2020 marked the start of a new Nancy Perry Day of Caring tradition, the Ad Astra Honors. Ad Astra Honors recognize those in our community who go above and beyond to serve others. They are the unsung heroes, rarely seeking recognition and often are happy working their magic out of the spotlight.
The Honors will encompass a variety of volunteer awards, including the existing Marge Heeney Award that honors volunteers who work directly with United Way. New for 2021 is the separation of the Ad Astra honors into two categories. The Professional category accepts nominations of volunteers ages 22 and over. The Youth category accepts nominations of volunteers ages 21 and younger.
Use the links at the top of the page to nominate a volunteer for the 2021 Ad Astra Honors. (Nominations for the Marge Heeney Award are internal and not open to the public.)
The 2020 Marge Heeney Award was presented to Marlou Wegener, who chairs the UWGT Community Impact Council. Wegener’s nominator said “This individual has provided great leadership in guiding our council to make informed decisions. She is a considerate and organized volunteer and continually supports our work, and she does all this with a wonderful sense of humor.”
The 2020 Ad Astra Award was presented to Angela Dake, organizer of 1,000 Masks for Shawnee County, a grassroots group that grew out of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also read an excerpt from Dake’s nomination, a letter of support signed by more than 20 individuals and four organizations that said “Angela saw a need for the people in our community to protect themselves and those around them. She thought of a creative solution… ‘If I can find 100 volunteers to sew 10 masks we would have 1,000 masks for Shawnee County.’ She has spent countless hours organizing volunteers, supplies and best practices for those in need in our community. What was a dream of 1,000 masks to date has resulted in the creation of 27,282 masks and counting.”
2021 nominations are due by Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Nominees will receive an application to complete and return to United Way of Greater Topeka.
Award winners will be recognized on Nancy Perry Day of Caring, Friday, September 24, 2021.