LAWRENCEBURG, Ind., October 18, 2019 – The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc. (DCF) honored five community volunteers as 2019 recipients of the “Heart of Gold Award” at the organization’s donor appreciation event last night.
The Heart of Gold Award recipients were recognized for touching the hearts of others through their volunteerism and other acts of kindness. “These honorees deserve this recognition for making a difference in our community in their own unique ways,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of the Dearborn Community Foundation. “They are role models for how all of us can have a positive impact on others.”
Each of the 2019 Heart of Gold honorees, nominated by others in the community and then chosen as Heart of Gold Award recipients by a Foundation committee, are given the privilege to serve on the “Heart of Gold Grants Committee” to award a total of $2,500 in proactive grants to charitable organizations that serve Dearborn County residents.
In recent years, Heart of Gold recipients have been recognized for helping senior citizens or disadvantaged persons, working to improve the quality of education, expanding recreational or cultural opportunities, working with children, protecting the environment, promoting public safety and other acts of kindness. This year’s honorees are Patricia Hawkins, Patricia Paul, Judy Ullrich, Nick Ullrich, and Marge Waldon.
The 2019 Heart of Gold honorees bring the total to 109 for the number of volunteers honored in the 21 years of the program designed to recognize the community’s fine volunteers and promote philanthropy.
Heart of Gold Honorees’ Nomination Letters
Patricia “Pat” Hawkins
Patricia “Pat” Hawkins has been a great advocate for both animals and people through her volunteer community service. She has played a leadership role with P.A.W.S. of Dearborn County for over 15 years, serving in several capacities. It is her role of secretary/treasurer, however, where Pat continues to be a great asset to this volunteer organization. She was instrumental in establishing the Bark N’ Brew event, which is one of the largest fundraisers for the organizations. She also is a huge supporter of the semi-annual rummage sale. Pat also was involved several years ago in the efforts to secure the current animal shelter building/location. Pat is an animal advocate who can be found on any given day helping out at the facility with finance and fundraising. Her efforts over the years with P.A.W.S. has helped find a home for many stray cats and dogs, warming the hearts of many pet owners. Pat is also an advocate for the residents of Hidden Valley Lake. She has served as a volunteer member of the Hidden Valley Lake Property Owner’s Association Board of Directors since 2012 and has played a key volunteer role in the successful management of the organization. She has served as president twice, including currently serving in that capacity. Prior to serving on the Board, she served on several committees, working to make HVL a great place to live. Nominated by David Wismann
Patricia “Pat” Paul
It is my honor to nominate Patricia “Pat” Paul for the Heart of Gold Award. Pat has been in charge of the Dearborn Clearinghouse’s Sacks of Snacks program since its inception six years ago. The need for this program was brought to the attention of Clearinghouse Director, Karry Hollan when school administrators told her that many children had no food at home on the weekends. Pat had participated in similar programs in Cincinnati, so when Karry asked her to help, she hit the ground running and never looked back. She organized every aspect of the program from ordering the food, to packing the sacks, to delivering them to the schools. Pat spends many hours selecting, ordering and stocking easy-to-fix food items that require little or no cooking for the students to take home.
She has recruited a team of volunteers that pack the individual sacks every week of the school year for delivery to the schools every Friday. Under Pat’s leadership, the program now serves more than 400 children in six schools in Dearborn County. She is an energetic, friendly person, who spearheads this program with great enthusiasm and skill. I believe her efforts are making a difference in the lives of many children in Dearborn County. Nominated by Dee Hacker
I would like to nominate Judy Ullrich for the Heart of Gold award. I have also submitted a nomination for her husband, Nick, because they do so much for our area as a couple. Usually, if you see one, you see the other. Judy and Nick were married on July 4, 1970 and are heading for 50 years of marriage. Judy graduated from Aurora High School in 1966 and then graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and obtained her Master’s Degree from Ball State. She immediately started her teaching career at Aurora Elementary, and in her 33 years of teaching she touched a lot of lives and is proud to have taught nearly 900 second and third graders. Judy served for several years on the board for the Dearborn Community Foundation. She served on the Grant Committee for South Dearborn Schools, and was instrumental in making a difference in the quality of education the students received. She still helps with the 6th grade essay contest. She is very involved with our beautiful asset to the Aurora Community, Hillforest. She serves as the Board President, and helps to educate the public about this beautiful Victorian house, and loves to give tours and tell the story of this historic home. She is also active with the America in Bloom program. Judy helps place wreaths on the grave sites of departed veterans thru Wreaths Across America.
Judy has been involved with another beautiful, historic estate, Veraestau. She serves on the LST-325 committee, and is proud to help bring this piece of American History to Aurora that was involved with the World War II D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. She also helped to compile the information to publish a commemorative book for Aurora’s Bicentennial in 2019. She has been involved with the Aurora Library and helped in many ways with this historic library. Judy, along with Connie McCarty, led a Girl Scout troop. She helps with the Aurora Main Street Easter and Christmas programs for the kids.
It’s an honor to know Judy and Nick, and I think it would be very appropriate to honor them with the Heart of Gold award. They work together very well on many projects, but still find time to have their own separate interests too. Nick has said many times that she keeps him focused on his projects and is always there to support him. Judy has also been involved with various organizations for teachers here in Southeastern Indiana. We have all been fortunate to have people like Judy and Nick Ullrich in our community. Judy and Nick are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary and the Heart of Gold Award would fit right in with all they have accomplished. Nominated by PG Gentrup
Nick Ullrich was born and raised in Dearborn County, in Aurora. He graduated from Aurora High School in 1965 after attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Nick then went on to honorably serve in the United States Army, where he served as a sergeant in Vietnam, with the 196th and 199th Light Infantry Brigades. Nick was awarded several medals, including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart for injuries when wounded by enemy fire. Nick married his high school sweetheart, Judy Carroll, and they are both very active in community volunteerism. Nick helps with activities at Hillforest, where Judy is a loyal and dependable volunteer, and was instrumental in obtaining the new flag and flag pole, with the help of the Vietnam Veterans. Nick sang as the lead singer for several years with the Dukes and Cops N’ Robbers and on November 2, 2019 he will be inducted into the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Hall of Fame. Nick is a member of the Aurora American Legion Post 231, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5312 in Aurora, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 75, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 71. He also is a member of St. Mary’s Church in Aurora. Nick has always been proud of his service to others and especially working hard to become an Eagle Scout. He has dedicated thousands of hours to the local Boy Scouts of America Troop 637 in Aurora. He conducts the meetings, and plans and executes flag retirement ceremonies, where used American Flags are properly burned to dispose of them. One of his greatest accomplishments has been to help almost 40 young scouts receive their Eagle Scout award.
That’s amazing in this day and age to have someone be so dedicated to the youth of America. Nick also organizes trips for the scouts to attend, and this year they were in West Virginia for the World Boy Scout Jamboree. The Aurora Troop 637 is well known for their community involvement and they are very appreciated by the community, and Nick has instilled pride in the troop. Nick retired from the AEP Tanners Creek Plant in Lawrenceburg and was active there in the People Helping People food drive each year, where they would help get badly needed food and supplies for the needy. Nick is always ready to help others. He is involved with area veterans thru the organizations he belongs to, and is always there with a helping hand. When I hear the words “Heart of Gold,” I immediately think of Nick Ullrich and what he has meant to so many people here in Southeastern Indiana. Nick is very proud to help others and believes, as a veteran, in the words of Duty-Honor-Country. Nominated by PG Gentrup
Marge Waldon is a driving force in volunteerism in our community. She models the best of the things which can be done by volunteers. After raising her six children with her husband Gerald and retiring from the work force, Marge set her sights on ways to contribute actively to the local community. Over the past twenty years, Marge has volunteered for thousands of hours through a variety of venues. Here are a few: Serves as a volunteer at Highpoint Health: Serves as a docent, giving tours at Hillforest; Delivers mail to and visits the residents of Ridgewood; Serves lunch at St. Mary’s school each Wednesday during the school year; Volunteers for the local chapter of Hospice; and Participates in the Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. Mary’s Church. Awards that Marge has received through volunteer work: 2013 Dearborn County Women of Distinction Award; 2013 Hillforest Historical Society Volunteer of the Year Award; and 2018 RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) Honoree for service to the community. Marge has now surpassed 10,000 hours of volunteer work at Highpoint Health. Her goal is to reach 11,000 hours in the Spring of 2020! Marge attributes her ability to remain active largely due to her volunteer commitments. Knowing her calendar is full of opportunities to help others gives her life purpose and satisfaction. Her heart is truly a heart of gold. She shares the wealth of her spirit with family, friends, fellow volunteers, and strangers.Nominated by Bob Brookbank