United Way Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren Switlick and Michael Arnold
For the City Times
Submitted by By Angela Loucks, Volunteer Center Director
For many people, going to Rudolph Country Christmas is an annual holiday tradition. It simply isn’t Christmas until you go to the Rudolph Post Office to get your holiday cards postmarked with that special Red Nosed Reindeer imprint. This year, mark your calendars – Rudolph Country Christmas will be Dec. 9.
As the event expands, so does the need for volunteers and fresh perspectives. Lauren and Mike got involved last year when they saw a Facebook request.
“We decided to attend one of their planning committee meetings,” said Arnold. “After the meeting, we were determined to assist. But this past summer is when Lauren and I became fully involved. We learned that the current Chairperson was stepping down and there was no one to take over for her. Now, Lauren I are the co-chairs.”
“As chairs, we coordinate the event, schedule the events and find talent,” added Switlick. “But it’s a team effort. It takes contributions from the whole group to make it happen.”
Obviously Rudolph is a special place. “I was born and raised in Rudolph and hold the town close to my heart,” said Arnold. “My father and I have a strawberry farm in Rudolph that has been in our family since the late 1800’s. The heritage of this small farming community has had a great impact on my development in life. I have also been a volunteer firefighter/EMT for Rudolph Fire Department for 13 years.”
When asked why they volunteer:
“The Rudolph Country Christmas helps a lot of small hometown groups, such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, Kiwanis, American Legion, Rudolph River Rovers Snowmobile Club, Friends of St. Phillip, the Rudolph Fire Department, and THINK Academy just to name a few.
“We also do it to keep it going,” said Switlick. “We want this tradition to last so our children can have the same experiences that we did. It brings the community together, helping one another and passing along that drive for commitment to future generations.”
“Being a volunteer is more than just helping out,” added Arnold. “The self-reward of assisting others is a wonderful feeling. Knowing that you have had a positive impact on even one person’s life is phenomenal. The communication and personable skills that are acquired while volunteering are something unobtainable elsewhere. Also knowing that you are helping and giving back to your local community is such a great feeling.”
Name: Lauren Switlick and Michael Arnold
Residence: Wisconsin Rapids
Family: Three children – Braeden, 6; Rielyn, 5; and Emmalyn, 2.
Occupation: Lauren is Lead Medical Technologist at Aspirus Riverview Hospital; Michael is a Critical Care Paramedic for St. Michael’s Hospital.
If you would like to volunteer during the Rudolph Country Christmas, or would like to browse all the holiday volunteer opportunities, call the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 or visit www.volunteerinnerwisc.org.