Volunteering for veterans
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University of Iowa Veterans Center Coordinator John Mikelson received a 2012 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds during a special recognition ceremony June 29 in Cedar Rapids.
Mikelson, of Columbus Junction, Iowa, is a UI alumnus with a master's degree in higher education from the UI College of Education.
The Governor’s Volunteer Awards (GVA) program was created in 1982, with inaugural awards presented in 1983. What began as a small program only available to state government agencies has expanded over the years and now provides all Iowa non-profit, charitable, and government organizations with an easy way to honor their volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award.
Several hundred volunteers are recognized each year with awards in one of several categories: Individual, Group, Length of Service, or Disaster Volunteer.
"I am very pleased to honor those who have given the precious gift of their time to make a difference and enrich lives in communities all across Iowa,” Branstad says. “I never tire of meeting volunteers and hearing about the wonderful accomplishments they contribute to making this state great.”
“An unknown author wrote ‘Volunteers are seldom paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless’,” says Reynolds. "I couldn’t agree more. The governor and I are privileged to thank and recognize all of this year’s award recipients for their dedication."
Mikelson was honored with an Individual Volunteer Award by the Iowa Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for his tireless efforts to support returning veterans in employment and education.
The Governor’s Volunteer Award program is coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor’s Office. For more information, visit volunteeriowa.org/awards or call 515-725-3094.