Two Mason Co. men are recipients of Governor’s Service Awards.

May 3, 2018

Two Mason Co. men are recipients of Governor’s Service Awards.

LANSING — Two Mason County residents are among the 38 recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Service Awards. Tim Danielson was one of four people named Volunteer of the Year while Lyle Gunderson was one of seven people named Senior Volunteer of the Year. 

The winners were announced by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this week. They are individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that were selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“This year’s winners have inspiring stories. They have made a tremendous impact on the lives of others through their service,” Snyder said. “I am extremely grateful for the contributions they have made for Michigan and am honored to recognize their incredible accomplishments.”

The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission on Tuesday, June 5, at the Wharton Center in East Lansing.

The following biographies were posted on the Michigan Community Service Commission’s website:

Timothy Danielson, also known as “ the baseball card guy” in elementary schools in Mason County, spends his time volunteering with youth, serving the homeless and connecting with people in drug rehabilitation. His commitment to Mason County Central Schools has continued through all of his kids academic years from 2003 through today.  Timothy has served more than 2,500 hours with the schools during the last 15 years, tutoring, helping with events and mentoring children with special needs. He gives away baseball cards as a way to encourage students to perform better academically and in athletics. Timothy has also volunteered more than 1,000 hours at Hospitality I.N.C, a homeless shelter in Ludington. He serves as a team leader and host, helping with coordination, donations and computer training for guests. “Tim has made our shelter a priority for serving others,” said president Timothy A. Martin. “Tim has outstanding work ethic, uncompromising moral character and a heart to serve.” After the passing of his father, however, Timothy struggled. Dealing with his mental health issues made it easier for him to connect and form relationships with people in drug rehabilitation. He uses his personal struggles to talk to people in rehabilitation to better understand and relate to them. Timothy became a certified alcohol and drug counselor and has inspired others to volunteer through his work. He has shown people in treatment that serving the community can be a positive and rewarding experience to help them in their own recovery process. Timothy’s impressive widespread service has also includes the Grand Valley University Renaissance Festival, helping bring Celebrate recovery to Mason County, serving as a former officer of both the Ludington Area Jaycees and Michigan State Jaycees, helping repair houses for Hurricane Katrina Relief, and acting as a Co-Captain and Entertainment coordinator for the Mason County Relay for Life.

Lyle Gunderson grew up in a poor household raised by a single father and had to work to help support his family, instilling a passion for putting others before himself. Lyle volunteered to serve in World War II and the Korean War. He has since committed his time to servicing others in any capacity he can, from mentoring youth to serving food to residents in the nursing home. When Lyle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a 1-percent chance of survival, his response was “I’m not going to sit in a chair and die.” He continued his service to his community. Lyle served countless hours with Habitat for Humanity of Mason County. Everyone knows Lyle, 89, by his genuine smile and youthful energy. Lyle never hesitates to offer a helping hand to anyone in need, from opening a door to making repairs or driving someone to an appointment. “Lyle chips away at the everyday life that matters and his impact surrounds everyone he meets,” said Jamie Healy, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Mason County. “He figures out how to make life better for the folks who surround him as well as the organizations that impact others outside of his reach. His energy, perspective on life and determination is contagious.”

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