By Jan Worth-Nelson
Judge Duncan Beagle of the Seventh Judicial Circuit and Probate Courts, and Pastor Robert “Sherm” McCathern, pastor of the Joy Tabernacle and a Civic Park Community activist, were named the 2016 Sybyl Award winners tonight at the Genesys Conference Center from among a group of 15 nominees.
Virginia Landaal, a College Cultural neighborhood philanthropist and community volunteer, was given a “special recognition” award.
The annual award aims to highlight the work of volunteers whose contributions make a significant mark on the community.
The nominees this year represented a wide range of community involvement, from a beloved coffee shop owner to a man providing and repairing bicycles for neighborhood children, to a high school student who advocates for special needs students.
It honors the late Sybyl Atwood, who served for more than 40 years as the program director for Volunteer and Information Services at Resource Genesee and its predecessor organizations. She was described in many anecdotes from those who had worked for and with her as a persuasive and persistent mentor and problem solver, who was making calls to help others even from her hospice bed.
In addition to Beagle, McCathern and Landaal, the other nominees were Ralph Arellano, retired Flint Community School teacher and director of the Hispanic Technology Center; Stevi Atkins CEO Wellness Services, Inc; Danielle Brown, CEO of Christ Enrichment Center; Inez Brown, city clerk of the City of Flint; Alexis Draheim, high school student and community volunteer; Andrew Ellard, Community Resolution Center volunteer; Kathleen “Kitty” Gazall, volunteer and downtown promoter; Peter Levine, executive director of the Genesee County Medical Society; E Yvonne Lewis, director of community outreach and marketing at Genesee Health Plan; Alexis Murphy-Morris, community activist and volunteer; Ken Van Wagoner, owner of Good Beans Cafe and a Carriage Town Neighborhood volunteer; and Sharon Webster, volunteer and organizer for the Holy Redeemer Outreach program.
ELGA Credit Union is the sponsor of the Sybyl Award.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.