Community Organization of the Year Award Recipients Rev, David R. Pike of St. David’s Episcopal Church, Citizen of the Year Award Recipient Xavier DeGroat, Young Person of the Year Award Recipient Scott Thomas, Business of the Year Award Recipients Kate McNerney of Chick-fil-A Lansing, Delta Township Legacy Award Recipient Janicé Vedder, and Delta Township Supervisor Kenneth R. Fletcher.
Photo credit: John Vial of John Douglas Photography, (517) 243-5900
DELTA TOWNSHIP – Delta Township hosted the 13th Annual Delta Township Community Awards Event on October 25 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West. Over 250 people gathered to celebrate the outstanding individuals, businesses, and organizations that were honored during the event.
The Township presented five awards this year including Business of the Year, Community Organization of the Year, Young Person of the Year, Citizen of the Year and the Township Legacy Award. The Young Person of the Year was also presented with a $2,000 Scholarship sponsored by the Delta Side Business Association.
The 2018 Business of the Year was presented to Chick-fil-A Lansing. Chick-fil-A Lansing opened in October
2016 as the first Chick-fil-A in Michigan! It is owned by U.S. Air Force Veteran and Michigan native, Kate McNerney. Her business’s mission is to be a home away from home in the community, nourishing and flourishing together. Chick-fil-A’s goal is to support educational programs, first responders, military, firefighters, and police through food and community enrichment donations.
The 2018 Community Organization of the Year was presented to St. David’s Episcopal Church. Founded in 1962, St. David’s Episcopal Church has been a dedicated member of the Delta Township Community. More specifically, St.
David’s has made a significant effort to help serve the senior community here in Delta. Their St. David’s Senior World Luncheon Program got its start in 1996 when a small group of women from St. David’s, residents of the Senior World
Housing Complex (now called Lansing Manor) met for lunch and Bible Study. As the program grew larger, they held it at St. David’s Church and it shifted its focus to include inspirational teaching, music, as well as prayer. From its small beginnings, it has grown to host an average of 60 people. The church also provides free Eatran transportation to those who come from the various housing facilities.
The 2018 Young Person of the Year Award was presented to Scott Thomas. Scott Thomas is a senior at Grand Ledge High School and was nominated for his dedication and excellence in academics, athletics, and volunteerism. He loves academics and is always striving to do his best, never shying away from a challenge. Scott is a top-rated archer where he is a leader and inspiration to his teammates. Additionally, he is a true public servant through his volunteerism with Key Club where he has lead several community service initiatives including clothing drives for Homeless Angels and a Smoke Detector Installation Program. Even in the midst of his own personal struggles which include the recent loss of his father to leukemia, Scott’s positive attitude remains infectious and is a true inspiration to all that meet him.
The 2018 Citizen of Year Award was presented to Xavier DeGroat. Xavier DeGroat is an exceptional individual whose own struggles have inspired him to find a way to aid those in similar situations. As a young child, Xavier was diagnosed with autism, but he has not let that stop him from defining his own identity. He has endured bullying, harassment, and discrimination, but through it all, he has managed to overcome the social obstacles to become a global advocate for those with autism. DeGroat has traveled across America to meet with leaders in various areas; from politicians to celebrities, sports legends, journalists and influential activists, to educate them on issues that exist in their industry or community. The long and difficult path Xavier traveled to bring this information to others inspired him to truly make a difference. Earlier this year, with the support of some extraordinary and influential people, he founded The Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation (XDAF). The mission of the XDAF is to provide support to individuals and families of those with autism by providing them with opportunities to become economically, socially and politically successful. The foundation is dedicated to advocating on behalf of those with autism, which could mean pushing for equal treatment in employment and housing or combatting other injustices against those with the diagnosis.
The 2018 Delta Township Legacy Award was presented to Janicé A. Vedder. Janicé A. Vedder served as the Delta Township Clerk for twenty-three years, where she oversaw the record keeping and election processes for the Township. She also served on several Township boards and committees including the Planning Commission, Zoning and Sign Board of Appeals, Election Committee, Library Committee, Utility Committee, and Environmental Committee. She was a leading advocate for street lights, sidewalks, and recycling, and was an early advocate of shared services.
Ms. Vedder became Delta Township’s first Certified Municipal Clerk and obtained a Master Municipal Certified Clerk designation. She was recognized as an election authority and was sought out by state and federal elected officials for her expertise and was asked to serve on a number of committees including a Special Committee on Voter Registration, a Special Committee on the Qualified Voter File, and for the Help America Vote Act Committee. Additionally, she was appointed to serve on the statewide non-partisan Election Committee, where she received a national award for her barcoding of elections, registration, and absentee applications, which served as the basis of the Qualified Voting File (QVF) program still used today.
Janicé Vedder was a statewide leader in advancing fair and efficient elections by supporting early voting, no reason absentee ballots, consolidated elections, barcoding of registration and ballots, recruiting the best election workers and providing effective training for staff and election workers. She was the co-founder and former president of the Capital Area Municipal Clerk’s Association, as well as, one of the founding members of the statewide Council of Election Officials, and was its longest-serving member.
Janicé Vedder’s advanced strong fiscal policies helped to ensure that the Township maintained a balanced budget, was transparent and was in a financial position to weather the recession without loss of services or employee layoffs.
Ms. Vedder was always focused on providing the best possible service to residents through selling bus passes, vendor licenses, deleafing bags, and passports. A wealth of knowledge, she easily answered residents’ questions and explained how local government works to school children.
In addition to her role as a clerk, Ms. Vedder was a leading advocate for a viable and modern public library and was instrumental in establishing the Delta Township District Library. She helped to establish the Delta Township Historical Society aiding in saving and restoring important historical Township records.
Lastly, Ms. Vedder has a rich history of putting others first as was demonstrated by her devotion to the Delta Township community and to her husband and two sons.
Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.