Saluting Our Volunteers

"Volunteers aren't paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless."

(April 11, 2014)

April 6 - 12 marked National Volunteer Week. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers for their contributions to the American Lung Association. As the oldest voluntary health agency in the country, we have a long heritage of working with volunteers. Since 1904, active and engaged volunteers have been the American Lung Association's greatest asset. We also want to recognize the exceptional volunteers who are the recipients of our annual Volunteer Awards. Each one represents, in their own special way, what it means to selflessly give to make our lifesaving mission a reality.

John Cloud, American Lung Association of the Midland States - Will Ross Medal

John Cloud

The Will Ross Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a volunteer from the American Lung Association.

John Cloud, from the American Lung Association of the Midland States, has been a volunteer with the Lung Association for 30 years. John was involved in the delivery of programs in partnership with other organizations in diverse communities. He was instrumental in establishing, finding a location for, and staffing the American Lung Association of the Miami Valley's first asthma camp beginning in 1987.

He serves on the Board of the American Lung Association of the Midland States and various Board committees, including Executive, Governance and Volunteer/Diversity, where his contributions and leadership are instrumental. John has also been an ardent fundraiser, securing a generous bequest for the American Lung Association of Ohio from the Charles Neihaus Trust, as well as participating in and fundraising/teambuilding for golf outings and stair climbs in Ohio, and bike treks across the states of Maine and Kentucky.

Dr. Robert Sanders, American Lung Association of the Plains Gulf - Bernard Gregory Award for Diversity

Robert Sanders

The Bernard Gregory Award for Diversity is given in recognition of the creation or promotion of more effective diversity practices within the Lung Association family.

Dr. Robert Sanders, from the American Lung Association of the Plains Gulf, has been a volunteer with the American Lung Association since 2004.

He has been a local, regional and national leader on issues regarding diversity for the American Lung Association. Dr. Sanders has been at the very forefront of the movement to put a stronger emphasis on diversity within our organization nationwide.

William Kempiners, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest - Volunteer Excellence Award

William Kempiners

As a long time national Assembly member, Chair of the Advocacy Committee and now Vice Chair of the Advocacy Work Team, Bill has been a volunteer leader in ALA's many successful advocacy endeavors. As a former legislator, state health director and association executive in his home state of Illinois, Bill has brought valuable real-world experience to our many advocacy efforts.

Bill not only has dedicated countless hours to strengthening the nationwide Lung Association he has served as a mentor and friend to volunteers and staff at every level of the Lung Association. As a long-time national Assembly member, Bill brought his many talents to help the lung Association better focus on its public policy efforts, especially regarding healthcare issues and advocacy.

Susan Warmerdam, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest - Volunteer Excellence Award

Susan Warmerdam

Susan was in disbelief when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer at age 47 in 2012 because she had never smoked a day in her life. After her diagnosis, Susan reached out to the American Lung Association to ask how she could help. Soon thereafter she created Team Susan and signed up to lead the Fight for Air Walk in Chicago. Though a volunteer for a short time, Susan has been an all-star fundraiser in support of lung cancer research. She and her team have participated in three Fight for Air Walks and two Fight for Air Climbs, resulting in more than 200 participant registrations and more than 770 donations to date. 

Equally important to the dollars raised is the impact that Susan has been able to make by sharing her story. She has served as a patient spokesperson for the American Lung Association at every level, from local events to national board meetings. Susan has shared her story with the media, industry leaders, and has even testified to the FDA.

To All Our Volunteers

Thank you to all our volunteers for all you do to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Without your donation of time, talent, wisdom and leadership, we could not have achieved our many successes in advocacy, research and health education. As a Lung Association volunteer, your dedication ensures that our vision of a world free of lung disease becomes closer to reality with every passing day!

» Learn more about volunteering for the American Lung Association