Project Home volunteer receives prestigious award

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LaurieMary Beth Young, Project Home Senior Site Coordinator with Laurie Wenker, Project Home volunteer.

Laurie Wenker receives HealthPartners’ 2014 Wilbur Thomas Community Service Award.

Each year, HealthPartners honors employees who strive to improve their communities through outstanding volunteer service. The Wilbur Thomas Community Service Award is one way HealthPartners recognizes outstanding employees who live out their mission and values and make an impact on their community.

Saint Paul Area Council of Churches and Project Home staff were delighted to be present to cheer as Laurie Wenker, of Project Home host site White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, received this prestigious award. Watch live video from the event of Laurie’s acceptance speech and introduction by President and CEO of HealthPartners, Mary Brainerd.

Laurie’s passion for life reverberates throughout her home and work life. At HealthPartners, Laurie is a much loved and respected Nurse Practitioner specializing in geriatrics. In her life outside of work, Laurie is passionate about taking great care of her two amazing daughters and helping them become whole, thoughtful adults. For Laurie, this means modeling for them how to make a difference in the things you are most passionate about through volunteerism.

Laurie was honored for her wonderful involvement with Project Home at her church, White Bear UUC. The first year, Laurie and her family signed up for a volunteer shift, and by the second year of her participation, Laurie was helping with the leadership roles of organizing Project Home at her church. She helped educate, organize and support newer Project Home volunteers at her church.

Laurie has connected deeply with many of the families that have briefly called her church “home”; even organized a small furniture drive to help one family as they moved from shelter to housing (credit grady). You may remember Laurie and her daughter, Lillian, as some of the special speakers at the 2012 Bringing Faith to Life Breakfast.

HealthPartners also honored Laurie for her wonderful work with the foster-based, volunteer-driven local dog rescue group, Coco’s Heart. Laure says, “Making the world a better place for animals and people occupies my thinking on a daily basis.” We, here at The Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, are so blessed to count Laurie Wenker as a friend and supporter. Congratulations Laurie!