Ele’s place. Today there are four Michigan locations helping children and teens heal after the death of a sibling, parent, or someone else close to them.
David Karp, Anderson Insurance: Valparaiso Family YMCA
Valparaiso Family YMCA is working to improve the community around them. They focus on transforming lives through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. They proudly offer a place for people to connect with others, while offering opportunities to learn something new and achieve better health.
Scott Reeder, Insurance Management Group: Boys & Girls Club of Grant County Boys & Girls Club of Grant County provides a place for kids of all ages and backgrounds to come together to not only help shape their own future, but the future of our community. The Boys & Girls Club of Grant County is a place where kids can feel safe, enjoy being active, and participate in many different events and activities to mold their future. Their mission is to inspire and enable every member to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
Matt Evans, TrueNorth: Young Parents Network
Young Parents Network was founded in 1985 by community leaders who recognized that there was a lack of support for young families in Cedar Rapids, IA. Their focus is two-fold: supporting community young people through services that give children and youth the opportunity to succeed to their full potential and supporting healthy families by providing each family member access to services that support self-sufficiency and healthy living. One of their newest initiatives is the Diaper Bank. They estimate they will distribute 257,000 diapers to young parents in 2019.
Mike Johnson, Calvert & Johnson Insurance Services Inc.: Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma
Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma was founded in April of 1959. They initially focused on speech and hearing, assisting youth in the community. Since then they have evolved into a community service club, taking on many initiatives, all aimed at making the community a better place to live. Currently, their largest program is Back Pack Buddies. Through this program, they provide 650 back packs to students at 10 area schools each week. The back packs are filled with enough food to feed the children from Friday night to Monday morning, ensuring they don’t go hungry over the weekend.
Gordie Billmark, Billmark’s Lakes Insurance: We Got Your Back USA
We Got Your Back USA was formed in May 2016 with a very simple moto, “We support those who protect us.” They support law enforcement officials, firemen and women, and emergency medical personnel. Their efforts include purchasing helmets and vests for law enforcement, a fundraising golf outing in honor of a slain firefighter, and billboards to raise awareness of their message.
Dan Riley, MIIAB: Make-A-Wish® Minnesota
Make-A-Wish’s mission is to serve a unique and vital role in helping strengthen and empower children battling critical illnesses. This is done by granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Each wish experience is driven by the “wish kid’s” interests, creativity, and personality. On average, Make-A-Wish Minnesota grants a wish every 27 hours.
Carolyn Hanna, Corkill Insurance Agency, Inc.: Lazarus House
Lazarus House has programs for people who are homeless or who have low income. They offer emergency shelter, food, and clothing to people in crisis, as well as provide transitional housing, advocacy, education, and work preparation. A key pillar of their work is restoring dignity and self-respect to people who are poor and in dire need.
Jeffery J. Beto, CoyleKiley Insurance Agency, Inc.: Carpenter’s Place
Carpenter’s Place was established in June 2000 by Al and Cathy Barsema. Al knew firsthand the power of addiction and homelessness. After his own addiction recovery, his dream was to provide a central, day-time center for people who are homeless and give them the tools needed to rebuild their lives, just as he had needed. Today, their programs include the day room and meal plan, chapel, case management, support and education groups, employment training, mental health access, and housing assistance.
Doreen Janssen, Ansay & Associates: Freedom Food Pantry
Freedom Food Pantry began in 2001, as the result of an assignment given to high school agricultural students. The assignment: Do something to help the town of Freedom. One student and current Board President, Chad Kortz, worked with two of his teachers to establish the Freedom food Pantry. Located in Freedom High School, they opened in November 2002, providing the first donations to hungry students. Today, with the help of many strong community partnerships they provide food to 55-60 households twice a month.
Mack Borges, Robertson-Ryan: Penfield Children’s Center
Penfield Children’s Center was founded in 1967. Their mission is to create a positive start in life for infants and children, many of whom have developmental delays or disabilities, by providing early education, health services, and family programming. Their integrated programs are provided by a wide-range of professionals, including speech pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, special education teachers, nurses and certified nursing assistants, social workers, and early education and child care professionals. They serve more than 1,700 children annually, helping them reach age-appropriate milestones, enter school ready to learn, and overcome developmental challenges. Approximately 95% of the children who receive care are from families who are at or below the federal poverty level and would not be able to afford these crucial services.