And our 2016 Person of the Year is… Nina Cass!
There was some pretty stiff competition, but the votes are in and our 2016 Person of the Year is Nina Cass!
Cass has volunteered and participated in countless community organizations and events over the past 40 years. Perhaps Cass’s most profound contribution comes in her service to children. Over 25 years ago, she established a quality licensed childcare facility, Amherst’s Own Child Care. She is the administrator of a trained staff that nurtures children and provides instruction, art, enrichment, and exercise in a happy environment. Cass continues to volunteer at AOCC as the assessment coordinator, fundraiser, bookkeeper, governance board president, and substitute teacher. Cass helped start the Amherst Youth Arts Festival in the 1980s. She took some years off from this project, but volunteered her time and expertise to bring it back three years ago. As founder of Bailiwick, Cass was ultimately responsible for the first Christmas crafts fair at the Jensen Center, an event that has evolved into the annual Tomorrow River Christmas Craft Show, a holiday tradition anticipated, attended, and celebrated by many in Central Wisconsin.
She was one of the co-founders of Stevens Point Area Co-op, and the River Valley School, and is the founder of the Tomorrow River Acting Club. Cass is a co-proofreader of the Community Spirit, returning her stipend to the Youth Arts Fest fund. She’s a contributor to the annual Jensen Center plant sale and a marionette performer for the Tomorrow River Charter School fundraisers. She is also a beloved volunteer and reader at Amherst Elementary and the Lettie Jensen Library.
This spring’s Youth Arts Festival and arts activities associated with the Celebrate Amherst River Run are other events in which she has had a very large hand. And Cass is a member of the Amherst Business Association and Tomorrow River Initiative.
When notified of her award, Cass said, “Amherst is our home. Forty years ago, we picked this community to settle in and raise our family, because we wanted to give our kids all the blessings of a rural, small town lifestyle. We are deeply grateful for all the opportunities the Tomorrow River area has provided us and I am seriously humbled by this recognition.”
Her love of this community, and dedication to its children, has been felt for generations. Her years of volunteerism and devotion to this community are valued and recognized. And she is our 2016 Person of the Year. Congratulations Nina Cass!