Shelby Township resident recognized for hospital philanthropy

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 17, 2020

 Jim Nokielski

Jim Nokielski


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A Shelby Township resident was among four community members who were recognized Nov. 15 as Distinguished Volunteers on National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter for their dedication to Ascension hospitals in southeast Michigan.

The annual National Philanthropy Day is the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter’s premier event to celebrate southeastern Michigan philanthropists, distinguished volunteers and those in the fundraising profession.

AFP fosters the development of fundraising professionals to preserve and enhance philanthropy and volunteerism, and to promote the highest ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

Jim Nokielski, of Shelby Township, was recognized for his volunteer work with Ascension Michigan. He is known for his humanitarian efforts, which extend beyond his work with Ascension Michigan and George W. Auch Co.

For many years, Nokielski has been a member of the planning committees for the Providence Golf Classic and the Macomb-Oakland Golf Outing, which both benefit hospital programs. Nokielski has been instrumental in securing sponsors for both events, and his enthusiasm for Ascension Michigan in the community is an example of his passion for others.

He has been volunteering as part of the planning committees for the Providence Golf Classic from 2014 through 2020 and the Macomb-Oakland Golf Outing in 2019 and 2020.

Proceeds from the 2021 Providence Golf Classic will support the Care of the Poor Fund and the Believe in Miracles Fund. These funds support patients struggling with financial burdens by providing direct financial assistance for essential living needs, such as transportation costs, medical bills and equipment, utility bills, and more.

Nokielski said he was honored to be recognized for something so simple that he enjoys.

“I’m honored to be named among the Distinguished Volunteers. I enjoy helping with the golf outings and want to assist our Ascension hospitals in their efforts to care for the community,” said Nokielski.

Honorees usually attend a National Philanthropy Day dinner held by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter, but due to COVID-19, no event was held this year. Instead, there was a special program on Detroit Public Television Nov. 22. The event, held each year, honors the community’s individual, corporate and foundation philanthropy, including a presentation of the Max M. Fisher Award for Outstanding Philanthropy and the George W. Romney Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism.

Although this year the event wasn’t held in person, the Distinguished Volunteers were mailed a keepsake medallion and a souvenir program book that included their volunteer profile. They also received recognition on a banner during the program that was televised on Detroit Public Television.

Lorraine Owczarek, the director of operations for Ascension St. John and Providence Foundations, said the hospital is thankful for all the time and effort each volunteer like Nokielski puts in to help others.

“We are so thankful to have such dedicated volunteers who generously share their time, talent and treasure to raise funds and awareness for our local Ascension hospitals,” said Owczarek.

The national health system operates more than 2,600 sites of care — including 146 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities — in 19 states and the District of Columbia, while providing a variety of services including clinical and network services, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

For more information on the health system, visit

For more information on volunteering, visit To view the 2020 Distinguished Volunteers visit,