Fabri-Kal teamed up with the Growlers to recognize and reward our community’s All-Stars. These are hidden heroes that deserve recognition and you helped us find them. Meet the Fabri-Kal Community All-Stars of 2019 and 2018 below.
2019 Fabri-Kal Community All Stars
Kerrigan is not your average 12 year old. She collects items for the homeless in Kalamazoo. Her and her mother put together bags with food and clothing items she collects. It’s important to her to meet and have conversations with those that she helps. She also writes letter and cards she calls “Happy Mail” to send to sick kids across the country. Kerrigan also does creative things to fund-raise for a rare Mitochondrial disease. Kerrigan is a perfect example of what it means to be a Fabri-Kal Community All-Star.
Shaina is the founder of Kalamazoo Rabbit Rescue. While also holding down a full time job of her own, she has dedicated her time to creating a safe haven for abused, neglected and unwanted rabbits in Michigan through this non-profit organization. Shaina strives to teach the community and adopters the proper knowledge and spread awareness of rabbit welfare issues. She built the rescue from the ground up, often using personal money to fund food and medical costs for these poor animals when donations were slow. When we think of selfless members of the community we think of Shaina Cranson.
A Fabri-Kal Community All-Star thinks of others needs before their own, and that is Ben. Ben is generous with his time and doesn’t think twice to sacrifice his own training in order to assist a fellow runner of the Kalamazoo running community. As a run camp group leader, he sets the example for all of us as he cheers on fellow runners. Referring to him as the informal “Ambassador of Running,” his training partners like to joke that his race times would be faster if he would quit high-fiving and encouraging everyone else out on the course. It’s clear he thrives on lifting others up and supporting them to do their best and that is why he is a true Fabri-Kal Community All-Star.
2018 Fabri-Kal Community All-Stars
“Katie dedicates her life to helping homeless pets in our community through the SPCA of Southwest Michigan. She has earned numerous awards for the SPCA’s efforts and was the head of the re-branding campaign to help find forever homes for thousands of cats and dogs. She volunteers her time on weekends attending different events advocating for the SPCA. She is truly a selfless member of our community.”
“Mike has been a baseball coach with South Portage Little League for years. He is an amazing coach who allows kids to all get equal playing time while still challenging the more advanced children. He has amazing patience and shows a love and kindness towards everyone. Coach Mike also volunteers his time to coach one of the all-star teams as well as a Portage travel team. He continues to impact these kids’ lives through lessons of sportsmanship, kindness and hard work.”
“Gretchen is the outreach coordinator and parent rep for Special Olympics Area 16. Both Gretchen and Sarah are certified coaches and fill in where needed. They organize the softball program and do the apparel for Special Olympics. They volunteer their time with Special Olympics whenever possible and traveled to Traverse City for the Winter Games and Mount Pleasant for the Summer Games (they took a delegation of over 300 to the Summer Games this year). Gretchen fields all of the new athlete calls, emails and recruitment.
“Brian Bartman is the definition of a community all star. An Army and combat Veteran himself, he currently works for Spectrum Health out of Grand Rapids. He is also a volunteer and part of the leadership team for Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization. When he is not working his full time job, he is deploying to assist with natural disaster clean up in and around the mid-west. Brian rarely misses an opportunity to volunteer his time to assist those that have been affected by natural disasters. His selfless service to others truly has an impact on every community he visits. Mr. Bartman is setting the example of what it means to continue to serve others and give back to his community. He is truly an all star in every way. “
“Dale volunteers his time on the board to help organize the annual Night to Shine event which is put on each year to give those with special needs truly a night to shine. In February, they celebrated over 120 kings and queens with over 250 volunteers to make the prom night experience unforgettable.”
“Joe has coached for over 26 years including the Mattawan Varsity Baseball team as well as a college wheelchair basketball team. He prioritizes his athletes above all, knowing that he is able to make a difference in their lives by providing a father figure to many who would otherwise not know what a strong male role model is. He volunteers all year helping kids ages 6-19 with life lessons, school work and preparing for college. He has also raised thousands of dollars to help rehab the fields so the boys have the very best to play on.”
“Steve has been with the Portage Department of Public Safety since 1993. For the last 10 years, he has organized a community food drive each November. What began as a small, neighborhood effort has expanded to include many areas of Portage as well as a city-wide competition among the employees of various departments in Portage. Steve’s efforts have resulted in the collection of approximately 40,000 pounds of food donated to Loaves and Fishes, Portage Community Center and St. Vincent de Paul.”
Nichole has been teaching for 22 years. During the summer while she is out of school she spends her time helping kids with their reading skills and prepares them for the upcoming school year. Nichole has touched the lives of so many students and their families through her yeas of teaching. When a student is in need of extra help or needs an advocate, she doesn’t hesitate to donate her time to be there for them in any way she can.
Zach is the founder of ButtWaggers. They produce a line of dog collars and are used as a way to generate awareness and additional revenue stream for non-profits. He was inspired by his dog who spent 6 months at the SPCA of Southwest MI and after seeing the amazing work they do for homeless pets, he wanted to find a way to help. The proceeds for every collar and leash sold are donated to help animals in our area.
If you or someone you know would like to nominate a true Fabri-Kal Community All-Star please feel free to do so below.