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Dursch all smiles at VOP event

Julius Dursch was all smiles when he accepted the John Herrmann Personal Achievement Award Nov. 14 at the 43rd annual Village of Progress banquet.

More than 300 people turned out for the event which was held at St. Mary's Community Center, Oregon, to honor consumers and volunteers for their efforts.

"I want to thank all the village staff for supporting me in this," he said after accepting the award from Duane Herrmann. "I thank you all."

Emcee Tom Wadsworth, Dixon, said Dursch has worked at VOP since 1996.

"In addition to our subcontract jobs, he also works at a number of janitorial sites with our VOP cleaning crews," he said. "One of the goals Julius has set for himself and has accomplished is the operation of our walk-behind motorized forklift. He has been consistently successful in moving work to and from our production areas in a safe and courteous manner."

Besides that, Wadsworth said, Dursch had learned to operate the stretch wrap machine, and for many years has operated the yarn coning machine for the color cards produced for the textile industry.

VOP Foundation Board member Dave Smith presented the Robert Moehle Personal Achievement Award to Pam Hammer.

Hammer, who has been enrolled at VOP since the fall of 1969, earned the award for her positive attitude and perseverance in the face of medical challenges and personal losses.

Libby Herriott was the recipient of the Janie Etnyre Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to her by Don Etnyre.

Herriott drove four hours to attend the banquet from Central College, Pella, Iowa, where she is a senior.

Herriott, who plans to be an occupational therapist, started volunteering at VOP last summer because she wanted to gain experience working with adults with special needs. She contributed 94 hours of volunteer service.

"I feel so blessed to have worked with all the staff and consumers," Herriott said.

The Fred Smith Competitive Employment Award was presented to Mike Shank by VOP Foundation Board member Rob Urish.

Shank works with the VOP janitorial service.

He was chosen for the award because of his years of service, dependability, attitude, flexibility, and quality of work.

Rachel White was the recipient of Carly Heller Special Olympian of the Year Award by Linda Wills.

White competes in three sports - basketball, track and field, and bowling - in Special Olympics and does her best while encouraging her fellow athletes.

Wadsworth said the award went to White "in recognition of her athletic accomplishments, exemplary attitude, and loyal friendship to her fellow athletes."

Three college students were awarded $500 scholarships from the VOP Foundation, presented by Wanda Cacciatore.

Herriott received the Foundation Scholarship, Ellen Hahn was awarded a scholarship made possible by Larry Young & Friends Charities, and Lindsey Smidt received a scholarship from funds donated by Wanda and Pete Cacciatore.

Ed Sowa presented the Rick Hahn Business of the Year Award to Maplehurst Farms.

Special business recognition went to Wahl Clipper, the recipient of the 2009 and 2010 of the Hahn award.

Bob Brown was the recipient of the Robert Stahl Friendship Award, presented by Sid Anderson.

Brown remembered Stahl, a 20-year VOP staff member who passed away in 1999.

"When we went for pizza one time, Bob Stahl and I ate pizza with anchovies on it," he said with a grin.

"That is a true friend to eat anchovies with you," joked Wadsworth.

Chris Martin presented the final award, the Robert Stouffer Special Recognition Award to Don Etnyre and the E.D. Etnyre Company.

The award goes to an agency, organization, or individual helpful to VOP through donations of time, money, or gifts.

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