Irene Bishop Goggans
“People are the love of my life.”
Irene has been a life-long volunteer, serving varied populations. A member of St. Mathew CME Church, she visits four to five individuals and families per month who may have become sick or are homebound.
Irene serves as Chair of Life Membership and Recognition of Church-Women United, a national volunteer Christian ecumenical women’s movement in the United States and Puerto Rico. They engage in various activities that monitor public policies, relate personal faith to action and act on behalf of women and children worldwide. Additionally, she volunteered for the Red Cross and assisted with fundraising for The Community Chest, forerunner of the United Way.
She is fondly known as the Community Historian, compiling many scrapbooks relating to significant events about African American history, as well as Milwaukee’s history. She continues to be called by numerous people in her community, young and old, to answer questions about the Milwaukee community, as well as her hometown of Dyersburg, Tennessee. Her knowledge and sensitivity to community needs and ability to share life stories that inspire hope and actions make her a continuing resource who has volunteered minimally 1,000 hours a year over the past two years and beyond.
Irene so eloquently stated, “What I do is a gift of life which comes from God.”
“Joan has been a tireless volunteer and advocate for all populations in Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin. She is an extremely compassionate individual who always tries to make life better and happier for others.”
She has committed her life to serving older adults, from being a Senior Statesman graduate to providing Intercontinental travel trips exclusively for seniors.
Joan dedicates countless hours volunteering for many community-based organizations, being an active member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Senior Olympics since 1992, for the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired Life Skills Program since 1986, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Shorewood Historical Society, Lake Park Friends and a blood donor and volunteer for the Wisconsin Blood Center.
In addition, Joan is a lector and communion minister, visits parishioners and friends who are hospitalized, and served many years on the Parish Council at Old St. Mary Church. She also assists at the function of the St. Anne Society, which raises funds through various activities for the church. She has prepared, delivered and served meals to the individuals at Repairers of the Breach and given her time to Holy Family Church.
“There are few people that have the level of passion for not only serving older adults, but being an advocate for seniors to achieve the most out of their lives.
“If you look up the word advocate in the dictionary, there may not be a picture of Bob Haase but, in my opinion, there should be such a picture because he is the epitome of an advocate.”
Bob has been a valiant leader in efforts to protect and strengthen social security and Medicare, make prescription drugs affordable, increase funding for county and state senior programs and mobilize seniors to ensure elected officials know where they stand on numerous issues affecting their lives.
He has worked diligently organizing town hall meetings and forums to educate seniors on many state and federal programs.
Bob has contributed greatly to the work of the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging and continues to serve on the Advocacy Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, is an active member of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, a graduate of their Senior Statesman Program, member of the Wisconsin Labor History Society, Milwaukee Area Labor Council, a fifty-three year member of Iron Workers Local 8 and past president of Allied Council of Senior Citizens.
"Bob has shown over and over again, not by talk but by his actions, to make sure that seniors have the quality of life that they rightly deserve. Bob has built a reputation to get the job done for seniors.”
Viola “Vi” Hawkins
“In Milwaukee when one speaks of tireless volunteerism, one cannot help but to mention the name of Viola “Vi” Hawkins. Vi, as she likes to be called, is a vivacious, tenacious and meticulous person of distinction. Vi has a presence that exudes confidence and a caring soul.”
A strong and committed advocate for people of Milwaukee, Vi’s volunteer accomplishments span more than fifty years. The extension of her testimonies are noteworthy.
In 2006 Vi created the Jazzy Jewels line dance troupe (2009 Milwaukee Golden Idol Winners). Vi choreographs routines, hosts rehearsals and coordinates engagements. Vi, aptly dubbed “Little General”, is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to stage appearances. Perfection is the only option. So, as the winner of Golden Idol, she coordinated show line-ups for all top ten Golden Idol appearances at Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, senior centers, walks and parties. Vi has performed with the Milwaukee Bucks Seniorgee! Dance Team since the 2006 basketball season. Vi has championed change in civic endeavors, such as Friends of Dineen Park, Washington Park Senior Center, Institute for the Future Wisconsin, Katrina Aid, her church and her community.
“An extraordinary volunteer leaving an indelible mark in her world and the lives of those she touches.”
“Her dedication to help others has no boundaries.”
Patricia has been an active and instrumental volunteer for the past fourteen years with the Senior Dining Program at Ascension Lutheran. She works tirelessly four days per week answering the phone, registering diners, and sharing stories.
Patricia is a peacemaker, a friend and is extremely reliable, trustworthy and caring. It is her relationship with the diners that is most impressive. She truly cares about each and every diner and she would be terribly missed by those at Ascension if she were not there.
As a church member, she took charge of the Infant and Toddler Nursery for twenty years, taught three-year-old Sunday school for seven years, and dedicated ten years on the Fellowship Board. Holiday gatherings at Ascension greatly benefit from Patricia’s arrangement of the menu, live entertainment and decorations.
Patricia is not only a gracious volunteer but is also an extremely kind, loving, caring individual. She is rightly proud of her family legacy, being the mother of four and grandmother and great-grandmother to eighteen children.
“Patricia is a shining example of someone who perseveres through life’s troubles, seeing the silver lining that is always there to be found.”