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Volunteers: The Heart of Our Community

March 14, 2012 - Every year, Brandon Groveland Youth Assistance recognizes young people who make a difference in the community as volunteers or through acts of heroism.

"The BGYA volunteers make a huge difference in our community," said Fran Hotchkiss, BGYA youth recognition chairperson. "Volunteers really lighten our load and we appreciate them and the positive difference they make in the community. We want them to be honored. It makes a difference for these students to be recognized for their hard work."

To honor these individuals at BGYA's Youth Recognition Night in April, however, the organization must first be made aware of their good deeds. The deadline for nominating deserving youth is March 23.

Any youth, adult, or organization can nominate a deserving individual who is a school-age resident of the Brandon School District. Nominees are selected on the basis of voluntary services and/or exceptional personal efforts within the last year (January through December 2011).

Youth can be nominated in one of several categories, including exceptional service to others; achievement by an individual who has overcome personal challenges and/or set an example for others; heroism/outstanding humanitarian act; and exceptional act by an individual within a club or organization.

Last year approximately 130 area young people received accolades for making positive, volunteer contributions to their communities. Those contributions included tutoring at the library, cleaning up the yards of senior citizens, donating time to the local food pantry and children who have donated hair to Locks of Love. Jensen Derry received special honors for saving the life of a classmate by using the Heimlich maneuver.

Nominations come from schools, hospitals, churches, fire and police departments, and private citizens who have been helped by a youth. Local, county, and state dignitaries participate in the event, which is planned for 6:30 p.m., April 19 at the Brandon High School cafeteria, 1025 S. Ortonville Road. The theme of the event is "Volunteers: The Heart of Our Community."

To obtain a nomination form or for more information, call Fran Hotchkiss at 248-627-1462, or e-mail frunnells@brandonlibrary.org.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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