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Bonnie Sweeney - 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Bonnie has been involved as a volunteer with our Chapter since reaching out to us in 2015. Her interest and commitment to supporting us has been grounded in the 30 years she shared the lupus journey with her sister, Nancy, who according to Bonnie, set the standard for living with lupus with grace, goals, achievement, love, compassion and a mantra: Celebrate the Day. This mantra can also be applied to Bonnie; from skiing, hiking, traveling and volunteering – Bonnie lives life to the fullest. She is selfless, sweet and dedicated, and we feel blessed for her support of our Chapter.

When Bonnie initially contacted us, we needed a co-facilitator for the Anderson support group and despite living in Fortville, she went through training and has been co-facilitating the support group ever since. In addition to leading the monthly support group, Bonnie has also led our monthly tai chi class for the past 2½ years at no cost to our Chapter. She provides this service out of the goodness of her heart. Bonnie volunteers every year for both A Tasteful Affair and the Walk to End Lupus Now. For the last few years she has arrived at 2:00 at ATA to help us with setup and stayed throughout the night, helping with check-in and in whatever capacity we needed. For the past two years she has staffed the Patient Services table at the Walk, volunteered at our symposium, and has represented our Chapter at health fairs. Whenever we need help, Bonnie is there for us and this is why she’s so very deserving to be the 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

Past Volunteer of the Year Award Winners

2017 - Kayla Lockwood
2016 - Michelle McGuire and Karen Guidarelli
2015 - Kenny Verrill
2014 - Stacy Weller
2013 - Carla Day
2012 - Steve Evans and Susan Colby

Volunteer Hall of Fame

Susan Colby (inducted 2015)

Susan started volunteering in 2000 and has been the longest and most consistent Chapter volunteer over the past 15 years. She was the recipient of the Phyllis Simko Volunteer of the Year award. She came to the first Crown Point Walk in 2000 as a volunteer and then graduated to Walk Chair, a position she held for 11 years. She was a past Board member for 6 years, serving 2 years as Treasurer as well as serving on multiple committees. Susan did not formally participate on the 2015 Walk Committee but she remained a close advisor and reached out to supporters to ask for donations and brought a cadre of her sorority sister volunteers to assist registration on Walk day. A lupus patient herself, Susan has never failed us and is there when needed.

Carla Day

Carla Day (Inducted 2015)

Carla this year contributed her voice and story to our first-ever Chapter video, chaired the Indianapolis Walk, hosted a booth for 4 days at Black Expo managing a team of workers, and represented LFA-Indiana at countless health fairs – on top of facilitating a support group every month!  Carla has been energetically involved since 2010 and loves to inform others who know nothing about lupus and share her lupus journey. Carla will be speaking to a group of 400 in December at an event involving spreading awareness and fundraising at the Marten House Conference Center – she is truly invaluable!

Krazy Horse Krew

Krazy Horse Krew (Inducted 2015)

The Krazy Horse Krew proved what can happen when a dedicated group of people join forces to make a difference!  The 4th Annual Rockin' Purple for Lupus Ride was held on Sat., July 25, in Kokomo and, obviously, was a huge success as the group raised $11,545.43! This wonderful group has worked hard to make this a great event and their diligent efforts are paying off in big ways for our Chapter as they've raised almost $25,000!  We can't thank them enough for their efforts. 

Kathy McGraw

Kathy McGraw (Inducted 2015)

Our Chapter was sad to lose Kathy McGraw, a treasured member of our lupus family, in September 2015.  In addition to Kathy serving as co-facilitator for the Indy North support group since the summer of 2013, she was a former Board member and had been a speaker at multiple seminars throughout her time with the LFA. As a Registered Dietitian, Kathy was always happy to help educate people with lupus on the importance of nutrition. We honor Kathy's memory and contributions to our Chapter. 

Nick Ferris

Nick Ferris (Inducted 2014)

Meetings, events, functions, symposiums.  What do these have in common?  One face – that of a person who supported beyond measure, was a cheerleader, chaired an event, recruited volunteers, built relationships, raised money and generally had a great time doing all of that. That one face belongs to a one of a kind person - Nick Ferris, who was our first ever Hall of Fame award winner.  Nick not only chaired the golf outing for several years, but was at virtually every event lending his enthusiasm and support until moving to Florida in early 2015.