Volunteer of the Year


Village of Schaumburg
2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
Winners Announced

The Village of Schaumburg Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon organizers have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic with great concern. Due to the Governor’s 5-phase plan for reopening the State of Illinois, it is with great disappointment that we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon, originally scheduled for April 7, 2020. We will process refunds for those who registered and paid for the luncheon.

Congratulations to the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award winners! The winners include: Katherine Griffis (Volunteer of the Year), Kenneth Young Center Youth Advisory Council (KYC--YAC) (Organization of the Year), and Matthew Williams (Youth Volunteer of the Year). All nominees will receive a certificate of appreciation in the mail, and awards will be sent to the three winners. The village wishes to thank all of the following volunteers who were nominated and awarded; your selfless contributions to the Schaumburg community are very much appreciated especially during these unprecedented times.

The 33rd Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards recognizes adults, young people, and organizations that, through volunteer efforts, help to make Schaumburg a better place.


Joan Czarnecki
Jennifer DeBover
Scott Felgenhauer
Bonnie Gill
Katherine Griffis
Stacey Hartman
Linda Kasinger
Mary McLeod
Nikki Morini
Dino & Robin Tazouti
Charles Woodhead

Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association of Schaumburg (CPAAAS)
Feed My Starving Children
Kenneth Young Center Youth Advisory Council (KYC--YAC)
Knights of Columbus Council #6964
Motorola Solutions
Rotary Club of Schaumburg A.M.
SAA Recreational Soccer
Schaumburg Monarch Butterfly Initiative
Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (SADIA)

Aarush Bothra
Maya Corwine
Madison Gradowski
Pam Ivanova
Neeharika Kakuturu
Nathan Liles
Faith Massey
Alvin Reji
Aahana Shedge
Zoya Siddiqui
Matthew Williams
Aidan Wysocki

2020 Volunteer of the Year Winners in the words of those who nominated them:

Katherine Griffis
Nominated by Sarina Graf

Katherine created and runs a group called Have Courage and Be Kind. She calls her volunteers "Kindness Warriors". Almost every month of the year (and sometimes more often) she has a volunteer opportunity organized. Just SOME of the things she does is: packs food at Feed My Starving Children, gets people together to make blankets for Project Linus, collects books to be sent to schools in need, collects school supplies for the "pack the bus" event, puts together Easter baskets for less fortunate families, collects items for the Wings charity, collects and makes her own shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. She has a Facebook page where she posts opportunities such as: make cards for Phil's friends, collect shoes/socks/winter clothes/toys/Halloween candy for different charities, and send supportive letters to people in areas that have been hit by natural disasters. She also posts pictures and status updates on her page, along with credit and support to those involved. She encourages others to post volunteer opportunities on her page as well. She includes adults and children in her work and has involved her whole family in just about everything she does. She puts a lot of time and energy into her projects and her positive attitude is infectious.

Kenneth Young Center Youth Advisory Council (KYC--YAC)
Nominated by Marianne Rogenski

Kenneth Young Center--Youth Advisory Council (KYC--YAC) is a group of local students who are committed to making the community a positive and healthy place. This group of youth leaders has many passions, from encouraging peers to lead positive, healthy lives to educating the schools and community about issues teens are facing. They are active in their schools and in Schaumburg; they are inspiring to others and influence their peers to make good choices.

Matthew Williams
Nominated by Brent Swolsky with Schaumburg High School

Matthew Williams is truly a one-of-a kind individual. Matthew is driven, meticulous, and assertive in his quest for honesty and integrity in everything he does. He sets the bar high for himself, and has high expectations for those around him. All the while, Matthew has developed patience and flexibility during his time at Schaumburg High School. And, as he has become more involved in SHS clubs, activities, and the inner-workings of the school, Matthew has come to discover that his interests and skill sets extend beyond the classroom.

At his core, Matthew thrives on serving others. His record of volunteerism and service is, in my experience, unmatched by any other student I have worked with in my 16 years career as a counselor. His passion for service and his dedication to the ideals of social justice, are a reflection of Matthew’s strong moral compass, and will benefit him as he pursues his career interests and life goals. And while his career has yet to be defined, he is crystal clear about his desire to find a path toward a lifetime of service to others.

The Village of Schaumburg would like to thank members of the 2020 judging panel for their participation:

Eric Peterson, Daily Herald
Julie Wroblewski Bosshart, Schaumburg Library Trustee
Marilyn Karr, Village Clerk

We encourage people to continue to support and help the community, and hope to see you at next year’s Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon.

Stedman Graham, CEO, Best Selling Author, Educator and Businessman
will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2021 ceremony.

For more information, email the Schaumburg Special Events Coordinator or call 847.923.3605. 

Previous Winners

Adult / Organization / Youth

2019 Helen Jerusis / District 54 Education Foundation / Sarah Mathias
2018 Charley Shroyer /
Robert Frost Junior High Interact Club / Emily Staudt
2017 Herb Demmel / Adult Transition Program South (ATP) / Calandra Bessemer
2016 Katy Garcia / Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry / Jocelyn Huey
2015 Lynn Eikenbary / Schaumburg MOMS Club / Elizabeth Einig
2014 Teri Dudasik / Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Benevolent Association (SPFBA) / Amanda Mytych & Sania Zaffar
2013 Harold Sterling / Sons and Daughters of Italy in America / Isha Jog
2012 Dan & Debbie Gallagher / Feed My Starving Children / Iza Gawel
2011 Richard A. "Bud" Napier / Assurance Caring Together (ACT) Committee / Jay Flynn
2010 Larry & René Netzer / Ala Carte Entertainment Volunteer Program for SLSF & the Ala Carte Entertainment - NWSRA Golf                 Classic / Lisa Caponigri
2009 Carol Hall / Clearbrook PAL Program /  Payal Shukla
2008 Valerie M. Profit / UPS for DownS / Rachael Souza
2007 Sara VanDahm / American Legion Post #1983 / Ashley Darnall
2006 Ann Long / Motorola Asian Business Council / Matthew Bauer
2005 Mary Lynn McGee / Septemberfest Committee / Susan Thomas
2004 LaVerne Horgan / Spring Valley Concert Band / Mallory Scholpp
2003 Mary Nagy / VFW Post 2202 / Ashley Kehoe
2002 Marinell Napier / Prairie Center Arts Foundation & Friends of the Prairie Center
2001 Nelson McRoberts / Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association of Schaumburg (CPAAAS)
2000 JoAnn Owens / Rotary Club of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates
1999 Kathy Ary / Schaumburg Jaycees
1998 Marilyn Biolchin / Schaumburg Peer Jury
1997 Gordon Mazursky / Spring Valley Nature Club
1996 Christine Starzynski / Strays Halfway House
1995 Geri Czech / Schaumburg Athletic Association
1994 Steve Isackson / WACO
1993 Bob Cairns / Help Our People Everywhere
1992 Everett Stenstrom / Community Nutrition Network
1991 Pete Justen / Conant High School’s Learning Through Action
1990 Christine Fenn / Schaumburg-Hoffman Lions
1989 Jarnette Dill / Schaumburg Jaycees
1988 Ruth Park / The United Way