Marj Schierkolk was recognized by the Pella Rolscreen Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Pella Corporation, as the winner of the second annual Joan Kuyper Farver Spirit Award on Wednesday, April 24. Pella Corporation will present the Performing Arts and Education Association of Southwest Iowa with a $25,000 check to support music education. This contribution is made thanks to Pella team member Marj and her exceptional volunteerism and selfless commitment to making a difference in her community.
Marj is only the second winner of the Joan Kuyper Farver Spirit Award, which began in 2018, as a way to remember Joan, who passed away in 2017, and was the daughter of Pella founder Pete Kuyper. Joan was known for giving generously of her resources and unselfishly of her time. Nominated by fellow Pella team members, the award is given to a team member who embraces Joan’s caring spirit and enthusiasm for community service.
Each year, the winner receives a grant to an organization of their choice, given in the recipient’s name. Marj chose the Performing Arts and Education Association of Southwest Iowa because of her passion and dedication to ensuring access to and appreciation of music. In addition to the $25,000 grant, nine other finalists were selected with each receiving a $2,500 grant to give to the charity of their choice.
Like Joan, Marj exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism. For more than 20 years, Marj has willingly put herself in harm’s way to help complete strangers in disaster situations as a volunteer with the American Red Cross. She volunteers locally in fire situations and other disasters requiring relief efforts and has helped with national relief efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and she was on site in New York City during the 9/11 crisis. She mentors new Red Cross volunteers and helps staff the First Aid station at the Iowa State Fair.
In addition to her work during disaster situations, Marj volunteers countless hours with Shenandoah Schools. She serves as President of the Music Boosters, for which she writes grants, sets up for half-time shows, concerts, and parades, and helps with fundraisers. She has even been known to jump in and play in the pep band from time to time, sharing her saxophone and percussion talents. Marj serves within her church, including helping youth groups, organizing mission trips, and chairing the Missions Committee. She is an active volunteer with Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts in whatever capacity is needed.
“Marj has distinguished herself as a dedicated team member who not only embraces the mission of our organization, but takes the initiative to go beyond what is expected of her,” said John Finn, Shenandoah Plant Manager, Pella Corporation. “She is not afraid to do the tough work to bring about positive change, to support those who need it the most and to inspire others to serve.”
Marj is a 1987 graduate of Rock Port High School.
(Source: Pella Corp.)