Governor's Service Awards to honor 42 Michiganders

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission have announced the 42 winners who will be honored at the 2023 Governor’s Service Awards on November 28 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations will also be honored for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“Michiganders roll up their sleeves to help their communities and always have each other’s backs,” said Whitmer. “That spirit of service and selflessness defines us and demonstrates the power of getting things done for the people and places you love most. Every year, we come together to honor those extraordinary Michiganders who go above and beyond to serve their community and this year is no different. I look forward to meeting and celebrating all the awardees from across Michigan and hearing their stories.”

The Michigan Community Service Commission will host the 2023 Governor's Service Awards on Nov. 28, 7 p.m. at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Admission to event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit

To recognize those who go above and beyond, the Governor's Service Awards have been presented since 1994. The Michigan Community Service Commission supports Michigan volunteers, organizations and businesses that are committed to service and play a critical role in improving the lives of our people and communities.

“The award ceremony is an inspirational event that acknowledges the valuable and important contribution of volunteering and giving to the social, cultural, economic, and environmental well-being of Michigan communities,” said Michigan Community Service Commission Executive Director Ginna Holmes. “It pays tribute to those whose efforts inspire and promote the spirit of volunteerism and giving through their exemplary endeavors. We hope it inspires everyone to serve.”

The winners include:

• Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award: Helen Knar Cirrito (East Lansing)

• Lifetime Humanitarian Award: Roland Hwang (Northville)

• Excellence in Philanthropy Award: Gilbert Family Foundation (Detroit), Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation (Birmingham)

• Spirit of Hope Award: Tracy Edwards (Lansing), Jeremiah Steen (Detroit), John Zaretti (Canton), Bruce Millan and Barbara Busby (Detroit)

• Youth Volunteer of the Year: Vishal Swamy (Novi), Skyler McAlpine (Warren), Sawyer Hendrickson (Ludington), Mason Schlafer (Norton Shores), Julian Morris (Saginaw)

• Volunteer of the Year: Moussa Niang (Detroit), Diane Young (Benton Harbor), Marcia Gonstead (Big Bay), Cisily Zuniga (Muskegon), Bob Hoffman (East Lansing)

• Older Adult Volunteer of the Year: E.T. Buck (South Haven), Brenda J. Byrd (Ypsilanti), Ann Heler (Ferndale), Robert Spencer (Battle Creek), Eleanor Lopez (Mt. Pleasant), Ursulina (Nina) Gulledge (Roscommon)

• Youth Impact Award: Sgt. Bryant George (Detroit), My Sister's Keeper (Highland Park), Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency - School Success Partnership Program (Alpena), Gro-Town (Grosse Pointe Woods), Grand Haven High School Interact Club (Grand Haven)

• Community Impact Award: Andrew Rickauer (Marquette), Andrea Garcia Ryan (DeWitt), Bread of Life Food Pantry (Baldwin), Suicide Survivors Fund (Marquette), Women of Colors (Saginaw)

• Corporate Social Impact Award: Kellanova (Battle Creek), Steelcase (Grand Rapids), The Mitten Brewing Company (Grand Rapids)

• National Service Impact Award: Diana Rodriguez-Algra (Lansing), Carolyn Bloodworth (Jackson), Kyle Caldwell (Grand Rapids), Julie Calley (Portland), Sam Singh (East Lansing)

Visit for additional information.


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