St. Clair ShoresJune 15, 2012
County honors volunteers for work
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
Day after day, most of us get up and go to work, sometimes to do things we find worthwhile and sometimes just to pick up a paycheck.
But a whole contingent of people get up and tirelessly do that same work, but for no financial reward.
Those people are volunteers, and they help keep the cogs of schools, churches, charitable organizations and countless other groups running smoothly, which is why Macomb County takes time each year to thank those who give the most for their service.
This year, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners recognized three volunteers from St. Clair Shores, along with about 60 others throughout Macomb. Those honored June 7 had given at least 150 hours of time to volunteer activities in 2011.
“I have a great appreciation for the people who so generously give of their time and energy in this county,” said Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Kathy Vosburg in a statement. “It takes a special kind of person to volunteer.”
Tim Litz, senior vice commander at the VFW Bruce Post 1146, said he was surprised when he learned that Post Commander Tara Perez had nominated him for recognition.
“I was honored that my name was submitted, and I thank her for that,” he said. “I love the Bruce Post, and that’s why I do so much for the Bruce Post.”
As senior vice commander, Litz is in charge of fundraisers for the post and the annual poppy sale, as well as “to assist the commander in any way, shape or form that needs to be done,” he said.
“I wear quite a few hats down there, but it’s all good.”
This is his fourth year as an officer — he spent two years as junior vice commander before being elevated to senior vice commander.
“It’s mainly after you retire and everything that you dive in,” he said. “One thing leads to another, and you know there’s always a shortage of volunteers (so) there’s plenty of work for the volunteers that step forward.”
Jill Best has been a docent, or a teaching volunteer, at the Detroit Institute of Arts for eight years. She works with school groups and adults, and takes programs from the DIA to different groups throughout metro Detroit, as well.
“I have lived overseas briefly in Singapore just beforehand and became involved in the museum there,” she said, explaining that she always loved museums and art. “When I came back here, I retired. I was looking to be involved and went to the DIA and found it to be extremely welcoming and fascinating.”
She said she didn’t even know the county gave awards to volunteers until she got the letter telling her she’d been recognized. She spent 890 hours working at the DIA from May 2011 to May 2012.
“I meet fascinating people all the time. I’m talking about or surrounded with beautiful things,” she said. “The DIA’s mission statement is this: to help every visitor find personal meaning in art.
“When you see those people, really sort of a light comes on. It always happens. That is fantastic.”
Paul Campo of St. Clair Shores was honored for his work with the Motor Division of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, but could not be reached for comment.
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