As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unsafe the Lenawee Community Foundation needed to make the difficult decision to cancel its 2021 Annual Meeting. Typically, the annual meeting brings together local individuals, organizations, and businesses while recognizing award recipients and the work of donors, volunteers, and community partners. Although disappointed that the special gathering could not happen again this year, we look forward to Spring 2022 and that there is still much to celebrate.
The Lenawee Leadership Award honors a person or couple, who exemplify the underlying principle that the future of our county will be determined by the quality of its leadership. Formerly known as the Maple Leaf Award, previous recipients continue to be recognized and are listed on the Foundation website. The prestigious award has a county-wide focus that mirrors the Lenawee Community Foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life in Lenawee.
Ben Negron was selected to receive the 2021 Lenawee Leadership Award. Ben is a lifelong resident of Adrian and active in many areas of advocacy throughout Lenawee County. Ben’s work in the community since 2004 has been an extension of the work his parents have been doing, helping others through their church ministry since 1978. As the founder and former executive director of HOLA, Hispanics Of Lenawee Alliance, Ben guided the mission of the organization that positively impacted many lives and organizations in Adrian. Ben is on his second tour as Store Director of the Adrian Meijer where he sits on the Corporate TMRG Mosaic Diversity and Inclusion Group. He is an authorized instructor with the Google organization teaching the Applied Digital Skills curriculum at Lansing Community College. Ben serves on the board of directors at Siena Heights University in Adrian, the Lenawee Community Foundation in Tecumseh, and is an active member of the City of Adrian Ethics Board of Commissioners.
Three additional award recipients would have been honored at the Lenawee Community Foundation Annual Meeting if it had been held. The Stubnitz, Community Pillar, and Incito Awards were carried on when Lenawee Cares was established, as a program of the Foundation.
Lois and Graham Fleming are the 2021 recipients of the Stubnitz Award. The Stubnitz Award is presented annually to a person or couple demonstrating exemplary commitment to Lenawee Cares, our community, and volunteerism in Lenawee. The award is named in memory of Lenawee’s philanthropist and businessman, Maurice Stubnitz. The Flemings are long-time residents of Lenawee County having moved here in 1963. Lois was an elementary school principal in the Tecumseh Public School System and Graham was an engineer for Wacker Chemical Company both retiring over 30 years ago. Lois and Graham are lifelong volunteers in our community. They have dedicated themselves to making Tecumseh and Lenawee County a better place to live, grow, and work. They have volunteered with the Tecumseh District Library, they help Santa through the Tecumseh Service Club, the TCA, Red Cross, SCORE, and the Lenawee Community Foundation. They are business and educator mentors, lead bike tours, and would donate fresh produce that they grew on their farm. Lois and Graham value humor, family, friendships, being active, community, sharing, and hard work. They set goals, stay focused and share what they have with others. Fleming’s philosophy: we are all in the same boat – those that can need to care for the old, those who are hungry, and in need. They believe in paying it forward and do so in many ways.
The Lenawee County Health Department is the 2021 recipient of the Community Pillar Award, which is presented to an individual, couple, or business to recognize the outstanding impact on our community through Lenawee Cares. Martha Hall serves as the Health Officer at the Lenawee County Health Department, leading a diverse team of public health professionals who serve to protect the health and well-being of Lenawee County residents. The Health Department team consists of 35 individuals who provide personal health and environmental health services, fulfilling the mission to promote a safe and healthy environment for everyone in Lenawee County.
The 2021 Incito Award recipient is Catrina Ossmann. The Incito Award was established in 2011 to recognize a young person, age 40 or under, who has emerged as a community leader and demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership with Lenawee Cares and other organizations in our community. Catrina believes in paying it forward and that even small acts of kindness can make a difference and empower others. She is currently serving as the president of Adrian Morning Rotary and coordinates the Lunch Buddies program by recruiting new volunteers for the mentoring program at Adrian Public Schools. She volunteers as a Fluency Friend at Michener Elementary and as a technology tutor at the Adrian Senior Center. Catrina has previously served on many local boards and committees including Lenawee District Library, Communities In Schools of Lenawee, Zonta of Lenawee, and Young Professionals Lenawee. Catrina loves to network and is an active member of BNI Lenawee and the Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Lenawee Community Foundation works to assist people in creating legacies and investing in Lenawee. You can donate $30 to send Imagination Library books to a preschool child for a year; volunteer; leave 10% in your will or trust to benefit Lenawee; endow annual gifts to your favorite nonprofits; or make gifts or bequests for your hometown. Contact the Foundation for help in creating your legacy.
Additional information about the Lenawee Community Foundation or any of its programs or services can be obtained by calling (517) 423-1729.
Gifts and legacies work for Lenawee County ‘for good, for ever’.
Cynthia Heady is the Project Manager of the Lenawee Community Foundation and assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community.