Call them Valen-teers? These folks love to serve

Giving is central to the Valentine’s Day spirit, and so at this time each year The Hinsdalean recognizes those who give their time and energy through community organizations committed to making this corner of the world a better place through their diverse missions.

Here are the 2022 “Valentine” recipients as recommended by the leaders of the agencies they serve.

• Joan Chiaviello and Susann Oakum have been the steadfast greeters for clients arriving at each HCS Family Services pantry distribution — even throughout the pandemic. They make sure clients’ needs are met in a kind and thoughtful manner, always with a smile. Recently, Chiaviello co-coordinated the holiday program, and both women have stepped up to help with administrative responsibilities.

• Lori Jensen has been a volunteer at Wellness House for several years, the last two of which she has coordinated virtual programs so participants can get Wellness House support in the comfort of their homes. Whether she is greeting people at the front desk, taking calls from home or helping out with special events, Jensen is always respectful and compassionate with staff and participants.

• Robert “Bob” Dirmish — known as Dr. Bob — is a longtime volunteer for HCS Family Services on food distribution days, helping clients shop, restocking shelves and retrieving shopping carts. He is very good at making the clients feel welcome and comfortable.

• Tyler Folkmann, a senior at Hinsdale Central, initially volunteered at the Hinsdale Historical Society to learn more about Hinsdale’s past. He has continued serving the organization and was instrumental in the creation of the current World War II exhibit on display at the Hinsdale History Museum. He plans to study civil engineering in college but anticipates remaining somehow involved in history.

• Lauren Kavanaugh, Jamie Quinn and Diana Wagenbach are the Kitchen Walk 2022 co-chairs. Their diverse skill set is already in action creating what will be a memorable day for the iconic event, with this year’s theme, Design Matters.

• Caryn Glover has been a Candor Health Education Board member since February of 2017 and has been a tireless supporter of the organization. Glover has been instrumental in engaging her personal networks in fundraising efforts and has been a huge supporter of the virtual UnWined event later this month.

• Christine Minnella, a longtime member of the Hinsdale Historical Society, regularly volunteers behind the scenes, including creating all the print materials for the Kitchen Walk with precision and care for the last 10 years. The program book has grown from 36 pages in 2009 to 84 pages in 2019. Minnella loves the Kitchen Walk and the army of women who help put on the highly popular annual event.

• Jeff Ellithorpe has been on the Candor Health Education Board since September of 2017, serving as treasurer for the last three years and on the development committee since he joined the board. Ellithorpe understands the financial position of the organization better than any other board member and continues to support the organization and it’s fundraising initiatives with his family, friends, and neighbors.