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UNI Dance Marathon and Relay For Life receive prestigious volunteer award

June 13, 2013

Jody Benz, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, 515-725-3094

Alyssa Turcsak, UNI Dance Marathon,

Emily Droessler, co-president, UNI's Colleges Against Cancer,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Dance Marathon and Relay For Life will receive a 2013 Governor's Volunteer Award during a recognition ceremony at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 25, at UNI's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

The Governor's Volunteer Awards (GVA) program was created in 1982, with inaugural awards presented in 1983. What began as a small program only available to state government agencies has expanded through the years and now provides all Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations with a way to honor their volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award. Several hundred volunteers are recognized each year with awards in one of four categories: Individual, Group, Length of Service or Disaster Volunteer. Both UNI organizations will receive a Group Award.

"Volunteerism is an important part of the state's future and well-being," said Gov. Terry Branstad. "I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the people of our great state who continue the tradition of neighbor helping neighbor and work tirelessly to improve their communities. Collectively, Iowa's volunteers contribute to our ranking among the top three states in the nation for our volunteer rate."

"The Governor and I sincerely congratulate all of this year's award recipients," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. "All are very deserving of the honor, and we thank them for their tremendous and selfless efforts and devotion to make a difference."

Alyssa Turcsak, director of fundraising, UNI Dance Marathon, said UNI Dance Marathon "gives students a chance to experience something bigger than themselves. It gives them a chance to give back to an extraordinary cause."

Amanda Robertson, co-president, UNI Relay For Life, said "UNI's Relay For Life was nominated because of all the hard work our volunteers put in, throughout the year, to raise cancer awareness, fight back against cancer and to remember those who lost their battle with cancer. It is amazing, the power people can have on such a horrible disease."

The GVA program is coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor's Office. For more information, visit or call 515-725-3094. For more information about UNI's Dance Marathon, visit For more information about UNI's Relay For Life, visit