2012 Senior Hall of Fame

 

Mike Bogdonovich
When lightning strikes Mike Bogdonovich is there.  Honestly, this happened to the steeple at his beloved Saint Paul Catholic Church when he was there.  Mike is a real life superhero when it comes to being in the right place at the right time. 

He is always around when you need him.  In fact, the church listed countless instances where Mr. Bogdonovich was present and active, i.e. festival committee, repairing equipment, delivering food to the homebound, fixing and replacing garage roofs, installing locks, cooking, setting up and cleaning up at the soup kitchen, etc. 

He is touted as “dependable, fast and always ready to lend a helping hand.”  It’s amazing to think Mike could find the time to do more…but he does.  The wealth of his service spreads to Unity Lutheran Church Outreach Ministries. 

Mr. Bogdonovich’s hard work and dedication to these ministries was a crucial reason they served nearly 11,700 meals in 2011 through Unity Community’s Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry and Active Adult Center.  So, whether it’s unloading over 1000 pounds of food, organizing pantries, cooking, mentoring a new cook or telling a great story to make someone’s day, Mike is “always willing to lend a helping hand.”

This theme doesn’t go overlooked at home as his wife said, “When he shovels our lot, he continues on to shovel at least two neighbors and the church’s sidewalks.”  In Mike’s book charity begins at home and being the superhero that he is the love never runs out.
 


Kathleen Brockman

“Kathy has continually inspired others with her resourcefulness, her wealth of wisdom, her graceful unassuming presence, and her calculated assertive leadership.”

Kathy has been a loyal and dedicated member of Vision Forward Association since 1970 and she began volunteering for the organization in 1984.  In addition, she is also a member of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, the American Council of the Blind, her church community, and numerous other organizations.  Kathy provides more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service annually and has shown true leadership in every role she has taken on.

Kathy believes that a society can be judged by how the less fortunate are treated.  People in a community need services and to be treated with dignity and respect.  In her own words, “One of our country’s tenets is that all men are created equal, which includes people who may be less fortunate or disabled.
She is a dedicated advocate for all people with disabilities.  “She is a woman of wisdom, energy, spiritual depth, and a contagious hope for possibilities.” 

Kathy is a proactive community member who is tenacious in her efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have every opportunity to participate fully in life.

 


Mary Ann Ganny

“Mary Ann is truly a generous soul who does things for people she doesn’t even know.”

Mary Ann demonstrates exceptional volunteerism and compassionate service to numerous organizations including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Italian Community Center, Holiday Folk Fair, and has been a dedicated member of the Milwaukee Ladies of UNICO for over twenty-three years.  UNICO is an organization that pledges “service above self” and is an acronym for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity.  Mary Ann personifies those five words.  She educates the community and passes on cultural traditions, helps to feed and clothe people in need, and unselfishly contributes in many other charitable ways. 

Community service is important to Mary Ann.  It allows her the opportunity to make friends, work with the public, and instill her knowledge about things that she is passionate about including theatre, music, language, food, and culture.

Mary Ann’s peers describe her as an invaluable volunteer whose long-term commitment is extraordinary.  She is dedicated and hard-working, soft-spoken and kind-hearted.  Mary Ann makes an impact on everyone she encounters by generously sharing her time, energy, and contagious smile.

 


 
Audrey Hemmer

No matter what is developed at Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement, Inc. (ABLE), someone will need and use it.  Audrey has tirelessly given countless hours of service at ABLE.  Her work spans over a quarter of a century and includes 60,000 plus pages of Braille transcription. Audrey enhanced the quality of life for children and adults.  Through her dedicated work, Ms. Hemmer assisted both children and adults to get on a level playing field with their sighted schoolmates, colleagues and friends.  To those who take sight for granted understand that having Braille literacy means full participation in school, work, and one’s community.  Audrey gets that, evidenced by her decision to undertake the hard and arduous Braille transcription curriculum 30 years ago so she could volunteer in an area that demanded commitment, perseverance, focus, and study.

The numerous awards Audrey received for Braille pages produced are a reflection of her calling.  Additionally, the 2011 Inspire by Example Adult Award she received from the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee demonstrates Ms. Hemmer’s passion never waned.

According to Audrey’s Pastor, her extreme volunteerism continues at St. Matthias Catholic Church where she serves as the Minister of Holy Communion; coordinates the Ministers of the Sick and Homebound; is active on the Prayer Shawl Committee and Adult Rite of Christian Initiation team; and in her “spare time” helps out in the parish office.

Echoed by many who have benefited from her generosity of time, talent, commitment, and energy, Audrey Hemmer is one in a million.

 


David Hoffman
“David brings the same mental focus, stamina, clarity, and rigor to his volunteer work that he has as a runner.  He walks the talk when it comes to both senior issue advocacy and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.  He is an inspiration to us all.”

David has run marathons in every state and on every continent.  He has a true dedication to the overall health and wellness of older adults through fitness.  Both his mind and body express his dedication to living a meaningful life full of compassion and service. He believes that community service is an important component in a plan to age in place. 

He changes lives through his activity.  He has spent the 11 years of his retirement involved in over 20 community projects – many for the length of his retirement. Dave has a spirit of caring and collaboration and is dedicated to the cause of connecting older adults with each other and with community resources to improve their quality of life.  His many roles in leadership truly have benefited the community, especially Milwaukee County’s older citizens and their desire to age in place. When he is not running or meeting, he’s probably reading.  He is an avid reader of the daily New York Times, which provides material for his advocacy work.  He also tries to read 100 books a year.  Dave personifies wellness, commitment, leadership, and advocacy.