For over 25 years, United Way & more than Services of Greater Yankton have thanked and highlighted extraordinary community leaders through our Volunteer of the Year award. Last year, the United Way Board of Directors announced they would rename the annual honor after long-time volunteer, advocate and leader, Pam Kettering.

Nominees for the Pam Kettering Spirit of Volunteerism Award are United Way’s Volunteers of the Month, all nominated by their peers for their incredible work serving others. This year’s nominees included Kate Katterhagen, Jeff Wemhoff, Rob Ness, Lee Rettig, Duane Frick, Jesse and Amy Bailey, John & Ruth Ann Dannenbring, Mary Sathe, Karen Ekeren, Jennifer Prussa, Mary Ellen Hornstra and Mary Fiedler.

During United Way’s Community Campaign Kickoff and Appreciation Event, the annual Pam Kettering Spirit of Volunteerism Award was presented to community members who demonstrate strong, dedicated and giving spirits, Jesse and Amy Bailey.

Since moving to Yankton, Jesse and Amy have been highly active in several service groups and organizations including helping to launch United Way’s young professionals group, LINC. Other organizations they help include Keep Yankton Beautiful, Yankton Morning Optimist Club, Sacred Heart Monastery, 1 Million Cups, Mount Marty College, Lewis & Clark Disc Golf, Parents As Teachers, Yankton Food for Thought, United Way Spark, and Big Friend-Little Friend.

We asked both Jesse and Amy to tell us more about their service to the Yankton community.

What does receiving the Pam Kettering Spirit of Volunteerism award mean to you?  

We do not volunteer with the hope of being recognized for our efforts. However, it is an extreme honor to receive this award. To us, being chosen for the Pam Kettering Spirit of Volunteerism award means we, as just two people, are able to have an impact on our community. The beauty of this is that anyone has the potential to have the same impact, and United Way provides the avenues through which individuals can make an impact where their passions lie.    

How has volunteerism changed or affected your life?  

Volunteering with multiple organizations opens our eyes to the issues in our community and surrounding areas. Not only the issues, but the possibilities of positive change that lie within these organizations. As we are about to bring a new person into this world, we want our child to grow up appreciating what they have. There are many people in our community/state/nation/worldwide that do not have the opportunities many of us take for granted each day. We love Yankton, and are proud of where we live. We want to give back to the community that has given us so much.        

What advice would you give to others interested in volunteering?  

Find your passion and get started! There are plenty of avenues through which you can donate your time and talents. Quite often, the gift of time is more valuable than a monetary gift. The average American watches a large amount of television. Why not skip an hour of TV and give that hour to an organization that can use your help?    

Congratulations and thank you to both Jesse and Amy Bailey for your dedication to volunteerism and to our community.

For more information on local volunteer opportunities or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, please visit or call United Way at (605) 665-6766.

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