Two earn awards for community service

imageDedication to local causes has earned Joan Goodman and Shelly Reifke this year’s Bernie G. Henderson Community Service Awards at SUNY Oswego.

To a degree, Goodman literally walked into the honor. A secretary I in the college’s Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, she has walked in fundraisers for organizations that include the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the United Way, the YMCA and March of Dimes. She traditionally participates in SUNY Oswego’s Corporate Challenge team, which this year supports the Central New York Children’s Hospital at University Hospital.

Goodman serves as captain for the college’s team in the March of Dimes walkathon. She has spearheaded efforts that raised more than $4,000 over the past three years for this charity. She also organized a memory board for the college’s Denim Day activities that benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has expanded her fundraising role in the past few years, explained David Bozak, associate dean of arts and sciences at SUNY Oswego.

“Joan has shied from taking the credit for her efforts and the great publicity the college receives as a result,” Bozak wrote in his nomination letter. “Those that have seen her work know how much effort she puts into these fundraisers.

Reifke, a secretary I in the communication studies department, has devoted her talents and energies to causes that include Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Camp Hollis, the Oswego Pumpkin Festival, Independence Celebration and a local animal shelter.

In nominating Reifke for the award, Jerry Condra of SUNY Oswego’s communication studies faculty gave special mention to a kickball event dubbed “Cliqueball.” It started when Reifke, then coaching the Oswego High School varsity cheerleaders, was approached about a kickball game between her squad and participants at Red Planet skate park. She took the idea a step further, suggesting different groups or “cliques” organize teams for an event that would allow different groups to interact and get to know about one another. A major goal of the event was to instill the desire for community spirit in young participants.

“Shelly spends her days helping students and professors stay ahead of their game, but when the workday ends, her feeling of caring and concern for others does not come to an end,” Condra noted.

The award is named for Bernie Henderson, SUNY Oswego’s former vice president for finance and budget. He retired from the college in 1999 and continues his longstanding service with many community organizations.

Winners are honored every May at the college’s Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Henderson Awards—Joan Goodman (center), a secretary in the SUNY Oswego Dean of Arts and Sciences Office, and Shelly Reifke, communication studies department secretary, are this year’s Bernie G. Henderson Community Service Award winners at SUNY Oswego. Henderson, SUNY Oswego’s former vice president for finance and budget, is known for his longstanding service with many community organizations.

(Posted: Jun 14, 2005)