This Year’s Recognition Event Featured an Inspiring Group of Volunteers Who Are Making a Difference in Our community

2 Years Later We’re FINALLY LIVE!

Location: The Historic Wilmette Theater
1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette

More Detail About Our Honorees

Kate and Neal Shapiro

Kate and Neal Shapiro
Community Support

Kate and Neal Shapiro purchased a laundromat in the Belmont-Cragin area of Chicago as a project to enable their adult son with disabilities an opportunity to have meaningful employment. They enhanced it to provide an interactive educational and community center where children can have an enriching read, learn, play experience. They have given away nearly a thousand books and provided many other activities and valuable supportive contributions to this community.

Nick Drivas

Nick Drivas
Philanthropic Restaurateur

Nick Drivas, owner of the successful Grill House restaurant in Northbrook. Drivas is a generous supporter of local causes and organizations in need. He provided food for first responders and hospital workers during the pandemic, as well as provide 1,000 meals to children who would normally receive free lunches at school. He also hosts “Dine and Donate” programs, in which he donates a portion of a given day’s sales to local organizations. His support doesn’t end there!

Pickles Group Youth
Pickles Group Youth
Pickles Group Founders
Pickles Group Founders

The Pickles Group

Pickles Group’s mission is to provide free peer-to-peer support and resources to kids affected by their parent or guardian’s cancer. Pickles’ kids develop resilience, have fun with friends who get them, and heal along the way.

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Clara Nowkenkwo, Mandy Breaker
Radical Generosity

Radical Generosity Chicago (RGC) provides necessary donations of food and essential household items to thousands of families living in low-income, food and housing unstable communities in Chicago and its near north suburbs. The RGC team engages and mobilizes families, schools, local civic groups and businesses of volunteers nationwide to donate and distribute the critical support in those communities.

To receive a digital copy of our video of the event please


It May Have Been Virtual, But This Year’s Annual Celebration of Our Super Hero Volunteers Was As Inspiring As Always!


For complete bios of this year’s Super Hero honorees  visit our official event website, VolunteerCenterVirtual.com


Watch Our Event Recap Here!

Make a Donation in Honor of YOUR Super Hero Volunteer Here

For more information about the Volunteer Center, e-mail Barb Tubekis at info@volunteercenterhelps.org


Four Exceptional Volunteers. One Exceptional Performer. One Amazing Celebration!

In celebration of the spirit of volunteerism, we paid tribute to 4 amazing volunteers and celebrated the human experience at our 2019 Recognition Event.  First we heard from volunteers who inspire us every day with their selflessness and compassion, giving generously of themselves to those in need.  Then guests were treated to an intimate acoustic concert by Manny Torres, who inspired with his soulful music and stories of his experience pursuing his dreams.  All was made magical by the unique setting of the Winnetka Chapel Stage, which provided a spiritual and cozy space for such a meaningful celebration.  Truly a special evening!



Click here to learn more about Manny’s journey and his music.

The Volunteer Center was proud to partner with Valslist and The Winnetka Chapel for this event.  




Want to know more about how you can become a volunteer — or want to know more about the Volunteer Center?  E-mail us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org.


Thanks to All Who Helped Us Celebrate Volunteerism at Our 2018 VC Recognition Event

The Volunteer Center Celebrated Volunteerism — and Recognized a Group of Outstanding Honorees Who Inspire Others by Giving Their Time and Talents to People in Need Both Locally and Globally

Champagne & Dessert Buffet

April 19th, 2018 7:30pm

Michigan Shores, 911 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette

Meet Our Honorees

Learn About Their Impact

Questions?  E-mail info@volunteercenterhelps.org















Congratulations to the Outstanding 2017 Honorees Who Were Recognized at Our 2017 Recognition Event — “Growing Volunteerism Through Inspiration” This Spring.

The Community House in Winnetka Provided a Perfect Setting for an Inspiring Celebration


Meet This Year’s Remarkable Honorees

Emily Bolling, Founder and Executive Director
The Floured Apron

The Floured Apron empowers women from underserved communities with the training, knowledge and support to forge a new and more economically-secure career path in the baking industry. Emily and her volunteer staff provide a full range training program that includes classroom instruction kitchen training, and weekly bakery production and expansive life changing personal support.


Becky Kimbell, Exceptional Volunteer
The Cradle and Random Acts of Flowers Chicago

The Cradle builds and strengthens families through adoption and lifelong support for those touched by adoption. Becky is the “brave and fearless” volunteer manager of their holiday gift program that impacts 160 children and 50 low-income Cradle birth parents and families.

Becky is also one of the founding volunteers who helped establish the Chicago branch for Random Acts of Flowers in 2014. As one of the original 20 volunteers, Becky helps Random Acts of Flowers improve the emotional health and well-being of individuals in health care facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness.


Sydney Martin, Founder
Syd Rocks, Giving Rocks Foundation

What originally started in 2007 as a passion project by 10-year-old Sydney Martin after a diagnosis of Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), has evolved into a successful 501(c)3 nonprofit. After researching LCH, Syd and her family were shocked to find that the potentially fatal blood disease was grossly underfunded with little research devoted to it. Syd started selling her unique rock necklaces made from rocks found on the shores of Lake Michigan to raise money for medical research, and Syd Rocks was born. Although she won her battle against LCH, Syd was still passionate about finding a cure. The Martin …


The VC Honors Outstanding Volunteers at our Annual Volunteer Recognition Event

The Volunteer Center’s May 5th, 2016 Recognition Event

Each year The Volunteer Center is proud to recognize four exceptional volunteers for their inspiring, life altering contributions to society.

This year’s outstanding volunteers: The 8 member board of INFANT, Inc.; Dr. Warren Bruhl, executive director of Dreamweaver International and Gear4Goals; Mark Stephan and his work for The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; and Courtney White, who created and manages Culinary Care.

What are their volunteer contributions? In the face of hopelessness and despair, caring volunteers deliver formula to newborns of low income families and food to patients receiving chemotherapy. An empathetic individual with a physical disability as a result of a tragic accident inspires other patients to find courage in the trenches of adversity. A global organization helps bring the life changing affects of health, education and sports to children in Africa – it helps “the needy become the needed” by focusing on poverty alleviation throughout the globe.


2016 VC Honorees2016 RECOGNITION EVENT HONOREES:  Seated, l. to r.: Dr. Warren Bruhl, Dreamweaver International & Gear for Goals; Courtney White, Culinary Care; Mark Stephan, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, INFANT, Inc. members: standing, row one: Pat Huettinger, Dorothy Clarke, Barb Isaacson, standing, row two: Lisa Iberle, Carla Nowak, Therese Conlin, Kathryn Lamermayer Flaherty,Jinny Lamermayer, Sharon Iberle, Frieda Loos, Susie Coughlin.

Want to learn more about our honorees?  Read their complete bios here.

Couldn’t join us on May 5th, but would like to honor any or all of these individuals? Consider a tribute via a donation to The Volunteer Center in their names. We will notify the honorees of your generosity and support of the importance of volunteerism in their names.

Questions?  Email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org or call 847-441-7665.


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Mark Your Calendar for VC 2022-23 Days of Service — and Watch for More Details to Come!


Sunday, September 11, 2022:  In honor of the heroes of 9-11, drop off PURCHASED baked goods (home baked not allowed), cards and games, personal notes, etc. to your local fire and police departments to thank them for their service.


Saturday, October 22, 2022:  Donate gently used and new goods to benefit over a dozen community nonprofits. 


Thursday, November 24, 2022:  Donate food to families at the Good News Partners low-income and subsidized housing in Rogers Park.


Monday, January 16, 2023:  Participate in many different service projects in support of multiple area nonprofits.


February 25, 2023:  Bring your whole family or service group to pack nutritious meals for over 100,000 starving Nicaraguans.  


April, 2023 (Date and Location TBD): Join us for projects like weeding, planting, clearing natural habitats and generally cleaning up the environment in support of Earth Day.


Dates and Locations TBD:  Several times a year the VC and New Trier Township will sponsor what have become popular drive-through document shredding events.  These are free to the community.



Spring, 2023 (exact date to be determined):  Join the Volunteer Center at this lively event and help us pay tribute to outstanding volunteers who have made a significant difference in our community.