Lance Johnson presents the Schuyler Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award to Sheri Balak during a Nov. 14 event at St. Augustine's Parish Hall.

Liz Morales, Lee Enterprises

To say Sheri Balak loves her community is an understatement.

The Schuyler native has been heavily involved in the community, from Christ United Methodist Church to Habitat for Humanity and Schuyler Community Schools.

Balak said her desire to serve developed early.

“My parents and grandparents have instilled in me a responsibility and importance of serving,” she said. “My involvement with my church has put me in a position to see other people’s needs, and I feel that I have a great responsibility to relieve those needs.”

The former speech/language pathologist volunteers as much as she can, even before she retired.

Her list of services include the annual Coat Closet, Schuyler Community Garden, Schuyler Community Schools Foundation and work to develop more affordable housing in the community.

With the SCS Foundation, Balak helped establish distinguished alumni awards presented annually since 2012.

Her level of commitment was recognized last week when Balak received the Service to Mankind Award from the Schuyler Sertoma Club during an event at St. Augustine's Parish Hall.

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving this award today,” she said. “But there are many more who have received this in the past that are also great contributors to the community.”

Emcee Lance Johnson told the crowd about a current project Balak is involved with.

“Sheri has been instrumental in the building of new homes for Habitat for Humanity,” Johnson said. “While the building is still in the planning stages, without her foresight and commitment this home wouldn’t be happening. She is so involved with this town because she believes in it, and our community believes in her, as well.”

Balak said her goal with volunteering is simple.

“I want to encourage all people, young and old, to continue their efforts to make Schuyler a great place for all of our neighbors to grow,” she said. “We are all working together to come together.”


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