Livingston Dems Honor Three at 2016 Winans Dinner

Volunteers are essential to the operation of the Livingston County Democratic Party. That’s why each year at our annual fundraising dinner, we make it a point to honor some of our hardest working volunteers. This year was no exception. We honored three individuals at our May 20 Winans Dinner.

Our Outstanding Volunteer Award goes every year to someone who provides valuable, but sometimes unheralded, service to our party month in and month out. This year’s honoree So I’m Outstanding Volunteer Award was bestowed on Jerry Lamerton.

Jerry has been volunteering for several years with our party. He has helped in the kitchen at our wild game and pig roast events, and then took over the silent auction for both the Winans Dinner and the pig roast. When he’s not in the kitchen, he’s making sure our computers are connected to the Internet and to printers and that they’re up and running. It would be very hard to have a functioning office without him and we are deeply grateful to him.

The Herb and Ruth Munzel Distinguished Service Award was established in May 2005 by the Livingston County Democratic Party in honor of the Munzels and their many years of service. In appreciation for all his years in service to progressive candidates and progressive causes, our Distinguished Service Award this year went to Bob Alexander.

Bob has been in the thick of progressive causes in Michigan for decades. Where two or three Democrats are gathered together, there he is in the midst of them – with a clipboard, gathering signatures for causes ranging from assisted suicide to legalizing marijuana to recalling John Engler. He chairs the Michigan Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus. He has helped many fellow Democrats run for offices from school board to county commission to state representative in the Lansing and East Lansing area.

He twice represented our party as the Democratic nominee for the 8th Congressional District. And as the 8th District nominee he served on the executive committee here in Livingston County, offering valuable advice when the party set up its office in 2006. It’s hard to sum up all the causes he has been involved with and all the plans he has hatched. But he will always be an inspiration to us for the way he fights hard and even if he loses, he comes back and keeps on fighting.

The John D. Donahue Citizenship Award is named in honor of the former Livingston County Commissioner from Unadilla who was involved in county politics for many years. In recent years, the award has gone to individuals who have served the broader community, not just our local Democratic Party – to people who have been engaged in public service in some way.

So it is fitting this year that the award go to someone who has served the public on a rare thing here in Livingston County – a bipartisan township board made up of Republicans, an independent, and two Democrats. As Howell Township Trustee, Michael Tipton has worked to forge consensus among the diverse members of the township board, and helped put the township back on sound financial footing after the previous all-Republican board went deep into debt on sewer projects. He re-established the township’s recycling day and worked to bring recreational opportunities to township residents. Now he is running for Howell Township clerk in November.

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Committee, 8028 Grand River, Woodland Plaza Suite 7, Brighton, MI 48114. Labor donated.)