2021 Distinguished Volunteers

Lindsay Anderson

Henry Ford Health System


Lindsay’s generosity, magnetic personality, and talent for igniting passion in others for the causes she loves have catalyzed a thriving healing arts program at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute. Lindsay launched the Lindsay Anderson Healing Arts Curator position at HFCI, driving transformational growth in our art and music programs and bringing healing and hope to thousands of cancer patients.

Sr. Agnes Anderson

All Saints Literacy Centers


Sr. Agnes is a longtime English as a Second Language and Citizenship tutor. She always has the community in mind and passes along useful information about grants and resources to benefit our base of learners. As an IHM Sister, Sr. Agnes helps us create real experiences and hands-on learning beyond the classroom. With her volunteerism, All Saints Literacy Center reaches further than literacy.

Frank Angileri

Schoolcraft College Foundation


Frank Angileri and his late wife, Bessie, have always been generous with their time, talents, and the prosperity they earned over their lifetimes. Frank established the Frank and Bessie Quality Institute at Schoolcraft College, where interested students and auto industry leaders will convene to analyze issues and options to increase quality standards in the automotive industry. Just as Frank did during his impressive career, the Institute will set quality standards to produce safer, highly efficient automobiles. Frank and Bessie are the equality standard on Benevolence.

Carolyn Bellinson

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit


Carolyn Bellinson is a powerhouse. Fresh off her term as Co-Chair of Federations Annual Campaigns for 2019-21, she remains a member of the Federations Board of Governors. She is a Past President of Hebrew Free Loan and served on the boards of Yad Ezra and Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee and Mission Lab. Carolyn was a Wexner Heritage Fellow in Jewish Learning and Leadership. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Carolyn serves as Treasurer and Co-Founder of Brilliant Detroit, a nonprofit providing early childhood literacy and family support centered around health, wellness, and stability.

Marc Berke

AFP Greater Detroit


Marah Casey

AFP Greater Detroit


Marc and Marah are AFP-GDC superstars! In a year of a pandemic, both stepped up to the plate to lead the chapter’s efforts around National Philanthropy Day. As first year event co-chairs, they helped the committee exceed fundraising goals. Although we miss gathering in person, we are so lucky to have Marc and Marah at the helm to make sure our community experiences a National Philanthropy Day they’ll never forget.

Desiree Caldwell

Cranbrook Educational Community


Bob has been a tremendous volunteer and donor Desiree’s commitment to Cranbrook spans decades, positively impacting programs and place. She is a loyal champion of Cranbrook Schools, an advocate of the Academy of Art, and a dedicated leader of the Center for Collections and Research. Her stewardship of the Cranbrook legacy and desire to share the Cranbrook story have helped expand the Center’s audience and establish connections that propel it forward.to Forgotten Harvest. He has given thousands of hours of his time to help with mobile pantries, repacking, and gleaning food in our warehouses. He also leads a group of Harvest Heroes volunteers who use their own vehicles to help rescue and distribute surplus food from smaller restaurants and retailers. His dedication is admirable.

Christine Colman

Cranbrook Educational Community


Christine began volunteering for Cranbrook Academy of Art & Art Museum as Co-Chair for STUDIO 2019, which raised record support for scholarships. Since then, she has been integral in developing Cranbrook Art Associates, an affinity group for individuals interested in supporting Cranbrook Art Museum’s Educational Programs. Christine is always prepared to assist in any way to further the mission of CAA/CAM.

The Reverend Dr. William J. Danaher



Father Bill’s passion for mission is unparalleled. He is a brilliant strategist, intentional connector, and fundraiser. He mastered two significant roles this year: one, as Vice Chair of Samaritas’ Fielding Hope fundraising event, and two, Co-Chair of our Afghan Refugee Network initiative, with Christ Church Cranbrook, helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support refugees coming into our care.

Steve Dobson

Marts & Lundy


Among many other organizations he has served, Steve is a dedicated, accomplished volunteer fundraiser on behalf of Packard Health in Ann Arbor. He played an important leadership role in helping their first-ever major capital campaign come to successful fruition.

Paula Drewek

Macomb Community College Foundation


After 40 years as professor of humanities, Paula is a tireless advocate for Macomb and its retirees. She is chair of Macomb’s Retiree Association, presenter for the Macomb Office of Retiree Enrichment and social event planner. Her wisdom and warmth are magnetic. She kept the retirees connected during the pandemic, including performing a holiday Zoom piano and vocal solo.

Carolyn Dwyer



Samaritas salutes Carolyn Dwyer, LEED AP ID+C, Founder/CEO of Interior Designers Coalition for Change (IDCFC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide interior design services to communities and individuals where there is a need and resources are limited. Carolyn, IDCFC volunteers and professionals accepted the challenge to leverage $60,000 in donations and contributed another $50,000 in interior finishes and donated design and installation services for the project at Freedom Village in Hamtramck – transforming stark, new construction into six lovely, welcoming homes for refugees.

Mike Fontana

CARE of Southeastern Michigan


Since joining our board in 2016, Mike has been a steadfast supporter who has dedicated his time, energy, and resources to our mission. He currently serves as the Secretary of our Board and is the biggest cheerleader beyond the boardroom. You can always spot Mike at one of our events, leading by example, always lending a helping hand at that moment and beyond.

Randy Forester

Cranbrook Educational Community


Randy Forester has demonstrated himself as a true champion of Cranbrook for 20+ years. From leading fundraisers to helping with plant sales and archives, Randy does it all. Everyone who has enjoyed a visit with Santa, a piano recital, or simply a walk around Cranbrook House & Gardens over the last two decades has experienced the benefits of Randy’s benevolence.

Mackenzie Francisco

ACLU of Michigan


Mackenzie has been a strong, dedicated leader, providing support and guidance to volunteers across the ACLU of Michigan’s Wayne County Volunteer Team. She met challenges and persevered, creating an effective team structure for volunteers throughout the Detroit area and allowing them to speak up and voice their concerns about the bail system. Their motivation and success have their roots in the support system Mackenzie put in place.

George Gomez

Forgotten Harvest


George is a distinguished volunteer at Forgotten Harvest because of his dedication to our mission of relieving hunger. George had volunteered several times at our warehouse, but it wasn’t until the height of the pandemic that George became our most dependable volunteer, volunteering weekly at our “FH on the GO!” pantries and food distribution sites as the leader of traffic control.

Ivory “Tree” Graves

Neighborhood Service Organization


Ivory Graves, affectionately known as “Tree,” prepares fresh, hot meals every Tuesday and hand delivers to our homeless shelter. Tree’s generosity ensures our consumers who are experiencing food insecurity receive nutritious meals. Tree’s consistent commitment to helping those less fortunate grew from watching his mother lovingly cook for family and friends. NSO is grateful for Tree’s compassionate heart.

Jenna Greenman

Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit


Jenna is our board president. She is committed to supporting the families of RMHC Detroit and involves her family and friends in all her efforts. Her positive energy, thoughtfulness, and generosity are great examples for our entire organization.

Sonia Harb

Detroit Public TV


Sonia Harb has been an invaluable member of Detroit Public TV’s Community Advisory Panel for the last six years. Her energy and skills have gone a long way in revitalizing the group, a vibrant collection of community voices with a strong stake in the success of the station. She has been an ideal resource as we have sought to understand and serve the city. Tapping her extensive network, she introduced us to organizations and leaders that have helped launch major initiatives in early childhood education and workforce development. Her depth of understanding of social justice issues comes from her decades of experience in the human services and her lifelong commitment to making life better for those around her.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Harris

Detroit Public TV


The president of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Harris has been an essential partner of Detroit Public TV as it launched an initiative on the Black Church in Detroit. He also serves as Lead Pastor of the Detroit Bible Tabernacle. He helped organize and presides over an advisory panel of ministers and other church leaders, which guides the station as it seeks to capture the history, character, and future of the Black Church in Detroit, which play such a central and strategic role in the life of our city. He has also appeared on American Black Journal as a passionate and thoughtful proponent of the church’s mission to serve its congregations and community and to promote social justice.

Betsy Heuer

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit


Betsy Heuer is the Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy President and Past Campaign Chair. She has been involved with Federation for over 42 years. Betsy previously chaired the Junior Division (now NEXTGen Detroit), Federations Partnership2Gether Michigan Steering Committee, and the Mosaic II Women’s Mission to Israel. She currently serves on Federation’s Israel and Overseas Committee. Betsy has been a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Tamarack Camps and active with the JCC Book Fair, Maccabi Games, Bookstock, JACPAC, Hadassah and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Velicia Humes  

ACLU of Michigan


Velicia is a thoughtful, dedicated, and experienced leader. In her role as a lead volunteer on the ACLU of Michigan’s Bail Reform Campaign, Velicia offered valuable guidance, resources, and creative energy to help her volunteer team reach legislators and advocate for change. She generously shared her talent for teaching others and supported the Wayne County Volunteer Team while serving as a community leader in a variety of other ways. Her authentic dedication has been an inspiration to those working alongside her.

Diane & Ken Jacobs

Holocaust Memorial Center


Diane and Ken care about the Holocaust Memorial Center and its Mission. The Jacobs manage the museum shop as if it were their own business. Not only do they sell books, but they also created a space for visitors to reflect. For Diane and Ken, the Museum Shop is a place to inspire; they volunteer to make a difference.

Ryan Jenner

Schoolcraft College Foundation


Regardless of the effort required, Ryan Jenner can be counted on to champion the cause. Giving generously of his time, legal expertise, and financial means, Ryan does not rest until the goal is achieved. Having served multiple terms on the Schoolcraft College Foundation Board of Governors, Ryan helped to evaluate and revise policies to increase the effectiveness of the Board and established a high standard for future board members to follow.

Patricia Watson & Charles Jerzycke

Schoolcraft College Foundation


Unassuming is the perfect moniker for this power couple! Patricia Watson and Charles Jerzycke have distinguished themselves in their impressive careers, yet still make room in their busy lives to benefit various programs and charitable organizations. Southeast Michigan felt a tremendous loss when they moved to the sunny warmth of Arizona, but they have remained true to the issues of importance here, one of which is the Watson-Jerzycke Endowed Scholarship Fund at Schoolcraft College. The fund will help students pursuing degrees in engineering or biomedical technology.

Timothy Johnson

The Empowerment Plan


Tim hosted a donation drive that raised more than $2,000 for the Empowerment Plan in March of 2021. He then coordinated a group of 20 volunteers from General Motors this summer to clean up and beautify Empowerment Plan’s overgrown parking lot. He managed the entire project from start to finish, including bringing all the necessary tools and picking up all the waste bags. Tim has been a true community leader for our organization this year!

Emily Kearns

ACLU of Michigan


Emily is a unifying force on her volunteer team, helping to create a clear path for fellow volunteers to follow. In her work helping to lead the ACLU of Michigan’s Bail Reform Campaign, Emily brought together a large, effective, and diverse group of people across Oakland and Macomb counties. She created a framework for their efforts and consistently offers support and leadership to help those around her. Her steadfast efforts are evident in the many successes of her team in their work reaching legislators to advocate for change.

Doug Kessler

Leader Dogs for the Blind


Doug has been an incredible advocate for people who are blind, logging countless hours as a volunteer driver, including during the pandemic. He drives clients who are blind to and from the airport and gives them a warm welcome to service provision after stressful travels. He also serves as a dog transport driver, transporting dogs in training, Leader Dog Moms and Dads, and puppies to and from the Leader Dog campus. This includes local or regional transportation to veterinarians for consultation, as well as in-state and out-of-state travel for dogs coming in for training, including dogs raised at correctional facilities.

Gretchen Knoell

University Liggett School


In her 11 years as a University Liggett School parent, Gretchen has volunteered in countless ways. She has made an incredible impact on our school through her volunteer and fundraising efforts. Her commitment, enthusiasm, and attention to detail are unmatched. She is currently serving her second term on the school’s Board of Trustees and has served as the Upper School Parents Association president, where she initiated and led a reorganization campaign to increase parent participation. She has been a member of numerous committees and has held countless volunteer roles during her tenure.

Beverly Kramer

Leader Dogs for the Blind


Beverly picked up her first puppy in 1998 and has since raised 23 puppies for Leader Dogs for the Blind. She is a puppy counselor and supports puppy raisers residing in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Through her dedication to the Leader Dog mission, she has impacted the lives of hundreds of people who are blind or visually impaired through the dogs she has raised and the raisers she has supported.

Jametta Lilly

Detroit Public TV


Anyone who has seen the remarkable work of the Detroit Parent Network under the leadership of Jametta Lilly knows what a dynamic, creative, and committed person she is. Among her many accomplishments, she is one of the primary forces behind the COVID313 Community Coalition of Families and Students, composed of numerous nonprofit and community organizations including Detroit Public TV, which produced more than 80 virtual weekly town halls to help resident navigate the challenges of the pandemic. She has also collaborated with the station on statewide education, public health, and cultural programs, including explaining on various platforms how DPTV’s community involvement should serve as a national model.

Jeannine Little

All Saints Literacy Center


Jeannine sits on the Education Committee at All Saints Literacy Center and has been tutoring her learner for more than three years. She patiently guides, counsels, and teaches her learner while helping the team at All Saints improve educational programming. With her volunteerism, All Saints Literacy Center endows a sense of peace over its beneficiaries.

Diane & Wilfred Luoto 

Schoolcraft College Foundation


Will and Diane Luoto were highly successful in their professions; he in mechanical education and as an automotive supplier, she as a social worker. Dedicated to one another over a long and happy marriage, Diane wanted to honor Will after his passing by establishing a Family Fund to assist students with their education. In addition to her other philanthropic goals, Diane has created the Wilfred M. Luoto and Diane J. Luoto Family Endowed Fund to have a dedicated impact on the students of Schoolcraft College.

Elizabeth Lusky

Macomb Community College Foundation


Liz joined Macomb Community College in 1982 and has held various positions, including administrative assistant to the president. Liz brought a sense of excitement to her work and was social and respected. Upon retirement she continues to bring her enthusiasm and passion for Macomb as a member of the Retiree Association and assists with the annual retiree breakfast and cultivation events in Naples, Florida.

Ben Maibach

YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit


A 34-year volunteer, Ben Maibach has led campaigns that raised more than $30 million. He believes in and supports young people from challenging socioeconomic conditions. Ben has volunteered at numerous community organizations, raising millions of dollars to meet community needs. Ben’s generosity and business acumen have helped train and support thousands of young men and women in our region.

James Maier

Alternatives For Girls and Avalon Healing Center


Jim is one of the most dedicated volunteers that I have ever known. He is the senior volunteer for our Street Outreach Team. He also volunteers with youth in our prevention department. Jim exhibits the heart of an angel and the tenacity of a lion. He goes out weekly to distribute harm reduction material and information on how to access life changing resources to women actively involved in sex work as well as victims/survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I cannot imagine this work without him.

Joe Malcoun

ACLU of Michigan


Joe Malcoun is a leader who connects others who are passionate about social justice with the ACLU of Michigan. Joe understands that big change requires big investment and is driven to help facilitate the relationships necessary to make Michigan an equitable and just place for all. Joe’s integrity, humility, and intelligence are just some of the qualities he brings to bear in service of the ACLU. We are deeply fortunate to have his trust and partnership in the work for justice.

Luther McCaskill

Cranbrook Educational Community


Every volunteer role that Luther McCaskill takes on at Cranbrook Schools starts from a perspective of inclusivity. Whether you are a parent living in Hong Kong, or a neighbor just down the road, Luther promotes engagement and strengthens our community with his energy and optimism. He is kind, strategic, and mission focused. Luther exemplifies the Booth family tradition of service.

Nancy McEvoy

Forgotten Harvest


Nancy has been an amazing volunteer to Forgotten Harvest during the COVID pandemic, giving more than 150 hours of her time to date. She risks her personal safety to lend a hand to Forgotten Harvest to assist with needed stewardship activities and other volunteer activities on a weekly basis and has also recruited others to help with the mission.

Francis (“Sandy”) McMillan

Detroit Historical Society


Sandy McMillan has been a member of the Detroit Historical Society’s Board of Trustees for 27 years. He is a past Board chair. His vision, leadership, generosity, and unfailing cordiality have been instrumental in recruiting for the Board while also acting as a role model and mentor for employees and volunteers alike.

Lacie Melasi

ACLU of Michigan


Lacie is a proactive, resourceful, and determined leader on the ACLU of Michigan’s Oakland and Macomb County Team. In the face of a lofty goal – contacting all the state legislators in her region to advocate for bail reform – she worked persistently with volunteers to make sure everyone’s voice was heard. Lacie’s efforts helped ensure that a long list of legislators stopped to consider the importance of reforming the bail system. She amplified the voices of those around her, paving the way for powerful change.

Mark & Amy Miller

Autism Alliance of Michigan


Mark and Amy are the perfect example of “doing it for all the right reasons.” As Co-Chairs of the Autism Alliance of Michigan’s gala, they dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to ensure another incredibly successful year during a very unpredictable time. We are so fortunate to have Mark and Amy a part of the AAoM family.

Oneika Mobley

Torch of Wisdom Foundation, Inc.


Torch of Wisdom Foundation board member Oneika Mobley supports the marketing and communications committee, provides session planning for The Learning Network, and social media/video content for the Honoring Local Heroes program. She also served as the co-chair of the 2020 and 2021 annual Art Extravaganza, an education seminar on creating generational wealth by collecting art and hybrid juried art show. Under her leadership the show received a record 107 submissions from metro Detroit artists. Her dedication to the TOWF is unparalleled.

Roy Muir

Marts & Lundy


Roy has been a dedicated volunteer leader for numerous organizations in addition to a long and distinguished career as a fundraising professional at the University of Michigan and as a consultant at Marts & Lundy. He has been instrumental in advancing the missions of The Treeline Conservancy and Peace Neighborhood Center, both located in Ann Arbor.

John Nitz

Advancing Macomb


John Nitz is the epitome of a community leader. He is one of southeast Michigan’s most respected attorneys and has served the community for more than 40 years. In addition to his role as a founding member of O’Reilly Rancilio P.C. law firm where he has served as both director and officer, he has dedicated an extraordinary amount of his time, talents, and resources to the enhancement of Macomb County. He has served on the Advancing Macomb Board of Directors since its inception in 2014 and in addition to acting as the organization’s legal advisor, he has also served as a trusted mentor, contributor, and advocate. We are grateful for the remarkable impact he has had on our community!

Leah Olajide

University of Michigan-Dearborn


A 2011 graduate of University of Michigan-Dearborn, Leah has stayed actively involved by volunteering for the African American Alumni Affiliate, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Dean’s Advisory Board, emceeing events, and mentoring students. Leah is so generous with her time and skills to help students and her alma mater attain excellence. Thank you, Leah, you are truly amazing!

Sherrill Platt

Leader Dogs for the Blind


Sherrill started raising puppies in 1995 and is currently raising her 26th puppy for Leader Dogs. She hosted her retired Leader Dog Dad, Kapten. Sherrill is a puppy raiser for the Oak Park group, supporting raisers in Oak Park, Southfield, Ferndale, Dearborn, and Detroit. She maintains relationships with many Leader Dog clients who have the puppies she raised as guides. Sherrill is a true humanitarian and is dedicated to supporting people who are blind.

Curt Powers

Pontiac Community Foundation


Curt is the founder of LMP Industries and POWAR LLC, both in the automotive industry. Curt and his family have faithfully committed themselves to making a tangible difference in Pontiac. He has been involved in nonprofit organizations within the city for the last ten years. Curt is honored to serve as Board Chair of the Pontiac Community Foundation.

Eric, Jenny, & Max Puhl

Focus: HOPE


Eric, Jenny, and Max are dedicated to helping those in need by delivering food to seniors. Their kindheartedness doesn’t go unnoticed by our seniors. By always including their son Max in their volunteer efforts, the Puhl Family reminds us that you are never too young to serve. They are always there when we call.

John Quinn

All Saints Literacy Center


John Quinn is the former board chair of the All Saints Literacy Center Board of Directors and a current tutor. He is an energizing force in our organization that inspires not only his own learners, but also anyone around him. With his volunteerism, All Saints Literacy Center delivers joy to the community.

Marie & Clyde Rivard

Schoolcraft College Foundation


Clyde Rivard is truly a Renaissance Man. Clyde founded the Schoolcraft College Fire Technology Program that has trained the professionals employed by numerous Fire Companies, not only in firefighting, but all facets of fire technology and prevention. Before her passing, Marie, too, was limitless in her professional career and in athletics. Clyde and Marie made philanthropy a major part of their life together, benefitting various charities and programs that have a limitless effect today, tomorrow and in the future.

Julie Rodecker

Cranbrook Educational Community


Julie offers incredible dedication in her role as a board member at Cranbrook Institute of Science. She not only contributes to the success of the Fundraising & Marketing Committee by serving as its Chair but is a tremendously thoughtful and passionate volunteer. Julie immerses herself in whatever task she is offered, from making stewardship phone calls, leading meetings, and even reviewing volunteer handbooks.

Melissa Roy

Detroit Public TV


Melissa knows the value of community investment when she sees it. She brings her passion for public media to the boardroom through focused leadership and creativity while never losing sight of the fact that education makes a real difference in the communities we serve. She uses her familiarity of the region to advocate for public media and build important and meaningful relationships.

Franz Salas



Franz is a tremendous ambassador. He pushes us to be our best, makes connections that further the mission, and creates innovative solutions to make life better for our staff and people we serve. Among many things, he introduced partnerships with digital giants to provide assisted reality technology supporting dementia care for our seniors, the first of its kind in this region!

Jeff Schneider

Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit


Jeff is a board member at RMHC Detroit and is the most creative fundraiser we’ve ever had! The relationships he built and the donations he raised were a very significant part of our success during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeff never hesitates to go the extra mile and we are so thankful he is working to support the families who stay at our Ronald McDonald House.

Amy Schupska

Leader Dogs for the Blind


Amy started raising puppies for Leader Dogs in 2004 and is currently raising her 14th puppy, Monroe. Amy also serves as a puppy counselor, supporting and guiding other puppy raisers in her region and student raisers at Michigan State University. She has even travelled to Taiwan to visit a puppy she raised! Amy is a passionate advocate and enthusiastic champion for people who are blind.

Sr. Anneliese Sinnott

All Saints Literacy Center


Sr. Anneliese serves on our board of directors and as a personal tutor to our learners. Her experience and sincerity are a powerful combination that drives our mission forward through seemingly insurmountable obstacles. With her volunteerism, All Saints Literacy Center thrives as an organization and as a community.

Linda Taliaferro

Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan


Linda is a true champion of girl ambition. As a woman she is a strong, caring, and incredible role model to our girls. As a board member, she advocates for the needs of girls in all areas of life, personal and professional. As Linda often says, Girl Scouts are the pipeline for future women leaders in STEM.

Scott Tompkins

ACLU of Michigan


Scott is a warm, friendly leader who is unafraid to explore new avenues to help those around him. He rose to the challenge of leading bail reform advocacy on the ACLU of Michigan’s Northern Michigan Volunteer Team, and despite the complications of organizing across such a wide area, he has often been first among volunteer leaders to plan a new action or event. He has formed close bonds with other advocacy leaders in his community, and together, they have been effective in sending a clear message to state legislators.