United Way of Southwest Michigan recognizes community’s volunteer leaders

Published 4:12 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — One local organization recognized some of southwest Michigan’s most dedicated volunteers last week.

UWSM’s annual Volunteer Recognition Event was a private award ceremony this year. The prerecorded event was streamed online event on Thursday, Oct.7.

During the event, United Way of Southwest Michigan honored outstanding volunteers who serve Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties with their work and commitment and create lasting impact in the community.

“The heart of Southwest Michigan is its people. We come from all walks of life and countries of the world. We live, work, and play in this amazing place we call home—and we also serve. We serve our families, our companies, our schools, our houses of worship, and our neighbors. Today, serving has become one of the best ways we can connect with each other. We are grateful to the volunteers who lead us in this effort,” said Anna Murphy, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan.

The winners were:

  • Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award; Robert Burgess
  • Volunteer United Service Impact Award: Amberdeep Aurora
  • Volunteer United Business Partner Impact Award; United Federal Credit Union

Volunteer United Youth Scholarships

  • St. Joseph resident Sarah Jannings, of Lake Michigan Catholic High School (attending Saint Mary’s College in the fall)
  • Edwardsburg resident Drew Bidwell, of Edwardsburg High School (Hope College)
  • South Haven resident Hahna Gorenz, of Michigan Lutheran High School (Southwestern Michigan College)