It was a celebration of volunteers and major contributors at the Livingston County United Way’s annual recognition breakfast last week.

The 41st Annual “Spirit of the Community” awards were handed out last Thursday at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Genoa Township. Outgoing board members Shirley Barton and Scott Griffith were recognized for their years of service. Several special volunteers were then recognized for their exemplary service to others. Natalie Cortez, President of Howell High School Interact Club, won the Young Person of Distinction. Among her noted achievements were helping fundraise $6,000 with the Ribbon Warrior program that supports Howell Schools family members dealing with health-related medical bills.

The Howell High School Senior Survivor program was honored as the Youth Organization of the Year, which has over the past 10 years raised over $262,000 to support community initiatives and nonprofit organizations.

Patti Palazzolo was awarded the Charles W. Itsell Volunteer of the Year for her years of assistance to the United Way, most especially when it comes to the annual Day of Caring.

The Donald Epley Lifetime Community Service award went to Brian Donovan, who has volunteered for years assisting Livingston County residents to remain independent in their homes, doing home improvements and additions necessary due to physical disabilities.

Dunnage Engineering was also honored as the Randy Rudisill Business of the Year for its, “rock-solid corporate and employee support for at least three decades.” (JK)