Wake Audubon is fortunate to have a lot of fantastic volunteers. Our Treasurer Michi Vojta’s volunteer service is so extensive that she recently was awarded a Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). Congratulations, Michi!
Michi volunteered to serve as our Treasurer, a critical and demanding officer position, in 2020. She does a great job of staying on top of our finances and keeping the rest of the board informed while finding time to be involved in other ways from conservation activities to community outreach. In addition to her boundless energy, Michi shares insightful feedback and creative ideas about how we can do our work better. We cherish her contributions and are delighted that she’s being recognized for her service.
Recipients of the Lifetime PVSA have donated over 4,000 hours of their time in eligible volunteer service. Michi has selflessly given more than double that during the last 30 years. Here’s what Shannon Robinson, PVSA Coordinator for Cary Homeschoolers, shared about Michi at a recent award ceremony:
“Michi Vojta served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Kenya from 1993-1996 as the local forester/agroforestry specialist. In addition, she organized field days on Solar Cooking and other fuel efficient stoves, built mud stoves, organized and hosted free eye clinics with a nearby hospital, and implemented a penpal exchange program involving around 60 students from 8 Kenyan schools and 30 students from Oregon.
After returning to the US, she volunteered over 1000 hours with the 1999 Special Olympics World Games here in Raleigh and coached youth soccer, moving up with the same group of girls through 5 or 6 seasons. In 2005, she served again with Peace Corps Response, working in New Orleans with those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Michi still volunteers regularly in her community, through City Parks, local public schools, Wake County and NC Senior Games. She has been a recipient of the silver Presidential Volunteer Service Award for the past 5 years, averaging 344 hours of service per year.
During the past year alone, here some of what she’s been involved with:
Michi helped paint a mural in downtown Raleigh to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9-11. She participated in litter pickups at Lake Johnson and Crabtree Creek. On one day, her team collected 905 pounds of litter! She planted trees, daffodils, and tulips at Pullen Park. She volunteered at the Dorothea Dix 5K, the Raleigh Parks Fall Festival, and several special events at the NC Museum of Natural Science, including Bug Fest and Darwin Day. Michi worked extensively with the West Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council, attended monthly Tree Advocacy meetings, frequently assisted the Friends of the Athens Drive Community Library, and served as Treasurer on the board of the Wake Audubon Society. Michi spent many hours monitoring and caring for wild bird boxes. She distributed food via the Food Ark and helped with numerous staff appreciation events at Ligon Middle School.
I contacted some of the organizations that Michi works with to offer them an opportunity to send their thoughts, and the response was overwhelming. Here are some of their comments.
Mary Abrams, the President of the Wake Audubon Society, said “Michi brings her endless energy to our conservation activities and community outreach”
Aleix K Murphy from Ligon Middle School emphasized “Michi is a rock star!!”
Yevonne Brannon from the Athens Drive Library offered “You can always count on Michi to be front and center in any effort to help neighbors.”
Sheila B. Jones from Wake County Soil and Water Conservation said “Michi’s community spirit and passion for embracing sustainability is unmatched!”
Representatives of the West Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council shared their thoughts, too!
Jane Harrison said “Michi has an encyclopedic knowledge of issues that matter to her neighbors.”
Don Procipio offered “Michi has been a dedicated, conscientious and key contributor to the West Raleigh CAC for many years.”
Laura Ritchie said “Michi is an integral part of our community, we admire all her hard work!”
Michi has logged a staggering 10,070 hours of service, though we all know the real total is much higher. As Joe Hartman said, “Michi’s energetic commitment to the whole community’s common good is one-of-a-kind.”
I am deeply honored to announce that Michi has been named a recipient of our highest distinction, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michi, thank you for all that you do in our community. Congratulations!”
We couldn’t have said it better–we’re grateful for your service and proud to have you on our team!