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Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Award

Each year, since 1981, United Way of Hancock County has presented the "Distinguished Volunteer Award" to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and willingness to serve the community through their overall involvement with United Way as a volunteer and leader, as well as with other organizations in the nonprofit sector.

In 2012, the award was renamed the "Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award" in her memory. She died in November of 2011. She was the current United Way board chair when she passed away. Jeri served a successful 30-year career in banking, including First Federal, Huntington Bank, Sky Bank (formerly the Ohio Bank), Bank One (formerly Diamond Savings and Loan). More recently, Jeri worked as a sales manager for Rowmark (Clear Path).

While career-focused, Jeri spent her entire life giving back to the community, civic and charity involvement and served on a variety of boards of directors and trustees. Many of the organizations she impacted include The United Way, Children's Mentoring Connection, Handbags that Help, Hope House, American Business Women's Association, and Hancock Reads. Jeri was also a former deacon for the First Presbyterian Church in Findlay. Jeri touched many lives through multiple organizations, and it gave her the greatest joy. One of her favorite civic events was Camp Fire USA's Incredible Kid Day, and she was the driving force behind their "On Behalf of Youth" Award.

Jeri was the first woman member of the Findlay Kiwanis Club, and a graduate of Hancock Leadership, 1989. Jeri was the first winner of the Athena Award, given by the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance in 2000, for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

 

 

Larry McDaniel and the VITA Tax Team is Selected as the 2019 Recipients of the Jeri Bjorling Memorial Distinguished Volunteer Award

      

Larry and his team called the Findlay Area Tax Volunteers have been nominated as our volunteers of the year for their alturistic efforts to help people in Hancock County file taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA is a free tax filing program that has been ongoing for 22 years and has had Larry as its leader for the past eight years with his team of 16 retired volunteers.

“It’s a group effort, and it’s all about the people,“ Larry said. “What matters is seeing the difference you make and the lasting impact it has on people when you take an unpleasant task like tax filing and take that burden off of them for an hour.“

Though they do not do it for the recognition and prefer to “stay busy and just get to the work“, Larry’s main goal is to inspire others toward good deeds by setting the example to help individuals and set judgement, bias and opinions to the side, to simply help humans and our fellow neighbors.

“Ninety-nine percent of the people we help turn out to create a special, positive-kind-of bond that grows over time due to the vulnerability of sharing personal information like taxes.“

The group helps over 1,600 people a year with their tax filings and Larry as the team’s coordinator does over 200 himself. They even visit communities housing people with disabilities to pick up boxes of taxes that need filed each year then bring them back. “We want to help as many people as possible, even those who often times may be forgotten or left out. And none of this would be possible without our whole team." Each volunteer roughly commits 125 hours of their time to help others with their taxes.

 

Past Recipients

  • John Platt, 2018
  • Karen Jones and William Doyle, 2017
  • Michael "Chick" Padula, 2016
  • Dave Whikehart, 2015
  • Doug Hiegel, 2014
  • Jeanne Rustic, 2013
  • David Cassidy, 2012
  • Jeri Bjorling, 2011
  • Harold "Puck" Rowe, 2010
  • Larry Busdeker, 2009
  • Randy Lohoff, 2008
  • Dick Schaefer, 2007
  • Beth Heck, 2006
  • Tom Donnell, 2005
  • Duane Jebbett, 2004
  • Deb Arce, 2003
  • Don & Karen Manley, 2002
  • Robert Howard, 2001
  • Sandy Kozlevcar, 2000
  • Peg Logsdon, 1999
  • Don Badertscher, 1998
  • William Recker, 1997
  • G. Norman Nicholson, 1996
  • Barbara Deerhake,1995
  • Ivan Gorr, 1994
  • Joe & Claire Davis, 1993
  • John Arnold, 1992
  • Marjory Kennedy, 1991
  • William Sackman, 1990
  • Charles Hymes, 1989
  • Robert Feller, 1988
  • G. Fred Graf, 1987
  • James Brucklacher, 1986
  • Grant Young, 1985
  • William Ruse, 1984
  • Jack Harrington, 1983
  • Edwin Heminger, 1982

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