North Olmsted Couple Named Volunteer Citizens of the Year
Cleveland, OH - Chuck and Pat Millheim of North Olmsted, Ohio, are the winners of the Direct Energy 2010 Volunteer Citizens of the Year award. The Millheims will receive a $1,000 cash prize and the Butternut Primary School of North Olmsted will receive a $5,000 donation in their honor.
Most people who retire do not plan to continue on virtually fulltime as volunteers, but that is what the Millheims have done. After retiring as teachers at various Cuyahoga County schools, they decided to volunteer at Butternut, their neighborhood public school. Their love of teaching and students led them quickly from helping for a few hours a week to donating four full days a week and frequently more.
"Their commitment was so great that they were remorseful when they couldn't come to school due to their own illness or the caring of an ailing mother," said Amy Muck, Butternut Primary School media specialist and volunteer coordinator in her nomination.
Muck cited their willingness to help in any way that is needed - from sorting papers to working one-on-one with students. The Millheims also offer encouragement and advice to the teachers and staff. "Their joy in serving others through volunteering is affecting the next generation of leaders," Muck said.
"Volunteers by nature tend to avoid the spotlight," said Cory Byzewski, vice president and general manager for Direct Energy. "We believe it is important to recognize volunteers because it reminds us of the good things happening in our communities. We also hope it inspires others to begin or continue to contribute in big and small ways."
Direct Energy joined with the Cleveland Sun News Group and its 11 member newspapers to sponsor the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award. The award was open to individuals and groups that reside within a community served by one of the member newspapers.