The members of the Waunakee Community Cares Coalition (WCCC) are very excited to have been invited to participate in the Waunakee Community Awards Program. The WCCC was founded in 2014 under the leadership of various community leaders. Thanks to that leadership, the WCCC has a clear Mission which is, “ A Healthy and Resilient Waunakee.” Today the WCCC is on solid footing and will continue to strive to maintain our solid foundation and continue our focus on, “ A Healthy and Resilient Waunakee.” How did the WCCC move from a tenuous and shaky start to a viable, stable coalition? Through the efforts and advocacy of individuals who refused to give up on their belief that the WCCC was needed in the community and could make a difference in the lives of the youth and all residents of the Waunakee Community School District.
One individual in particular stood out for their tireless advocacy and work to establish the WCCC. An advocate is defined as, “ a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.” The recipient of the inaugural WCCC Healthy and Resilient Advocate Award refused to give up when the will to establish the WCCC waned. This individual resolutely refused to let the dream of establishing WCCC wither and die. They worked diligently with local and state level leaders of existing coalitions to learn what worked for them, pitfalls to avoid, and next steps to take in establishing a strong coalition. This person was instrumental in providing the leadership to ensure the Drug Free Communities Grant was written correctly and ultimately in the WCCC receiving this grant. This person tirelessly attended SOR and SWAY Meetings, national level CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) trainings, and was omni-present at community health fares, “National Night Out”, and WAKE (Waunakee Kids Expo) events. Her efforts resulted in the WCCC securing and distributing hundreds of Lock Boxes, Lock Bags, Detera Bags, refrigerator locks, and gun locks. This person has been an amazing leader, especially over the course of the last three years as the Waunakee Community Cares Executive Board Chair.
It is the pleasure of the WCCC to present the inaugural Waunakee Community Cares Coalition Healthy and Resilient Advocate Award to Outgoing WCCC Executive Board Chair Jodie Sorenson.