In honor of National Volunteer Week, Fishers celebrates the dedicated individuals who have donated their time and talent to our community with our 2021 City of Service Awards celebration. Winners were nominated by the community and selected by the Fishers City Council through a blind process.

Meet the winners through our blog posts this week, and check out our website to see all of the winners and nominees.

Meet Jamison Vance, Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year Winner

This year’s Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year is Jamison Vance, who has been involved with Mudsock Youth Athletics (MYA) for the past 12 years as a coach and board member for the organization.

The purpose of this award is to honor an extraordinary volunteer whose dedicated service to a Fishers non-profit organization in the year 2020 had a significant impact on community at large.

How did you get involved?

I started coaching my oldest son in baseball and then started to become involved with other leagues he participated, as both a coach and league board member. I have since continued with my younger son and daughter.

What motivates or inspires you to serve your community?

I think youth athletics is important in the growth and development of kids – from a physical, mental, and social skills standpoint. I try to do my part to further that cause.

jamison vance

How did COVID-19 impact your service at MYA?

I became more involved with some leagues as others needed to step away to help make sure we could offer safe experiences for the kids.

Is it difficult to balance a full-time job with your volunteerism? What advice would you share with others looking to volunteer while working full-time?

At times, yes! It is important to manage time as best as possible between the job that pays the bills, family needs, and volunteer activities.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of or feel made the biggest difference in the community? 

Being able to be a part of four different sports leagues between fall and winter that were all able to complete their season despite a challenging environment with the pandemic.

What’s your favorite part of working with MYA?

The MYA staff is outstanding and the active volunteers in every league truly have the best interests of the community’s youth in mind. Most probably don’t know the work that goes on behind the scenes to make everything happen.

What advice would you give someone looking to give back to their community through volunteerism?

Just make the leap! Even with a minimal time commitment, you can make a huge difference.

What do you hope to accomplish through your service in 2021?

To continue to help offer a positive experience to those I happen to encounter.

Meet Michael Zahm, Hamilton Southeastern Foundation Volunteer of the Year Winner

This year’s Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation Volunteer of the Year is Michael Zahm, who has been involved with the Foundation for the past 6 years and is the chair of the Grants and Scholarship committee.

How did you get involved?

I offered to help with one of their fundraisers a little over 6 years ago.

What motivates or inspires you to serve your community?

A community is stronger when people from different backgrounds work together for a common cause, and consequently learn how different people view the world through varied lenses.

Michael Zahm

How did COVID-19 impact your service with the Foundation?

Meetings went virtual, so some of the spontaneous side conversations were lost. Our largest fundraiser was also virtual, but it was still a financial success.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of and feel made the biggest difference in the community?

I am proud to chair the Grants and Scholarship committee. One of our grant cycles is for student-led grants. The students see a problem in their environment, craft a solution, and if funds are needed, reach out to the Foundation for support. Seeing the excitement in a group of students who have worked together to solve a problem and then receive their funding is very rewarding.

What’s your favorite part of working with the Foundation?

Helping to make the HSE School system stronger by supporting staff and student grants.

What advice would you give someone looking to give back to their community through volunteerism?

If you are hesitant, start small. Find a way to volunteer for a defined project or time frame. Likely, you will feel good about helping others and then find other ways to volunteer.

What do you hope to accomplish through your service in 2021?

I hope to help students develop their own agency by supporting their grant requests.