First Lady Tonette Walker

Verona student gets surprise honor for food drive

By: Seth Jovaag, The Verona Press
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Noelle Henneman, a senior at Verona Area High School, was surprised last Thursday by Wisconsin’s first lady, Tonnette Walker, who presented Henneman with a “Wisconsin Heroes” award.

The award, presented by Walker to a different person around the state each month, recognized Henneman’s work as a director of the annual food drive last semester at the high school that raised roughly 35,000 pounds of food for the Verona Area Food Pantry.

Henneman helped collect food each week and find volunteers to shelve items at the pantry, said VAHS food drive supervisor Megan Wenn. And when organizers were short of their goal, she organized volunteers to solicit donations from shoppers at Miller and Sons Supermarket and from area restaurants.

“She set that goal and was on a mission to attain it,” Wenn said. “She’s a really special kid.”

Henneman also serves as a volunteer group leader for middle school and high school youth ministry programs at St. Maria Goretti parish in Madison, where Walker dropped in unexpectedly to deliver the award last Thursday night.

The award recognizes the recipient’s “willingness, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of the state,” according to a news release from Walker’s office.

– Seth Jovaag

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