The Highground volunteers gathered not to work, but to celebrate the accomplishments of 2013. The annual Highground Volunteer Appreciation lunch was held on Saturday, January 18th at The Loyal American Legion Post #175.
A great lunch was served thanks to the generous donation of Billy Womble, a retired veteran from Arizona. Entertainment was provided by Doug and Sharon Bjerke of Neillsville. Donations were raised by a silent auction and Ned Carlson of Neillsville acted as auctioneer during the “crazy auction” of volunteer-donated items. Volunteer General Manager, Kirk Rodman and Gift Shop Manager, Nancy Rodman, were able to participate in the crazy auction despite being 2,000 miles away with the creative assistance of Kay Anason and Joyce Witt.
A $1,000.00 check was presented during the lunch from American Legion Post #53 to be put towards the Military Working Dog Tribute at The Highground.
Many volunteers had logged over fifty hours of service at The Highground in 2013. These volunteers were recognized for this generous donation of their time and energy. Those who volunteered between 50 – 100 hours in 2013 were: Sharon Bjerke, Jim Henchen, Louie Kessler, Betty Nemitz, Bob Solberg and Cindy Boon, all of Neillsville; Bill Connelly of Augusta; Al Johnson and Terri Johnson of Greenwood; Dick Masanz and George Schmidt of Stratford; Al Prehn of Abbotsford; Jim Ottman of Spring Valley; Fred Craig of Holmen; Debbie Klabon of Colby; David Dvorachek of Reedsville; Greg Foye and Joy Foye of Wausau; Sandi Frederickson of Marshfield.
Those who volunteered between 100 – 250 hours receiving Highground recognition and, also, the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award were: Mary Dick, Ken Jennings, and Jean Moseley, all of Neillsville; Joseph Graff of Augusta; David Kemp and Charlie Frey of Eau Claire; Skip Klabon of Colby; Skip Sparks of Abbotsford; Julian Szewcysk of Tomah; Wes Waterman of Marshfield.
John Myers of Eau Claire received Highground recognition and the Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award for volunteering between 250 – 499 hours in 2013. Bonnie Henchen of Neillsville, with 608 total logged volunteer hours at the Highground in 2013, received Highground recognition and the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Those receiving a special “Thank You” award for their outstanding special volunteer service in 2013 were Bonnie Henchen, Jean Moseley and Charlie Frey. John Myers, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Military Working Dog Tribute committee was recognized as The Highground’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year.
The Highground is a place with unequaled meaningful tributes, but it is The Highground’s volunteers that make it a unique place with Heart, Healing, Understanding and Beauty; a place that truly gives a “Welcome Home” to our veterans.
The Highground invites everyone to become a Highground volunteer in 2014.