Associated Bank recently acknowledged the efforts of its top 20 volunteers for 2013, including four from the Milwaukee area, with a $1,000 grant to the non-profit organization of their choice.

Associated’s top volunteers in the Milwakuee area include: Peggy Bast, Germantown Historical Society; Michelle Danczyk, Milwaukee Kickers-Germantown Soccer Club and Deutschstadt Heritage Foundation; Sharon A. Grunfelder, Waukesha Civic Theatre; and Michael Kenworthy, Hamilton Jr. Chargers Baseball Club.

In 2013, Associated employees across the three state footprint volunteered more than 47,000 hours. The top 20 volunteers donated more than 10,000 hours (at least 290 each), and another 253 employees each logged more than 50 volunteer hours.

“Colleague volunteer hours in 2013 topped 47,524, exceeding 2012 by 10,000 hours,” said Cliff Bowers, director of public relations, Associated Bank. “Associated is committed to giving back to its communities, and hundreds of colleagues do just that — by serving as donors, organizers, leaders, inspirers and doers.”

Sharon A. Grunfelder, administrative assistant with Associated Financial Group in Waukesha, volunteers with the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

“My interest in theatre was sparked when my daughter was in third grade and tried out for Miracle on 34th Street,” said Grunfelder. “She was very shy but ended up with a lead role and blew everyone away with her performance. I saw first-hand how the theater helps individuals grow and gain confidence, and that has made volunteering so rewarding to me.”

Mike Kenworthy, credit officer with Associated in Milwaukee, volunteers with the Hamilton Jr. Chargers Baseball Club.

“One of my favorite quotes is: ‘Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy,’” said Kenworthy. “‘You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.’”

Associated’s philanthropy reflects the people, the culture and the spirit of the company. Colleagues are actively engaged in the charitable process to help identify nonprofit organizations and causes that best address the unique needs of communities across Associated’s footprint. Associated encourages and supports colleague volunteerism efforts by providing the internal resources that help connect colleagues with the nonprofit organizations that meet their personal passion for community involvement.