History: High Ground Meditation Garden (4 Jan 2006)

Contact:  Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Sources: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, WI) January 4, 2006

The Highground honors volunteers with President’s Volunteer Service Award

The Highground Veterans Memorial Park, December 29, 2005 announced it has awarded eight volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at Neillsville American Legion Saturday, January 7, 2006.

Established in 2003, the award is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering. As one of thousands of certifying organizations participating in the award program, The Highground confers the award to recognize the outstanding achievements of its volunteers.

The Highground has a long history of volunteer service, and more than 200 volunteers perform a variety of duties on behalf of the organization. The most visual program is our Volunteer Porch Greeter program. Men and women volunteer four hours each month from April to October. They welcome visitors, offer them a free audio tour and answer questions visitors may have concerning the park and its history. Another outstanding event is the annual three-day Spring Volunteer Work Weekend held in April. People come from several states to help the park get ready for the summer season by grooming trails, cleaning tributes, staining benches, planting bushes and flowers and preparing for the year’s major project. In 2005, the major project was the construction of the handicap-accessible tree house.

"In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W Bush created the USA Freedom Corps and called on every American to make a lifelong commitment to volunteer service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals and families who have answered that call," said Judy Morrow, event coordinator of The Highground.

"America’s volunteers work to make our communities stronger and safer," continued Morrow. "As a certifying organization for the award program, we are proud to be aligned with this prestigious volunteer award, and we are especially proud of our volunteers who have made volunteer service a central part of their lives."

To be eligible to receive the award, individuals, families and groups submit a record of their annual volunteer service hours to participating certifying organizations, such as The Highground, that will verify the service and deliver the award. Award eligibility for individuals and groups is based on hour requirements varying by age.

"These recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award are role models for all Americans," stated Morrow. "Each volunteer hour contributed makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others, and I encourage everyone to contribute to our community by volunteering. Volunteers bring us closer together as families, as communities and as a Nation through their commitment."

The award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our nation. Chaired by two-time Super Bowl champion Darrell Green with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations and community volunteering.

For more information about volunteering for The Highground Veterans Memorial Park, please contact Judy Morrow at 715-743-4224 or 715-743-2885.



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