STAR Awards Nominations
Nominations are made annually in the following categories:
STAR Awards (Sharing Time And Resources) celebrate the spirit of volunteerism throughout our community by paying tribute to individuals and groups who actively donate their time and talents in service to others.
Each year, community members nominate individuals or groups of people to be considered for selection as STAR Award recipients. Nominations are accepted in 14 different categories and awards will be presented at a breakfast program on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Chenery Auditorium. This program is attended by more than 500 community members who support volunteerism throughout the area. Additionally, stories about the volunteer service of the winners will be featured on Mlive.com, in the Kalamazoo Gazette and on Volunteer Kalamazoo’s website.
Nominations are open to the public and anyone may submit a nomination. A panel of independent judges appointed by Volunteer Kalamazoo will select winners. If you know someone, perhaps a neighbor, family member, co-worker, volunteer manager or volunteer at your organization who exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism, this is your opportunity to give them public recognition for the wonderful work that they are doing.
Nomination Guidelines and Eligibility
- Tips for writing a winning nomination
- Nominations are currently open. Nominations must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 2, 2015.
- Previous STAR Award winners are not eligible to be nominated or receive an award in the same category again. However, they may be nominated for an award in a different category. Due to changes in membership, Youth Groups and College Groups may be nominated to receive an award in the same category, after a waiting period of four years. All other Group categories can be be nominated to receive an award in the same category after a waiting period of six years. To view a list of all previous recipients, click here.
- Previous STAR Awards Volunteer Manager of the Year recipients may not be nominated or receive the award again. (Previous KAVA Volunteer Manager of the Year Awards are eligible to receive the STAR Award.) To view a list of all previous recipients, click here.
- Award Categories age requirements are effective as of the end of December of the prior calendar year.
- Awards will be granted in categories with qualified nominees and decisions of the judges are final. Nominations are subject to verification and become the property of Volunteer Kalamazoo.
- Nomination forms are only available during the open nomination period, which takes place during the month of January each year. There are separate nomination forms for individual, group, Gilmore and Volunteer Manager of the Year categories.
- Nominations are open to individuals and/or groups residing or volunteering in the Kalamazoo Gazette circulation area (parts of Allegan, Barry, Cass counties and Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties).
- Approval must be obtained from the person or group being nominated before submitting the nomination form.
- The Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award is a one-time award. Past recipients are ineligible to be re-nominated for this award.
- With the exception of the Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award, all nominations are limited to volunteer service performed during the last calendar year.
- Nominations are subject to verification and become the property of Volunteer Kalamazoo.
Service hours are accumulated during the calendar year prior to the award year. (The Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award are exceptions to this rule.) Age criteria are effective December 31, of the year prior to the award year.
A person 18 years or younger.
Youth Volunteer Group:
An organized group of persons ages 18 years or younger.
Student enrolled in any college or university located in the Kalamazoo Gazette’s circulation area.
College Volunteer Group:
Organized group of students enrolled in any college or university located in the Kalamazoo Gazette’s circulation area.
Young Adult Volunteer:
Individual age 19 – 30.
Individual age 31 – 64.
Adult Volunteer Group:
Organized group of individuals who are older than age 18.
Individual age 65 or greater.
Family Volunteer Group:
An organized family group.
Employee Volunteer Group:*(new in 2011)
Organized group of co-workers volunteering from one business/organization.
A person volunteering 1,000 hours or more, with one or more organizations during the calendar year prior to the award year.
Individual that demonstrates volunteer leadership, by managing and influencing programs at more than one organization.
Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award:
A person whose dedication and breadth of service has profoundly influenced the community over his/her lifetime.
Volunteer Manager of The Year:
Individual serving as a volunteer manager (paid or unpaid) for a nonprofit that serves the Kalamazoo Gazette’s circulation area.
Who May Nominate:
Nominations are accepted from citizens, non-profit organizations, public agencies and businesses. A panel of judges appointed by Volunteer Kalamazoo will determine STAR Award winners.
Honorees will be chosen on the following criteria (except for Volunteer Manager of The Year). Be sure to address all of these elements in your submission.
- Volunteer Activities Performed:
Describe the types of activities and services that your nominee provides. Include the special talents and skills that are a major contributor to their success and impact as a volunteer.
- Organizations Served and Time Given:
Include the organizations where the service occurred and the number of hours that the nominee has volunteered.
- Overall Impact:
Describe how the nominee’s work had a significant impact on others or the community.
- Obstacles Overcome:
If applicable, include examples of how the nominee overcame obstacles and challenges in their own life as it relates to their volunteer activities.
- Other Relevant Information:
Example: The nominee’s efforts are “above and beyond the call of duty.” While others contribute to the volunteer program, this person makes a particularly noteworthy contribution, such as initiating a program, encouraging others to volunteer or helping in a way that is uniquely their own.
Making your Nomination:
1.) Choose your nominee and collect the information that you will need to complete the nomination form.
2.) Review the different categories listed above to decide which award best suits the individual or group that you would like to nominate.
3.) Remember that when counting the number of volunteer hours, you may only include hours served within the last calendar year. (The Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award are exceptions to this rule.)
4.) Complete a nomination online by clicking the link at the top of this page or print, complete and send the appropriate form to:
Volunteer Kalamazoo, 3901 Emerald Dr, Ste A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Phone: 269.382.8350 Fax: 269.382.8362 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5.) Be sure that you have provided all of the required information. The total number of volunteer hours is required. This number can be approximate, but please be as accurate as possible. (The Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award are exceptions to this rule)
6.) You will receive a confirmation that we received your nomination via email or phone. Please contact us if you do not receive a confirmation to ensure that we received your nomination.
Questions? Contact Volunteer Kalamazoo by email or phone: 269.382.8350, Mon-Fri 8:30-5pm.
Volunteer Manager of the Year Award
The Volunteer Manager of the Year Award is joining the STAR Awards Program as a collaboration between the Kalamazoo Association of Volunteer Administrators (KAVA), Volunteer Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Gazette.
KAVA has been recognizing Volunteer Managers with this award since 1988.
Volunteer Managers (both paid and unpaid), are often an integral part of a volunteer experience. We want to recognize these individuals for all that they do to display leadership and promote volunteerism in our community. By bringing this award from a small standalone award into the STAR Awards program, we hope to highlight the important role such positions play in our nonprofit community.
Past recipients of the KAVA Volunteer Manager of the Year Award from 1988 to 2011 are eligible to receive the STAR Award Volunteer Manager of the Year Award. Past recipients of the STAR Awards Volunteer Manager of the Year award are ineligible to receive the award again.
For a list of previous STAR Awards Volunteer Manager of the Year Award recipients, click here.
A special thank you to our partner of this program since 1986:
- A Year in Review November 26, 2014 Libby Ziemelis
- We took a day to remember, to give back October 7, 2014 Libby Ziemelis
- Volunteering = Community June 23, 2014 Libby Ziemelis
- Outstanding Volunteers: Michigan Student Service Award Recipients June 9, 2014 Matt Vargo
- AmeriCorps*VISTA Position Available June 8, 2014 Matt Vargo