Community Involvement Awards 

Celebrate an outstanding volunteer!

Nomination form opens January 2024 and will close March 2024. Celebration event to take place in April 2024.

Since 1975 Community Thread and the Washington County Board of Commissioners have recognized outstanding volunteer service through the Community Involvement Awards. These awards shine a spotlight on volunteerism and honor the great work volunteers do throughout Washington County.

Volunteers are recognized in six categories: youth, group/family, exemplary employer, outstanding, lifetime, and legacy.


The 2024 Community Involvement Award nomination application will open in January 2024.

Nominees must be residents or volunteer for organizations in Washington County who meet the criteria for each award. There are six categories in which volunteers are recognized: Youth, Group/Family, Exemplary Employer, Outstanding, Lifetime, and Legacy.

Please note that to complete the nomination form, you will need the following:

  • Nominee’s email and phone number. If nominating in the youth category, you will also need the nominee’s parent/guardian email and phone number.
  • A summary of the volunteers’ accomplishments and community contributions.
  • Any other letters of support.
  • Any pictures of the person volunteering are always helpful.
  • A description of the nominee’s current volunteer position(s), where they volunteer, their duties, and any past volunteer roles.
  • Your name, address, email, and phone number. 

Once you open the form, your information will not be saved if you exit before submitting.

This award recognizes young people for volunteer service that strengthens the community.

Eligible Volunteers:

  • Demonstrate strong volunteer service in at least on organization, event, or special project which serves the needs of the community.
  • Demonstrate initiative, commitment, and enthusiasm to volunteerism.
  • Are 18 years of age or younger.

This award recognizes a group or family of volunteers for outstanding volunteer service that benefits the community. 

Eligible volunteer groups:

  • Demonstrate initiative, commitment, and enthusiasm as a team.
  • Engage in volunteer service as a group or family on a consistent basis.

This award recognizes an employer for encouraging its employees to make an impact through volunteer service in the community. 

Eligible employers:

  • Demonstrate organizational commitment and enthusiasm to volunteerism. 
  • Engage in volunteer service on a consistent basis, no less than once per year.
  • Have a location or do business in Washington County.

This award recognizes a single volunteer for commendable service that meets the needs of the community. 

Eligible volunteers:

  • Demonstrate strong volunteer service in at least one organization during a span of 1 or more years.
  • Show dedication and innovation through volunteerism.
  • Are 19 years of age or older.

This award recognizes a single volunteer for his or her commitment to volunteerism.

Eligible volunteers:

  • Demonstrate dedication, enthusiasm, and exceptional volunteer service with at least two organizations during a time span of 10 or more years.
  • Have a depth of volunteerism that has made a positive impact in the community. 
  • Are 30 years of age or older.

This award honor the life of a Washington County volunteer who has passed away and left an indetifiable legacy in the community.

Eligible Legacy nominees:

  • Be deceased within 3 years of the award.
  • Provided service that made a significant contribution to the quality of life in the community.


The Community Involvement Awards selection committee is comprised of award recipients from previous years, Community Thread Board of Directors and staff, and representatives from Washington County. Click here to view a list of previous awardees.

One nomination from each category will be selected to receive the award.

Community Thread reserves the right to honor more than one nomination in case of a tie.

Awardess will be notified and interviewed for communication materials shortly after the nomination application closes.

2023 Community Involvement Award Winners

Legacy Award - Irv Johnson

Irv made the world a better place. Over his 99-year life, his contributions included delivering Meals on Wheels; teaching students to play cribbage; and donating blood on a regular basis. Whatever the need, the Bayport community always knew they could count on Irv. WCCO radio recognized Irv’s outstanding service by awarding him the Good neighbor award. Today, family and friends celebrate and cherish the legacy created by Irv Johnson.

Lifetime Award - Vicki Slagle

Vicki has volunteered for Afton Bayport Lakeland Lions Club, Art Reach St. Croix, Community Thread, Solid Ground and Valley Outreach. She has also fundraised for local schools and mesothelioma research. Her volunteerism has made a significant difference in our community.

Lifetime Award - Richard Thron

Richard’s vast contributions include safe drinking water as part of helping to create the county’s ground water plan; volunteering with Lions Club International; the local snowmobile club; and the Lower St. Croix Veterans’ Memorial. He has a lifetime of being of service to others.

Outstanding Volunteer - Katie Bang

Besides her leadership role in Stillwater Noon Rotary, Katie’s proudest accomplishment is organizing “Bridge for Books”, distributing 10,000 free books to children. She rallied her coworkers to volunteer and organized her family to pack meals at Valley Outreach. She demonstrates how caring for one another is a priority in our community.

Youth Award - Alex Hallaway

Alex started volunteering with Afton Lakeland Bayport Lions Club where he helps with club events and fundraisers even though he is too young to be a member. The Boy Scouts and Feed My Starving Children also encourage his participation in community service.

Youth Award - Lauren Klancher

Lauren’s extensive involvement with YoungLife over the last six years is a clear demonstration to her dedication to the community and volunteerism. She is committed to bettering her neighbors’ lives through FamilyMeans, too.

Outstanding Group – St. Croix Yacht Club

Because of their successful fundraising, the St. Croix Yacht Club has given back by donating to numerous shelters and food shelves including Valley Outreach, Turning Point in Hudson, and the Dwelling Place in Mendota Heights. In addition, the St. Croix Yacht Club is involved with Community Thread’s signature initiatives including River Rally and Holiday Hope.


Nominees and winners will be recognized during National Volunteer Week between April 21-27, 2024.

Awardees will be invited to attend Black Tie Bingo on April 13, 2024 where they will be celebrated for their volunteer efforts.

Awardees will also be invited to the Community Involvement Award breakfast on April 25, 2024 at Community Thread in Stillwater where they will be recognized with county commissioners in attendance.