CivicPlus® Announces 2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Recognitions

On behalf of our co-sponsors (see below), CivicPlus is pleased to announce the 2021 Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award winners. The program saw explosive growth this year, with nearly 700 nominations from 49 states. We believe every civic volunteer is exceptional.

CivicPlus is pleased to recognize and award all of this year’s winners with cash awards to the top three communities, plus the top 100 honorees will be offered a free volunteer portal for a year from CivicPlus. Thank you to the Barton Russell Group for administering the program and judging the nominations.

“We need difference-makers in our communities now more than ever. It is an honor to support and recognize these organizations and volunteers and their relentless commitment to civic philanthropy and activism.”

– Brian Rempe, CivicPlus Chief Executive Officer




$20,000 Cash Prize to his Community

National Award Winner

W. Paul Prince, Volunteer Fire Service and County Council

City of Loris, SC

Most 78-year-old men have retired from their occupations and stepped away from their civic responsibilities, but W. Paul Prince is only getting started. Paul has responded to almost every fire and rescue call in Loris, SC, for 56 years and has not missed a beat during COVID-19. As a Loris Volunteer Fireman (LVF), he has responded to approximately 700 fire/medical calls over the past three years and is on track to respond to more than 700 service calls in 2021. These calls include emergency medical, fire, and wreck calls, as well as service calls to help citizens with non-life-threatening needs when the ambulance is not dispatched.

In addition, he has served as the LVFD chaplain for 45 years and secured funds for needed fire-fighting equipment. Paul understands the risk he is taking at his age to continue working with the public, but he also understands it takes faithful servants to help a community run smoothly, so he continues to risk his life daily to serve them. He has led by example, mentoring younger volunteers and setting a positive example for the youth of America. His servant-heart has also been contagiously propelling his children to serve as firemen, coaches, community leaders, and civic volunteers. Paul Prince is the embodiment of a civil servant and believes that service to humanity is the best work of life.

STACVA  Winner  WPrince

$10,000 Cash Prize to his Community

First Runner Up

STACVA  Winner  Boone

Boone Bowling, City Council Member, and Bell County Economic Foundation Board Member

City of Middlesboro, KY

As the youngest Councilman in Middlesboro’s history, Boone stepped in as Parks and Recreation Chairman at 22 and has made a significant impact in the community by volunteering his time and efforts to compose grants and even assembling the new equipment he was awarded through his grant writing efforts. Middleboro had not received any upgrades in its city parks in over 60 years, and now it is the premier destination for kids in Middlesboro and surrounding cities. 

Separate from Boone’s City Councilman position, he started a nonprofit to fund projects around the community. In doing so, he has created a new tradition that orders custom-designed Christmas lights from the second-grade elementary school class. The project has had a tremendous following as he raised over $2,000 in less than 16 hours. The fund is now up to over $5,000, which far exceeded even his high expectations. Boone also started a scholarship at Middlesboro High School called the “Beyond Books Scholarship,” which gives a $1,000 check to any senior student wishing to attend a Vocational/Trade School. 

Outside of his council position and nonprofit work, he serves on the Bell County Economic Foundation Board, Youth Advisory Board for Middlesboro Schools, Kiwanis Board Member, and Youth Basketball Coach.


$5,000 Cash Prize to her Community

Second Runner Up

STACVA  Winner  Kimberly

Kimberly Loggins, Community Volunteer, Former Council Member

The City of Chickasha, OK

Kimberly Loggins has dedicated many years of service to the City of Chickasha as both a volunteer and Council Member. Kimberly is always putting the community ahead of herself. She is a trailblazer, willing to speak her mind and work hard to benefit our City. A graduate of Leadership Chickasha and Leadership Oklahoma, Kimberly now serves as a co-chair of Leadership Chickasha. In this role, she helps develop informed, effective leaders for our community. Kimberly also cultivates and motivates participants to assume leadership roles in our community by volunteering with local nonprofits, getting involved in community events, or running for a public office. She also helps foster communication between present and future community leaders. Kimberly knows that investing in tomorrow's leaders is critical to the future of our City, and she is passionate about being part of that process.


Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Winners

All winners, including our top three, will be offered a free volunteer web portal for their community from CivicPlus.

Audubon Park, KY
Tony Williams

Village of Barringtion, IL
Bob Lee

Benton Harbor, MI
Jerry Edwards

Borough of Bernardsville, NJ
Ed English

Blanco, TX
Retta Martin

Bondurant, IA
Curt Sullivan

Buena Township, NJ
Valerie Behrens

Burlingame, KS
Victoria DeMars

Cascade, ID
Shauna Arnold

Village of Cassopolis, MI
Cassopolis Main Street Committee

Chelsea, MI
Gary Munce

Town of China, ME
Norman Black

Clinton, NJ
Janice Kovach

Village of Cooperstown, NY
Rich McCaffery

Town of Coventry, CT
William Jobbagy

Cozad, NE
Cozad Development Corporation - Board of Directors

Donaldsonville, LA
Donaldsonville Downtown Development District Commission

Town of Dunbarton, NH
Donald J. Larsen

Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Candace Negron

Village of Elmwood, NE
Julie Anderson

Etna, PA
Etna Community Organization

Town of Fairhaven, VT
Linda Barker

Florala, AL
Joe Elmore Barnes

Fort Payne, AL
Brian Baine

Fulton, NY
Linda Eagan

Garden Ridge, TX
City of Garden Ridge Library Volunteers

Garnett, KS
Mike Norman

Gilt Edge, TN
Adam J. Hursh

Greenfield, WI
Donald Carlson

Gunter, TX
Mark Millar

Hampton Township, PA
Elizabeth Spense

Hartington, NE
Dan Kathol

Town of Hartland, NY
Firefighter Judy Spencer

Hawthorn Woods, IL
Dominick DiMaggio

Helper, UT
Lenise Peterman

Town Indian Lake, NY
Brenda Valentine

Jewell County, KS
Lisa Goodheart

Village of Johnson Creek, WI
Lyle Wuestenberg

Johnstown, PA
Oakland Volunteer Fire Company

Jonesboro, GA
Jule Segner

Borough of Keyport, NJ
Keyport First Aid Department

Kosse, TX
Karen Partin

LaCrosse, WA
Lois Startin

Borough of Lawnside, NJ
Rhonda Warlow-Hurley

Loveland, OH
Peggy Goodwin

Manvel , TX
Delores Martin

Matthews County, VA
Dennis R. Baker

McFarland, KS
Tom Dillingham

Village of Menands, NY
Megan Grenier

Town of Middlefield, NY
Robert Tabor

Middletown, VA
Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV

Montgomery, WV
City of Montgomery Planning Commission

Montgomery, MI
Montgomery Fire and Rescue

Monticello, IN
Dan Oldenkamp

New Haven, MI
Tina Nagy

North Sioux City, SD
Tyler Kruse

Nowthen, MN
Mary Rainville

Oak Harbor, WA
Ferd Johns

Borough of Oakland, NJ
Ryan Schwertfeger

Orangeburg, SC
Liz Zimmerman Keitt

Palmetto, FL
Shirley Pearson

Panguitch, UT
Dave Dodds

Paris, TX
Yulanda Evett Reeves

Town of Paxton, MA
Jack Malone

Town of Peshtigo, WI
Volunteer Fire Department

Pittsburg, TX
David Abernathy

Town of Pomfret, CT
Walter Hinchman

Port Orford, OR
Karen Auborn

Rangely, CO
Timothy Webber

Rio Blanco County, CO
Rangely 4-H Community Council

Rio Blanco County, CO
Cash Leischer

Rushford, MN
Paul Corcoran

Sandycreek Township, PA
Robert W. Jamison

Sapulpa, OK
Louis Martin, Jr.

Sedgwick Connect

Village of Seneca, IL
Kathleen Haralson

Silver Creek Township, MI
Anthony Lozada

Sodus Township, MI
James Lavanway

Town of South Deerfield, MA
Sharyn Paciorek

South Orange, NJ
Sheena Collum

Sugarcreek Township, OH
Steve Knopp

Surfside Beach, SC
Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful

Sylvester, GA
Jean Brooks

Town of Taghkaic, NY
Joyce H. Thompson

Towns County, GA
Joan Crothers

Troutville, VA
Troutville Volunteer Fire Department

Tumwater, WA
Charlie Schneider

Venice, FL
Venice Area Beautification Inc. Volunteers

Village of Volente, TX
Jan Yenawine

Warrenville, IL
John O. Davis

Waverly, NE
Ryan Mueller

West Reading, PA
Andy Moletress

White Township, PA
Bill Simmons

Yellow Springs, OH
Cindy Sieck

Young Harris, GA
Deb Edwards

Zion, IL
Mary Lou Hiltibran

Watch Our Virtual Award Ceremony


Featured Volunteerism Stories

While we’d like to feature every community and their stories that were shared during the nomination period, we decided to feature a few of their stories here. We have been touched by stories of volunteers who are defying their age (young and old), who donate their time and love to their communities and who are always looking to the future. We honor them by sharing just a few of their stories here.

Newkirk, OK
Special Recognition to the Youngest Award Winner

Nominee: Hannah Cross, Volunteer, Age 13

Capacity: Volunteer

Years of Service: 3 years

Hannah Cross, who has a creative approach to revitalization challenges, has demonstrated that no matter your age, everyone can make an impact in their community. Hannah gives full credit to Newkirk citizens, who incredibly support young people and their ideas. Her vision started with a simple map (that she created in July of 2017 for a 4H project for the local fair), and has compounded into a full-blown Pathway Project encompassing 7 unique components. These components include beautiful crosswalk art, bicycle path, Newkirk bike share program, Newkirk Story Walk, Pathway Day event, Fitness Path and grant and a Safe Routes to School path.

Wheatfield Township, MI
Special Recognition to the Oldest Award Winner

Nominee: Violet Lentz, Age 97

Capacity: Cemetery Sexton, Planning Commission Secretary, Chairman of Elections, Assistant to Clerk

Years of Service: 74 (Yes, that is correct)

When I hear the word "volunteer", an image of Mrs. Violet Lentz immediately comes to mind. At 97 years "young", she continues to serve our township like no other….. She immediately started volunteering in the township cemeteries and continues as the role of Sexton…. and Violet continues to serve as Chairman of Elections for the past 74+ years.  Violet has been an asset to her community throughout her entire life and truly inspires others with her dedication to her community.

Ravenna, NE

Nominee: Peg Dethlefs EMS Captain/Firefighter

Capacity: Paramedic, EMS Captain, Fire Captain, Mayor

Years of Service: 30+

Peg Dethlefs is more than a Paramedic for the City of Ravenna, her caring spirit and giving heart makes her one of a kind. Peg’s every essence portrays the core value of what EMS is all about, from respect to excellence.  Her caring stretches far and is also the Mayor, Asst. Fire Captain and local School Bus Driver.

Grant Park, IL

Nominee: Debra L. Morgan

Capacity: Trustee/Volunteer/President of GP Garden Club/ President of Grant Park Foundation/ Member of Grant Park Chamber

Years of Service: 7.5

Deb first ran for trustee as she described it because “you can complain about something, or you can jump in and try to make a difference.”  She started reading and working with others to come up to speed…… she wrote grants, raised money from residents and produced some of our crown jewels in town.

Clintonville, WI

Nominee: Shane Krueger, Fire Chief

Capacity: Volunteer Fire Chief

Years of Service: 23 years

Chief Krueger has worked tirelessly to improve the department and better protect our community as a whole……the fire protection program is where he truly went above and beyond when he managed to work out a schedule with his full-time employer that allowed him to be off at least one day a week to complete the fire inspections. He even used some of his vacation days from his employer to conduct fire inspections.

Donaldsonville, LA

Nominee: Juanita Pearley

Capacity: Donaldsonville DDD Commission / Main Street Board of Directors

Year of Service:  10

She is the most reliable and engaged volunteer on ANY project she is asked to assist and in nearly all cases, she is the "unspoken" chair or director of many subcommittees. She has often says, "just put my name down on any list; you don't need me to sign up; I'll be there and I'll handle whatever needs to be done."  Juanita Pearley focuses on a simple philosophy; "is it the right thing to do for our community?"

Lisbon, OH

Nominee: Debbie Richards

Capacity: Debbie co-chairs the Lisbon Chamber Beautification Committee/Downtown, Christmas Decoration Committee.

Years of Service:  4+

Some people talk about volunteering. Debbie actually volunteers and gets the job done. Debbie has contributed greatly to improving Lisbon’s image, which has in turn helped in our economic revival and turnaround. Foot traffic has increased; new businesses have opened, creating jobs. Debbie’s group also started a “yard of the month” award, which has led to friendly competition among the village’s gardeners, and encouraging people to take care of their properties.

Newcastle, WY

Nominee: Linda Hunt

Capacity: Member of Museum District Board and Weston County Historic Preservation Board

Years of Service: 30

Linda Hunt has been an exemplary contributor to the City of Newcastle and the surrounding area for many years. She has been active in providing the community with 'quality of life' interest……. She obtained grants and donation from local organizations, businesses, and individuals……She has provided education for the community in their history.

Mountain Ranch, Railroad Flat, Glencoe, Sheep Ranch, CA

Nominee: Lee Williams

Capacity: Volunteer Fire Lieutenant

Years of Service:  31

There is no greater volunteer than Lee Williams, he is an example of the kind of volunteer every agency hopes to have.…. Lee Williams was every year the volunteer that responded to the most calls…..he can be seen teaching CPR to all the nurses and any community members that ask. He consistently does this as a volunteer for the community. He is so dedicated to his community that he has purchased CPR manikins with his own funds to teach with.

Edenton, NC

Nominee: Edenton Cares (Neighbor to Neighbor Program)

Capacity: Edenton Cares was created by Edenton Town Councilman, Roger Coleman with assistance from Councilman Craig Miller.

Years: Edenton Cares was formed in March 2020 to assist vulnerable residents in remaining healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many residents do not have internet access and others, out of fear, remain isolated in their homes. To assist these people, an organization of volunteers was brought together by Town Councilman Roger Coleman to form Edenton Cares. This group then undertook a door to door campaign distributing information on the coronavirus to all 2,200 homes in Edenton as well as to other towns throughout the county. This effort became known as the “Neighbor to Neighbor” program because of its focus on having neighbors look out for one another. The focus of the program was three-fold: providing relevant information to assist people in staying connected; helping people care for themselves; and encouraging people to look out for others.

Middleville, MI

Nominee: Michael Bremer

Capacity: Village of Middleville Downtown Development Authority member, Thornapple Township Supervisor

Years of Service: 8+ years

Middleville would be hard pressed to come up with another volunteer that has given more of themselves than Mike Bremer. His service spills over traditional volunteer service lines. From youth, school, business and church volunteer, he is truly our community’s “super-hero volunteer”! . He believes that, “Good government has its roots in the people, so our goal is to help and serve.”

Garden Ridge, TX

Nominee: City of Garden Ridge Water Commission

Capacity: Advisory Body to the City Council

Years of Service: Varies

This Commission is composed of six (6) Garden Ridge citizens selflessly dedicated and passionate about their volunteer capacity as an advisory body to the City Council. The exceptional leaders of this Commission have truly inspired citizens to become more involved in the community and to share their talents to influence positive change…..The Commission has taken the initiative to create a framework promoting citizen engagement that will have a lasting impact throughout our community and make our small town truly “A way of life, not just a place to live”!