Volunteer Awards Presented at 2019 Gala

In 2018, GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities logged close to 2000 volunteer hours with volunteers performing various roles within the Playhouse.  From math and literacy tutors, social and therapeutic program leaders, event committee members to those who so generously assist with cleaning and maintaining our Playhouse, we appreciate you all.

Every year, we take a few moments at the gala to recognize some of the amazing volunteers. We create a list of nominations for volunteers that have gone above and beyond in the past year. While we will only recognize one from each category, we are forever thankful for all of them.

Tutor of the Year

Barb Houseman | Michael Low | Samantha Thompson

Volunteer of the Year

Amy Schatterman | Brian Yaklich | Amy Sweeney

Program Leader

Amber Wirt | Mara Guse | Melanie Rice & Denise Ford

Generation G

Re/Max Elite Homes | Vibrant Credit Union | OC3 CrossFit

Young Leader

Bella Massa | Carson Paulsgrove | Mattie Kindelsperger


The Young Leader Award was presented to Carson Paulsgrove. Carson is a Jr High student at Rockridge High School. He doesn’t require any volunteer hours and volunteers just because he wants to. But the real reason we chose him was that he has led his friends and fellow classmates to get involved too. He brought a few friends to help at the car show this past summer and brought his entire football team to help at the Superhero run in October.

Barb Houseman received the Outstanding Tutor of the Year award. Barb has not only made an impact on our local tutoring program she also worked diligently to make changes to the National GiGi’s Math Tutor curriculum.

We have standout volunteers in all areas, but sometimes one volunteer stands out amongst the rest.  One who goes above and beyond what we could possibly ask of them.  This year’s award winner has helped many times remotely. Amy Schatterman was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. She often takes projects home and returns them completed, she sold the most raffle tickets prior to the gala, and she continually posts on social media about the importance of and showing support for GiGi’s.

All programming at GiGi’s Playhouse is offered at no cost to our families which means we must find funding to cover the cost for programs through events, grants and support from private donors, corporate donors, families, and friends. However, free programming is also made possible thanks to the volunteers that serve as Program Leaders. Program Leaders take on planning, organizing, and implementing their programs at the scheduled time. This year we recognized two leaders as Program Leaders of the Year. Melanie Rice & Denise Ford have been the leaders of the Fantastic Friends program for the past four years. They have recently stepped down to focus more on their families, but we are forever grateful for the time they have given to GiGi’s and the participants.

GiGi’s has a nationwide campaign called generation G. This campaign instills the need to be accepting, generous, and kind. This year’s Generation G Award winner is a business and the owners that have helped make a very special program possible. Colin & Jesse Cartee and OC3 Cross Fit have opened their doors and hearts to GiGi’s participants and introduced them to the CrossFit community. They have been shining examples of living a generation G life.

We want to thank not only all the volunteers but all of YOU for helping the Playhouse achieve its best of all! Speaking of Best of All…This year we gave out an extra special award.  As we were discussing who should be nominated and receive awards, one name kept coming up. It came up in each category, but we certainly couldn’t put it on each list and we couldn’t give them more than one award. Mara Guse was given the Best of All Award. Mara has tutored, helped with special events, leads a program, assists with other programs and so much more! We can never thank her enough for all she has done!

GiGi’s is over 90% volunteer run and having volunteers like them make the Playhouse what it is. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, check out the volunteer section of our website.

We’re currently in need of Board Members and Program Leaders. We’d love to have you as part of the team!

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