Fulgenzi, Wolfenden named Lapeer Citizens of the Year
By Mike Arnholt
LAPEER -- A woman who tirelessly supports the troops and a man who spends his spare time trying to keep the Flint River clean are the 2008 Lapeer Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year.
Joyce Fulgenzi, founder of Operation Care Package Michigan, and Dave Wolfenden, a member of the Flint River Rats working with the Flint Watershed Coalition to clean up the Flint River, were honored as female and male citizens of the year in the Chamber’s 27th annual awards ceremonies Thursday at the Lapeer Country Club.
In presenting the honor to Fulgenzi, last year’s Citizen of the Year honoree, Karen Rykhus noted, “She spends countless, tireless hours each month raising money to purchase gifts from home to send to our troops. She holds packing parties at her home and ships out hundreds of packages to our troops each month.”
Fulgenzi also is a Ride Captain with the Patriot Guard of Michigan, organizing send-offs and welcome-home receptions for soldiers at local airports and offers support to the families of fallen soldiers. Her Operation Care Package float won first place in the Lapeer Days Parade this year.
In his nomination of Fulgenzi, Rick Young, CEO of Promitech Technologies, noted: “In August alone, she donated a third of her time to fund raising and support of the troops .... JJ does so much and gives so much of her time and personal money, this is the least we can do for her.”
In presenting the Male Citizen of the Year honor to Wolfenden, Rykhus said, “Dave Woolfenden of American Speedy Printing is described by many as a man who goes about his business without a lot of fanfare, but with quiet dignity. He has been active in Pheasants Forever for many years; he is also a member of the Lapeer Rotary and was a key player in organizing the Gus Macker tournaments for many years.”
Wolfenden also is a member of the “Rotary River Rats,” working with the Flint Watershed Coalition to clean up the Flint River. He also was the logistics and technical chairperson for the Lapeer Days Festival and is an active and strong supporter of the Family Literacy Center.
In addition, he serves on the board of trustees at his church.
In nominating Wolfenden, DNR biologist Joe Leonardi noted:
“Dave has willingly taken an active role in educating the public of its value as well as participating in a number of river cleanups.” He added that Wolfenden has contributed hundreds of hours to clear numerous logjams on the river. “What is most important is Dave has become a trusted leader with this project.”