Packers honor volunteers with Give Back Awards
GREEN BAY – Mary Jane Bublitz had been volunteering for three years by the time Ambrose Wiering was born. Both were among 10 people honored Wednesday with Green Bay Packers Give Back Awards for work in their communities.
"I will do it for as long as I can," said Bublitz, 86, who volunteers at the cardiac desk at Bellin Hospital and is a Concerned Hearts Club member. She's been assisting patients and families at the hospital for 19 years and was one of the original patient advisers. All Concerned Hearts Club members had heart surgery or had a family member who did. She's accumulated more than 9,000 hours of volunteer service.
Volunteers man the cardiac desk around the clock, oversee the visitor lounge and lend an ear when it's needed.
"We have compassion for (family members). They need someone to talk to for the long hours they are waiting," she said.
Wiering, 16, of Two Rivers, mentors middle school students in the Lakeshore FIRST Robotics program at St. Nazianz. When he joined the science-promoting program, he had a mentor who was a high school student.
"It was so impactful for me, I wanted to do the the same," he said. "All the students, when they actually get a chance to get their hands on this stuff, realize what they can do."
Wiering's plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
A third recipient, Richard Marbes, 78, of De Pere is responsible for providing transportation to veterans using the Milo C. Huempfner VA Clinic in Green Bay. A member of Disabled American Veterans, Marbes has 46 years of volunteer service, the most among Wednesday's recipients. He oversees volunteers who man phones, schedule rides and drive vans. He also helps with fundraising to buy new vans and is a former DAV national commander.
Marbes was introduced to the DAV in the late 1950s, when his right leg was amputated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Years later, he joined the local chapter of DAV and has been busy since.
Wednesday's award recipients accumulated 142 years, or the equivalent of 7,040 hours a year, of volunteering, said Bobbi Jo Eisenreich, Packers manager of corporate giving. Each recipient received a $2,000 grant for the nonprofit group of their choice.
"Your time is often the best thing you can give," said Mark Murphy, Packers president and CEO. "My experience has been the more my wife and I give, the more we get back."
The Packers and the Packers Foundation have been honoring volunteers since 2000.
Other recipients were Jason Engledow of Cedarburg, Shelli Hagerty of Anitgo, Kathy Jauquet of De Pere, Anthony Pine of New Berlin, Jerry Prellwitz of De Pere, Susan Rudolph of Peshtigo and Michele Sliwicki of Neenah.