Ad Astra Volunteer Honors


Thanks to everyone who nominated a deserving volunteer for 2022!

Nominations for 2023 will open next summer.

2020 marked the start of a new Nancy Perry Day of Caring tradition, the Ad Astra Honors. Ad Astra Honors celebrate volunteers in our community who go above and beyond to serve others. They are the unsung heroes, rarely seeking recognition and often are happy working their magic out of the spotlight.

The Honors will eventually encompass a variety of volunteer awards, including the Marge Heeney Award that honors volunteers who work directly with United Way. In 2021, we split the Ad Astra honors into two categories. The Professional category accepts nominations of volunteers ages 22 and over. The Youth category accepts nominations of volunteers ages 21 and younger.

Who can be nominated?

Volunteerism is woven into the fabric of our community and of United Way of Greater Topeka. It brings strength, color and texture to everything we do. When you and those around you serve, the impact goes beyond the agencies and individuals in our community, but it makes a better place for all to live when we work together. Ad Astra Honors recognize community members who continually go above and beyond the call to support our neighbors in need. To be considered for this award, the candidate must meet the following:

Minimum Qualifications

  • Create or support a program that created long lasting impact in Jackson, Jefferson and Shawnee Counties.
  • Completed over 25 verified hours of service (From August 2021 – August 2022) in one of the impact areas below:
    • Education
    • Health
    • Financial Stability
    • Basic Needs
  • Must live, work or learn in one of the counties that we serve (Jackson, Jefferson & Shawnee Counties)

Ad Astra Honors nominations open each summer, and links will be posted here and on our social media channels. Build your volunteer resume now with opportunities from If you have questions about the Ad Astra Honors or volunteering in general, please reach out to Jess Barraclough, Director of Volunteer Engagement.

Prairie Glass Studio in Topeka creates the Ad Astra plaques.

Return to the main Volunteer page.

Ad Astra Honors Recipients

Kirstianna Guerrero received the 2022 Ad Astra Service to Community Youth Honor (ages 21 and younger).
Lauren Wolf received the 2022 Ad Astra Service to the Community Professional Honor (ages 22 and older).
Jim Daniel received the 2022 Marge Heeney Award for UWGT internal volunteer service.
 Brenda Blackman received the 2021 Ad Astra Professional Service to the Community Honor (ages 22 and older). 
Bryce Liedtke received the 2021 Ad Astra Youth Service to the Community Honor (ages 21 and younger).
Joe Beasley was recognized with the 2021 Marge Heeney Award for UWGT internal volunteer service. 
The 2020 Marge Heeney Award was presented to Marlou Wegener
The 2020 Ad Astra Award was presented to Angela Dake.