Kentwood man earns Governor’s Service award for volunteering efforts


GRAND RAPIDS, MI undefined A Kentwood man was honored for making a difference in a child’s life during an event aimed at recognizing volunteer efforts throughout the state.

Nicholas Bottomley, of Kentwood, earned the Mentor of the Year title at the 2013 Governor’s Service Awards ceremony, held at Frederik Meijer Gardens on Tuesday, July 23.

Coordinated by the Michigan Community Service Commission, the annual award ceremony honors residents and businesses statewide in several categories of volunteerism for their work in Michigan communities.

Bottomley first met his young mentee, Austin, through a coworker in 2007. He later formalized his mentor position through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grand Rapids and has participated in countless activities with Austin ever since.

Austin considers Bottomley a member of his family, according to event coordinators. Bottomley and his wife were later asked by the boy’s parents to become his godparents.

Gov. Rick Snyder, the event’s keynote speaker, applauded the efforts of all the individuals, businesses and organizations nominated for the awards and stressed the importance of promoting volunteerism throughout Michigan. He called those who already donate their time to worthy causes “role models for everyone else.”

Several other West Michigan residents and organizations were finalists for other service awards for their work in the region, including nonprofit Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Cherry Street Health Services, Grand Rapids resident Merlin Petzold and the late Grand Rapids resident Norman Ginebaugh.

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