Volunteer’s hard work, dedication earns award

By C.J. Carnacchio
Oxford Twp. Communications and Grants Manager
OXFORD TWP. – “Every organization has five to six volunteers that you can always count on. He is one of those volunteers.”
That’s how Dawn Medici, a recreation specialist with Oxford Twp. Parks and Recreation, described Kip Kriigel, a volunteer who devotes countless hours to the Oxford Senior Center, Oxford Community Garden, Meals on Wheels and Polly Ann Trail.
For his efforts, Kriigel, who’s lived in Oxford for 23 years, received a Community Service Award from mParks (Michigan Recreation and Park Association).
The mParks Community Service Awards recognize individuals and groups who show outstanding support to public recreation and park programs in their community. Kriigel’s award was presented by mParks Professional Recognition Committee Chair Melissa Nawrocki during the Sept. 12 township Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.
According to Medici, Kriigel is “a natural leader” who “can provide advice, insight and resources for almost any community program.” Every week, he oversees activities related to the senior center’s walking club, bicycling club and cornhole group.
“I greatly appreciate his support and all he does for our senior center and for our community,” Medici said. “He is really the backbone (when it comes to) gathering volunteers (to work in) our community garden on Wednesdays . . . Thank you for all you do for our community.”
Polly Ann Trail Manager Linda Moran was also quite complimentary of Kriigel and his numerous contributions.
“He’s a man among men,” she said. “Kip has helped us on the Polly Ann Trail in so many different ways. I can’t even (begin to) express my gratitude to him . . . He’s always there when you need him. You just call and sometimes you don’t even have to call, he just shows up.”
Kriigel was grateful for the recognition. To him, volunteering is both “rewarding” and “fun.”
“I think the best part of volunteering is all the people you get to meet,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of friends.”
It was noted that Kriigel’s wife, Barbara, is always there working right alongside him. The couple will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on Sept. 14.
“When you get Kip, you get Barbara, too . . . It’s a pleasure to know you two and call you my friends. Thanks, again, guys for all you do and all you will do,” Moran said.
“Thank you both for your service and immersing yourselves (in) our community,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Austin Brantley. “Every organization needs volunteers at the heart of it. We appreciate you guys.”

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