Mendel Center honors Volunteer of the Year

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

BENTON HARBOR — The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College honored its 2018-19 Volunteer of the Year during its annual volunteer appreciation dinner and reception last month.

Camille Sandel of Stevensville 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, LMC Performing Arts Department productions, and community events.

She is also a regular member of the small group of volunteers who meet the day before each show to prepare the playbills.

“Camille is part of the backbone of The Mendel Center volunteer corps,” Grace Kelmer, director of The Mendel Center Mainstage, said in a news release. “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.”

Also recognized were 10 volunteers who reached milestone years of service:

• 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, commencement, LMC Performing Arts Department performances, The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series, Blossomtime pageants and others.

The Mendel Center is accepting volunteer applications for the 2019-20 season through the end of August.

Those interested can contact the volunteer office at or 927-8700, option 4.