Outstanding young professionals: Manistee Jaycees present annual community awards

The Manistee Jaycees presented their annual Manistee County Community Awards on Tuesday evening. Pictured (from left to right) in the front row are award recipients Amiee Patulski of Munson Manistee's Emergency Department; and Jenna Johnson of the Michigan DNR; Breanna Miller of the MHS Forensics Team. Back row: Xavier Verna of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts; Brian Gutowski of the Manistee County Sheriff's Department; and Bill Kinnunen of Casman Academy. Not pictured: Ben Crowley of Edward Jones. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Manistee Jaycees presented their annual Manistee County Community Awards on Tuesday evening. Pictured (from left to right) in the front row are award recipients Amiee Patulski of Munson Manistee’s Emergency Department; and Jenna Johnson of the Michigan DNR; Breanna Miller of the MHS Forensics Team. Back row: Xavier Verna of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts; Brian Gutowski of the Manistee County Sheriff’s Department; and Bill Kinnunen of Casman Academy. Not pictured: Ben Crowley of Edward Jones. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Outstanding young people are making a difference in the Manistee community, now and presumably into the future.

The Manistee Jaycees, who are made up of young and determined individuals themselves, annually recognize these difference-makers at their Manistee County Community Awards Dinner.

On Tuesday evening, an awards ceremony was held at Manistee’s Blue Fish Kitchen and Bar during which seven local recipients were honored for their service to the community.

“As young professionals, we’re all trying to make our mark here and do what we can to make Manistee a better place,” said Kenny Kott, secretary/historian of the Jaycees. “One of the ways that we’re able to do that as Jaycees is to recognize other young people who are really making an impact in our community.”

Leading up to Tuesday’s ceremony, the Jaycees (whose members were ineligible to win an award) asked the community to vote and determine this year’s winners for six separate categories: Outstanding Young Professional; Outstanding Young Volunteer; Outstanding Young Healthcare Provider; Outstanding Young Educator; Outstanding Young Public Safety Provider; and Outstanding Young Person Making a Difference.

Eligible candidates had to be between the ages of 21 and 40.

“In presenting these awards, we’re really just providing the platform whereas the residents of the community are the ones selecting these people,” Kott said. “They’re being noticed by members of the community outside of the Jaycees, which really shows their impact.”

This year’s recipients were:

Outstanding Young Professional: Xavier Verna of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts;

Outstanding Young Volunteer: A tie between Ben Crowley of Edward Jones and Breanna Miller of the MHS Forensics Team;

Outstanding Young Healthcare Provider: Amiee Patulski of Munson Manistee’s Emergency Department;

Outstanding Young Educator: Bill Kinnunen of Casman Academy;

Outstanding Young Public Safety Provider: Brian Gutowski of the Manistee County Sheriff’s Department;

Outstanding Young Person Making a Difference: Jenna Johnson of the Michigan DNR.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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