The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center announces Volunteers of the Year for the 2021-2022 season

Jacquie Johnson, (left) Mendel Center volunteer coordinator and interim sales & development manager, presents Lois and Vern Breuker with the 2021-22 Volunteers of the Year Award during the annual volunteer appreciation dinner and reception.

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center announces Volunteers of the Year for the 2021-2022 season
Volunteer applications now being accepted for the 2022-2023 season



The Lake Michigan CollegeMendel Centerhosted its annual volunteer appreciation reception on July 13. During the event, The Mendel Center honored Lois and Vern Breuker of St. Joseph with the 2021-2022 Volunteers of the Year award. They were recognized for their work from among the group of nearly 100 active volunteers.


“Lois and Vern are a dynamic team. They are always happy to do whatever volunteer assignment is asked of them. Their efforts truly enhance the patron experience at each event they work,” stated Jacquie Johnson, Mendel Center volunteer coordinator and interim sales & development manager.


The Breukers have volunteered at The Mendel Center for six years. They also volunteer with several other organizations in southwest Michigan. When they are not giving back to their community through their time and talent, they travel throughout the country in their RV.


Others recognized during the reception included 18 volunteers who were awarded service anniversary pins. They are:


10 Years

Linda Adam

Candace Azevedo

Pam Duffy

Tony Duffy

Vickie Herter

Ellen Kummerl

Debbie Standen


15 Years

Brenda Bickers

Bob McMillen

Bonnie McMillen

Doug Tjernlund

Linda Tjernlund

La Verne Wilhite



20 Years

Sally Burgess


25 Years

Erna Felgner


30 Years

Heidi Krueger

Barbara Pence

Dorothy Thar


The annual appreciation event celebrates the work of volunteers who staff nearly 100 Mendel Center and community events each year and recognizes the thousands of hours of donated service that make performances and events possible.


Mendel Center volunteers are responsible for ensuring patron safety, ushering, patron assistance, and other assignments related to day-of-show operations. The volunteer corps assists with events including Mainstage performances, the annual Lake Michigan College commencement ceremony, Lake Michigan College Visual and Performing Arts department performances, The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series, Blossomtime pageants, and many others.


The Mendel Center is accepting volunteer applications for the 2022-2023 season now through the end of August. Those interested in joining the volunteer team may contact the Mendel Center Volunteer Office at volunteers@lakemichigancollege.eduor (269) 927-8700, option 3.





About The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since that time, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979 and fully renovated in 2019, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre, which was renovated in 2020, is home to the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Departments as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.


The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.


Find #TheMendelCenter online at:

●      Facebook @MendelCenter

●      Instagram @TheMendelCenter

●      Twitter @TheMendelCenter




Mendel Center 2022-2023 Season Sponsors

Stage Side Sponsors: 1st Source Bank, Honor Credit Union, Huntington National Bank, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Silver Beach Pizza, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group, Whirlpool Corporation.


Platinum Sponsor:Brookview Montessori School, CK Catering, Hungerford Nichols CPA + Advisors, Imperial Furniture, Insurance Management Services, JVIS USA, Pier 33, Siena Heights University, United Federal Credit Union


Media Partners: 97.5 Y Country, 98.3 The Coast, The Herald Palladium, The Lake 95.7 MailMax, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Rock 107 WIRX, Sunny 101.5, SuperHits 103.7


Preferred Partner Hotels: The Inn at Harbor Shores and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro