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TrueNorth Community Services honored its volunteers, donors, and supporters for their dedication and service at its annual Community of Efforts Celebration.

 Six individuals and one business were recognized with Community Awards and eight individuals received Program Awards during ceremonies in Lang Lodge at Camp Newaygo on May 21.

The Community Awards honorees were:

  • Sandra and James Merkel with the Bessie Slautterback Award for Lifetime Service
  • Eileen Chamberlin and Marcia Logie with the Gene Cotton Award for Creating a Brighter Future
  • Kathe Scott with the Peggie Stone Award for Commitment to Youth
  • ChoiceOne Bank with the Community Partner Award for Generosity
  • Makayla Santos with the Youth in Action Award

The Program Awards honorees were:

  • John Oom for Camp Newaygo 
  • Steve Adsmond for Circles Newaygo County
  • Jerry McGraw for Food Programs
  • Skip Snider and Kim White for Special Projects
  • James Patterson for the Spirit of TrueNorth
  • Ross Long for TrueMentors
  • Laurel Maat for Volunteer Services

More than 120 people took part in the Community of Efforts Celebration 2019, which also included dinner and desserts by Ridge Specialties Catering; music by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Jazz Ensemble and The B-Side Growlers; and a cash bar by Brew Works at The Commons of Fremont. The celebration’s activities were held in Lang Lodge, the Health & Leadership Lodge, and Peggie Stone Center at Camp Newaygo.

 “For 2018, 1,212 volunteers contributed more than 30,447 hours to TrueNorth,” said Mike Voyt, Volunteer Services and Special Projects Coordinator.  “That translated into $727,997 in saved labor expenses for TrueNorth’s programs.”

The Community of Efforts Celebration 2019 was funded, in part, by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council.

To learn more about opportunities at TrueNorth and how to get involved through volunteering or donating, visit  To volunteer, you can also contact Voyt at (231) 924-0641, ext. 119, or To donate, you can contact Mark Kraus, Community Liaison and Development Director at TrueNorth, at (231) 924-0641, ext. 161, or


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