PRIDE taps Volunteer of Year
Honor surprises Dale Bohannon
A behind-the-scenes contributor to such projects as Lansing DAZE, the city's Spooky Center and the Kids Day Fishing Derby is Lansing's 2005 Volunteer of the Year.
Dale Bohannon, director of building and grounds for the Lansing School District, received the award at the 12th annual Recognition Dinner on Monday at the Lansing Community Center. He is the 10th person to earn the honor, which is awarded by the Lansing PRIDE Committee.
"His generosity is limitless when it comes to community events," said Mayor Kenneth Bernard, who presented the award to Bohannon.
"He is a key player in making things happen for Lansing residents," Bernard said before announcing this year's award winner to the audience at the dinner. "If there ever is an issue that arises, this person will always find a solution to the problem."
Bohannon, who "was born and raised on Muncie Road," has lived in the area for most of his life. Prior to working for the school district, he was a longtime employee of Lansing Lumber and had previously worked at Lansing Correctional Facility.
He said his boss at the lumberyard, Pete Peterson, fostered the idea of volunteerism.
"He was always involved in the community," Bohannon said about Peterson, who was the city's 2003 Volunteer of the Year, "and he encouraged everybody to get involved."
Bohannon is a 23-year member of the Lansing Lions Club, a former volunteer firefighter and is a longtime volunteer with the city, assisting with the Lansing DAZE festival, Spooky Center, Kids Fishing Derby, Fourth of July Celebration and other events.
Asked how he got involved in so many events, Bohannon said, "Through the years, you just kind of do it."
He said the Spooky Center - the city's annual Halloween event - and the Kids Day Fishing Derby were among his favorite programs.
"I just get a kick out of watching the kids," he said.
John Bennett, who was the 2000 Volunteer of the Year, said Bohannon was instrumental in helping civic groups gain access to school facilities for their charitable endeavors.
"If you need anything in the way of a school building, he absolutely helped to make them available," Bennett said. "He would go far beyond what was necessary in the way of his own job to help."
Bohannon has a knack for finding the right equipment at the right time for community events, too, Bennett said.
"If they needed generators for something at Lansing DAZE, he'd find them," Bennett said. "If they needed tents, he had the resources to know where to get them."
Bohannon said he was shocked when Bernard got up to present the award and the mayor started talking about him.
"I was really surprised," Bohannon said. "I don't get involved to get recognition; I like to be behind the scenes."
"Dale Bohannon is one of the city's best-kept secrets," Bernard said. "He and his wife, Carol, are wonderful assets to the community, and he is most deserving of recognition as 2005 Volunteer of the Year."
"He just helps everybody do everything," Bennett said of Bohannon. "And his staff volunteers right alongside him."