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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Governor’s Office Encouraging Nominations for Outstanding Volunteers for ServeNebraska’s 2018 Step Forward Awards

Media Contacts:  

Eric Maher, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1974

Kerry Fina, ServeNebraska, 402-314-0203



LINCOLN – The Governor’s Office, along with ServeNebraska, also known as the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission, is encouraging private citizens, businesses, service clubs, nonprofits, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, and local government agencies across the state to nominate their outstanding volunteers for statewide recognition by August 27.


Selected and presented by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley, the Step Forward Awards is the state’s most prestigious volunteer recognition program.


“Every day, volunteers across Nebraska step forward, going the extra mile by providing essential services or meeting critical needs in their communities,” said Cathleen Plager, executive director of ServeNebraska.  “The Step Forward Awards provide an opportunity to recognize these individuals or groups for their time, dedication, and work in service to others.”


To be selected as finalists, nominees must have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and dedication to service through special projects or ongoing activities that address community needs.  Nominations are being accepted in the following categories:


  • Adult Volunteer (age 19 and over)
  • Youth Volunteer (age 18 and under)
  • Senior Volunteer (age 65 and over)
  • Volunteer Group
  • Corporate Community Volunteer
  • National Service Volunteer (AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, or VISTA)
  • Veteran Volunteer
  • Disaster Volunteer (individual or group)
  • Community Media Partner
  • Lifetime Achievement


Once the nomination period closes on August 27, Governor Ricketts will thoughtfully review submissions and select those deserving of recognition.  The award winners will be announced during a luncheon banquet on Friday, October 26, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at Quarry Oaks Golf Club in Ashland, Nebraska.


To submit a nomination for ServeNebraska’s Step Forward Awards, visit


According to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America Report, more than 71 percent of Nebraskans engage in informal volunteering (neighbor helping neighbor).  Nebraska currently ranks sixth in the nation for its state volunteer rate (percentage of Nebraskans who identify themselves as active volunteers).  The Nebraska Impact Initiative seeks to demonstrate that Nebraskans’ actual volunteer activities rank the state much higher in national totals.  The latest report on volunteerism found that 34 percent of Nebraskans volunteered in 2015.  More than 466,000 volunteers provided 58 million hours of service worth an estimated $1.3 billion.  The full report can be found at


About ServeNebraska

ServeNebraska is governed by a 17-member, bipartisan board appointed by the Nebraska governor.  Its mission mobilizes Nebraskans to strengthen their communities through collaboration, volunteering, and national service.  ServeNebraska oversees AmeriCorps programming, hosts the state’s most prestigious volunteer awards, the Step Forward Awards, and provides training and technical assistance.  To learn more, visit