Lincoln City residents Elizabeth Black and Margaret Juenke were celebrated during the 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Awards luncheon this week in Salem.
State Representative David Gomberg and Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins presented the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award for 2015 to Elizabeth Black and Margaret Juenke.
The audience was told that Elizabeth Black and Margaret Juenke have been pivotal in supporting the Lincoln City Cultural Center’s mission to enrich the community through art and cultural events in the historic Delake School.
“Margaret was the lead on planning and organizing grant applications to renovate all of the rooms and the building and obtained approximately $1.2 million in grants from various foundations for the renovation,” said the award nomination. “Elizabeth served as the unpaid executive director, working fulltime with contractors on renovations and on expanding programs. She also booked performing artists and other events into the newly renovated auditorium and engaged with local artists for classes as space became available. Both women have contributed thousands of hours of volunteer work to bring a vital cultural center to their community and improving their community overall.”
Juenke said she doesn’t see her volunteer efforts as work. “I see it as another opportunity to learn and to participate in the community,” she said. “I really support the things that I am involved with and I don’t want them to go away. They are very valuable to our community and volunteerism is very important and people need to be involved.”
Black said she was pleased to share the award with Juenke and happy to continue to volunteer two days a week at the cultural center. “I get to explain the city to visitors and do historic tours,” she said. “If I didn’t enjoy it, I would not be doing it.”
Black and Juenke joined other volunteers from across the state to be recognized for their hard work and dedication during the awards luncheon held at the Salem Conference Center. They were the only individuals to be recognized statewide for lifetime achievement.
“I could not be more proud of Elizabeth and Margaret.” said Representative Gomberg. “Here on the Coast, volunteerism supports the economy, the vitality, the cultural richness of our communities. These two are a wonderful example. But they are really just the tip of the volunteer iceberg.”
The awards honored 18 individuals or duos and 10 volunteer programs. Of those, eight are state-level awards, and 22 are regional awards. The winners serve in areas stretching from Grants Pass to Hermiston, Wallowa to Coos Bay, and places in between.
The Oregon Volunteers Commission for Voluntary Action and Service organizes the awards program. Wells Fargo sponsors the awards and will make a cash grant to a nonprofit organization of each winner’s choice.