We couldn’t do the work we do without the generous and tireless support from our volunteers. This month’s volunteer spotlight features Janet Nowicki, a valuable ambassador for two of our premier events, 100+ Women Who Care and Extreevaganza.

“Janet is a person who volunteers because of her passion to give back to the community. She is a key ambassador to the success of Extreevaganza with her talent for decorating and design, and to 100+ Women Who Care with her outreach to others to become involved in making an impact in the community. I can contact Janet at any time to ask her opinion or for design input. She is truly a blessing to the OCF.” Karin Beyer, OCF Director of Community Philanthropy.

Janet and her husband Ken recently celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary. Together, they raised 3 children in Gaylord and they have three grandsons. Professionally, Janet worked as a merchandiser and clothing buyer for Treetops Resort for 20 years and also owned her own store in downtown Gaylord for seven years. Since retiring, Janet spends her free time doing what she loves – volunteering. In addition to the countless hours she gifts the Otsego Community Foundation, she also volunteers for the Otsego County Food Pantry, St. Mary Cathedral, and she recently joined the Board of Directors for Alpenfest.

Here is what Janet had to say about her experience volunteering for the OCF:

What attracted you to become involved with the OCF?

I had always enjoyed volunteering for Extreevaganza – the set up, coming up with a unique donation each year and designing trees for others – it just felt natural to get involved with other events the foundation put together. I also enjoy working with the staff at the foundation; the energy is so positive.

In your opinion, what is the most important work this organization does?

I love that they help so many different levels of need in our community. Big and small needs seem to be met.

What’s it like to volunteer for the OCF?

It is always a pleasure. The planning, set up, and the event. 

What do you hope the organization will achieve soon? In the long term?

I hope the 2022 100+ Women Who Care is the BEST one ever. I hope more people realize the impact the foundation can have on our community and people will create funds for wonderful things for future generations to come.

Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration? 

My parents have always been deeply passionate about volunteering and being involved in their community, and for what they feel strongly about, and they have passed that on to me. 

What do you wish other people knew about OCF?

How much they helped with funding in so many areas during the pandemic and how quickly they jumped into action to get businesses and groups what was needed.

Do you have a message to share?

Volunteering for things you believe are worthwhile is very fulfilling in many ways.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for the OCF?

You won’t regret volunteering with this organization. The staff and volunteers are energetic and friendly.  It doesn’t feel like work at all. 

Thank you, Janet, for volunteering your time and talents to the OCF!