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Red Cross in Muskegon Presents Extraordinary Service Award

Red Cross in Muskegon Presents Extraordinary Service Award
Julie is a loyal financial donor, and whenever given the chance to speak about the Red Cross does so with confidence, conviction and emotion that often leaves her and her audience in tears.

Julie Balgooyen, Cloverville resident and Owner of the Julie R. Balgooyen Insurance Agency, is this year's recipient of the Reese Extraordinary Service and Leadership Award, given out annually by the American Red Cross.

The Reese Award recognizes exceptional leadership and personal dedication, leading to the establishment, expansion or improvement of service to the American Red Cross and the community.

The nominee's performance must demonstrate substantial volunteer service, which includes leading an activity of exceptional importance and complexity. The nominee must display imagination and superior effort in developing creative solutions to situations and problems.

The Reese Red Cross Extraordinary Service and Leadership Award is the highest award the chapter gives and was established in memory of Jack and Pat Reese, long time volunteers and benefactors of the American Red Cross.

This award was presented at the Annual American Red Cross Volunteer and Blood Donor Recognition event on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

Balgooyen has been a Red Cross volunteer since 1997, when she joined the Board of Directors. She has served in several leadership positions within the organization including serving on the following committees: Finance & Planning, Board Development, Financial Development and Personnel.

Balgooyen has served as the secretary of the Board, ultimately rising to become Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

She also has served as the Red Cross Representative on the United Way Board of Directors.

“Julie loves the American Red Cross," said Tim Lipan, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of the Lakeshore and West Shore Areas. "She is a loyal financial donor, and whenever given the chance to speak about the Red Cross does so with confidence, conviction and emotion that often leaves her and her audience in tears.”

Balgooyen has always taken an active role as a Red Cross volunteer. She chaired the very successful Red Cross Golf Outing for many years. She has used her skills in Health Benefits and Human Resource issues to assist the Red Cross in evaluation and determination of appropriate health plans for many years.

During the time as Chairperson of the Board, the American Red Cross organization, both nationally and locally, went through massive change. Through this change Balgooyen was a loyal watchdog of the impact on the local chapter.

Balgooyen’s volunteer work goes well beyond the American Red Cross. She serves as Co-Chair of Hospitality Services at her church. She is a past Board Member of the Lakeshore Elder Care. She has served on the Board of the Michigan Irish Music Festival, and volunteered for Muskegon Summer Celebration and for Student Showcase. She is currently working on Tempting Tables.

For more information on how to become a Red Cross volunteer, please call 231-726-3555 or visit our website at redcross.org/muskegon.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org