GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – For 31 years, the WPS Volunteer Awards has been celebrating the efforts of volunteers across Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties.

The ceremony honors outstanding individuals or groups in eight categories each year, recognizing every day people going beyond every day duties.

“These volunteers find the time to be able to give back in so many different ways,” said Eric Sponholtz, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Brown County. “From out lifetime achievement award winner creating a database to another award winner starting their own non-profit, their own literary council- it just really speaks to the depth of what these volunteers are able to provide and how they manage their time and how they’re able to give back in so many different ways.”

Wisconsin, according to Sponholtz, ranks in the top ten of volunteering in the country. To say it plays a huge role in the community would be an understatement.

“We realize that the need is there, these other non-profit organizations realize the need is there and if we can be kind of a catalyst or a conduit to put volunteers in positions to be successful; we know that they’re going to step up,” says Sponholtz. “We know that they’re going to show up and be as successful as they can for those organizations.”

Each recipient and runner-up is given a donation from the Volunteer Center of Brown County to gift to the nonprofit charitable organization of their choice. Emceeing at this year’s event was Local 5’s Tom Zalaski and Erin Davisson.