By: Sara Shade—
Muncie, IN – The Muncie Rotary Club, Muncie Sunrise Rotary Club and United Way of Delaware County announce that the VIVA, or Very Important Volunteer Awards, were presented on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at the Horizon Convention Center.
The VIVA Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of volunteer activity to serve the civic and social needs of our community. The event rewards, reinforces and inspires local volunteers to aspire to the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self.”
Five individuals were honored with awards recognizing their service in the past year. WaTasha Barnes Griffin was honored for establishing the Community Coalition for Violence. Jason Donati is the founder of R.A.C.E. Muncie (Reconciliation Achieved through Community Engagement). Bonnie Mercer is a retired NICU nurse who received the award for her dedication to Indiana University Health – Ball Memorial Hospital’s Cuddler Program. Sherry Richardson has made an impact upon the lives of animals in her role as a volunteer for Animal Rescue Fund (ARF). Finally, Katherine White was recognized for her work with numerous local non-profit groups, including Animal Rescue Fund (ARF), Minnetrista Cultural Center, and the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Marilyn Kay Stickle. Kay has made a life-long commitment to service in our community. In 2007, she was honored with a VIVA Award for her work in the previous year. She has provided over 18,330 hours of service to Indiana University Health – Ball Memorial Hospital. A retired educator, Kay is a charter volunteer for the Cuddler Program, where she enjoys taking care of babies in need of swaddling and assists new mothers in learning to adapt to the needs of their special care baby. Sandra Hoover, Director of Volunteer Services at Indiana University Health – Ball Memorial Hospital, stated: “There is no doubt that she sets the benchmark for an ideal volunteer and we are fortunate that she is volunteering her time with us.”
In addition to her work at the hospital, Kay divides her volunteer time between the Altrusa Club of Muncie’s Literacy competition, Motivate Our Minds (MOMs), and Muncie Civic Theatre. She serves the Wellness Projects of Eli Lilly as a consultant, teaches classes at the High Street United Methodist Church Update Learning Series, and continues to serve as a mentor and coach to residents of Delaware County.
Kay has been previously honored as a Healthcare Hero for Delaware County; she received the Women of Achievement Award from Ball State University; she was selected as a Person of Integrity by the City of Muncie; and she has received numerous professional awards in her role as an educator.
This year marks the 24th year the VIVA Awards have been presented to loyal volunteers in our community.
Sara Shade is with Beasley & Gilkison Attorneys at Law and is Chair of the VIVA Committee