Noid earns top volunteer honors

Published 2:54 am Saturday, April 26, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Carol Noid didn't even know she was nominated for the 21st Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award until a friend told her on the day the award was presented.
Noid, a 62-year-old retired Adult Education teacher who lives between Niles and Berrien Springs, was even more surprised when she won it.
The Margaret Upton award, as well as the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award and the Corporate Neighbor Award, was presented to the winners at the 2003 National Volunteer Week Luncheon Friday.
The event was held at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College.
"It's kind of a humbling thing this. I contribute as much as I can but I know other people do fantastic things also," Noid said after having received the award.
She said winning the award is likely to inspire her to do more volunteer work in the future.
The Optimist Club of Berrien Springs nominated Noid, an organization of which Noid has served as president.
Noid has been a member of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties for 30 years; she has served as moderator for candidate forums, has registered voters and chaired several study committees.
Noid is also a long-time member of Wesley United Methodist Church, as well as having served in various capacities including liturgist, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, Worship Committee chairperson and CROP Walk coordinator.
And on top of that, she has been a volunteer at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Center, Niles Garden Club and at Krasl Art Center.
Noid said she looks at the award as an important recognition, both of the work she has done for others, but also what she has accomplished throughout her own life.
A lifelong volunteer, Noid said her parents probably were the greatest influence on her and what encouraged her to volunteer her time for the benefit of others.
The Corporate Neighbor Award went to Grand Mere Inn, a popular Stevensville restaurant, for its strong tradition of support for the community.
The restaurant was nominated by Child and Family Services of Southwestern Michigan, the Readiness Center, the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen and Lake Michigan College.
Grand Mere Inn's owners Pete and Nancy Racine and their staff have donated their time and part of their Thanksgiving Day each year for the last 17 to serve a special dinner at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen.
They have also been involved with several other volunteer activities throughout the years.
The Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award was presented to Abigail Flora who was nominated by the LINK Crisis Center in St. Joseph.
She said it was a great honor for her to win the award, but she had never expected winning it.
She does, however, feel she is a role model for other teenagers and she hopes to continue doing a good job at whatever she does.