The Mendel Center names Volunteer of the Year for the 2018-2019 season

July 24, 2019

 Photo caption:  Grace Kelmer, (left) director, The Mendel Center Mainstage, presents Camille Sandel with the 2018-19 Volunteer of the Year Award during the annual volunteer appreciation dinner and reception.



The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College hosted its annual volunteer appreciation dinner and reception on July 17. During the event, The Mendel Center honored Camille Sandel of Stevensville with the 2018-19 Volunteer of the Year award. She was recognized for her work from among the group of nearly 100 active volunteers.


Sandel has been a volunteer for 24 years. She routinely volunteers for 25 or more shows and events each year including Mainstage performances, Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series events, Lake Michigan College Performing Arts Department productions, and community events. Sandel is also a regular member of the small group of volunteers who meet the day before each show to prepare the playbills – an important job behind the scenes.


“Camille is part of the backbone of The Mendel Center Volunteer Corps. She is always ready to step in and help and is confident in her duties. We value the many years she has served so far and look forward to the years still to come,” stated Grace Kelmer, director of The Mendel Center Mainstage.


Other recognition during the event included that of 10 volunteers who were awarded service anniversary pins. They are:


5-years of service

Sammye Bale

Celina Bevelhymer

Charles Bevelhymer

Kathie Ohme

Carole Sternaman


15-years of service

Duane Ostenson

Pat Ostenson

Norma Rosenthal

Karen Vandermeer


25-years of service

Jane Krueger


The annual appreciation event celebrates the work of volunteers who staff nearly 100 Mendel Center and community events each year and recognizes the thousands of hours of donated service that make performances and events possible.


Mendel Center volunteers are responsible for ensuring patron safety, ushering, patron assistance, and other assignments related to day-of-show operations. The volunteer corps assists with events including Mainstage performances, the annual Lake Michigan College commencement ceremony, Lake Michigan College Performing Arts department performances, The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series, Blossomtime pageants, and many others.


The Mendel Center is accepting volunteer applications for the 2019-2020 season now through the end of August. Those interested in joining the volunteer team may contact the Mendel Center Volunteer Office at or (269) 927-8700, option 4.


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