Clark, DeJong honored at Day of Difference event

Clark DeJong Mercy Award Winners

A pair of Delavan-Darien High School students were recognized recently at Mercy Health System Foundation’s A Day of Difference award event.

Senior Tim Clark and junior Allison DeJong were selected for the honor and attended a recognition ceremony at Geneva National Golf Course April 15.

Students from throughout the area who receive the award are recognized for exhibiting exemplary characteristics of being intentionally committed to making a difference in their community and having a passion for helping those who may be less fortunate. One male and one female student from each Walworth County high school were chosen by their schools’ administration for the award.

Science teacher Kerry Butitta nominated Clark, giving praise to his dedication in the classroom, his participation in community service, and his demonstrated sportsmanship as a varsity athlete.

“Clearly, Tim is an exceptional young man in all respects,” Buitta wrote. “Through his academic performance, work ethic and character, Tim has shown himself to be a serious student well prepared for the rigors of post-secondary education.”

Attendance Secretary Chellie Pelnar nominated DeJong, noting her humanitarianism and willingness to always help.

“Whether it be in her school, or church, or overseas, DeJong is always helping feed, clothe or make a child happy,” Pelnar wrote. “She is a shining star in this troubled world. Her academic performance in the classroom is also outstanding and she is truly an exceptional young lady.”

The purpose of A Day of Difference is to recognize and encourage young men and women from Walworth County high schools who make a difference in their community by sacrificially giving of their time, talents and financial resources.

Recipients of the award must exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Intentional, wholehearted commitment to making a difference within their community;
  • Specific passion for helping those who may be less fortunate;
  • Sacrificially giving of their time, talents, and financial resources;
  • Help raise awareness of specific needs;
  • Inspire others to be more giving.

Pat Miller, head coach of the UW-Whitewater Warhawks basketball team, served as the event’s keynote speaker. In 13 seasons as the men’s head coach, Miller has a winning percentage of .778 (291-83) and ranks 12th all-time, among all NCAA divisions. A four-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, he has led the Warhawks to two NCAA Division III championships in the last three seasons.

The event was organized by Mercy Foundation and sponsored by Calvary Community Church, Geneva National Foundation and Walworth State Bank, to recognize and honor area students who demonstrate the art of making a difference in their community.

For more information call Jennifer Johns, Mercy Foundation development director, at (608) 755-8821 or email at jljohns@mhsjvl.org, or call Calvary Community Church at (262) 245-6294 or email at office@calvarycommunity.net.

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