Volunteer of the Year

The V. Thomas Metcalfe Volunteer of the Year Award is named in memory of community leader Tom Metcalfe, a friend of Wisconsin Public Television. It honors a volunteer demonstrating outstanding leadership and commitment to WPT. We are proud to recognize Mary Rondou as our 2018 V. Thomas Metcalfe Volunteer of the Year.

Mary first started volunteering with WPT as a bid filer and cashier at the 2014 WPT Auction. Since then, she has been an All-Star Volunteer and 50+ Hours Volunteer every year, donating more than 1,200 total hours to WPT’s events and membership drives. Mary is willing to help in any volunteer role and also serves in leadership roles with the Auction donation team, as a shift coordinator for membership drives, and as a front-of-show captain at the Garden and Quilt Expos. Mary volunteered over 500 hours in the last year alone and was highly nominated by WPT staff and her fellow volunteers.

Thank you, Mary!

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“WPT has amazing volunteers and staff. I am so honored to be included with the past award winners. It was a wonderful surprise.”

–Mary Rondou, 2018 V. Thomas Metcalfe Volunteer of the Year

What is your favorite volunteer job at WPT?
This past year, I spent a lot of time in “Auctionland.” I called businesses for donations and wrote scripts for the donations to be read on-air. I most enjoyed identifying and resolving problems and issues as they arose throughout Auction. Not that problems are good, but I like researching and fixing them.

Why is WPT meaningful to you?
I can remember watching Sesame Street as a kid and Dr. Who as a teen. WPT has been – and continues to be — a part of my life. Now I enjoy Masterpiece mysteries, PBS NewsHour and BBC World News. My nephew loves watching the new PBS Kids channel. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to an organization that I believe provides quality programing for Wisconsin, which is educational, entertaining and inspiring – at no cost to the viewers. This is most important for children’s programing.

What’s your reaction to being named Volunteer of the Year?
Honored. Very honored. WPT has amazing volunteers and staff. I am so honored to be included with the past award winners. It was a wonderful surprise.

What would you say to a first-time volunteer?
I remember my first pledge drive and how unsure I was. So I tell first-timers not to worry — relax and have fun. There are plenty of folks here who have your back. We are going to train you, let you practice and help you. And then we are going to give you snacks! We will help you succeed in whatever job you have volunteered to do.

Past Recipients of Volunteer of the Year

2018 Mary Rondou
2017 Tom McVary
2016 Julie Brockman
2015 Brian Ruppert
2014 Sandy Rupnow
2013 Fran Schultz
2012 Sandra Levin
2011 Mark Schoenleber
2010 Andy Koch
2009 Bill Schloemer
2008 Stan Druckenmiller
2007 Ann Scott

2006 Alan Hackbarth
2005 LouJean Steenberg
2004 Gary Kimmerly
2003 Ingrid Lind-Jahn and Pete Jahn
2002 Janice and Michael Stone
2001 Cheryl Thompson
2000 Todd Liebergen
1999 Nancy and John O’Neill
1998 Janet Weidemann
1997 Ann Clark
1996 Shel Ellestad
1995 Kristine Wiese

1994 Sally Ann Miller
1993 John Schulist
1992 Jeannie Druckenmiller
1991 Linda Barker
1990 Rudy Fritz
1989 Grace Homb
1988 Rodney Pflaum
1987 Ann Campbell
1986 M J Combs
1985 Linda Berman
1984 Karen Godshall