Ann Cole-Nelson awarded RSM Volunteer of the Year

Thursday, February 9, 2023
Ann Cole-Nelson was awarded Volunteer of the Year for Remsen St. Mary’s Catholic Schools. Pictured above with her family and school staff, from left: RSM Principal Kim Phillips, Fr. Tim Pick, Seth Nelson, Michaela Nelson, Ann Cole-Nelson, and Mike Nelson. (Photo contributed)

This year’s Volunteer of the Year for Remsen St. Mary’s Catholic Schools was awarded to Ann Cole-Nelson.

The following is the nomination letter for Ann “This year’s Remsen St. Mary’s Volunteer of the Year has been a constant figure at sporting events as well as almost every other Remsen St. Mary’s function. She had four kids graduate from RSM and currently has four grandchildren enrolled at St. Mary’s.

Ann’s long tenure of volunteerism for St. Mary’s began shortly after she moved to Remsen in the late 90’s.

Beginning in 1999 (give or take), she began helping with the high school softball team, voluntarily working with the pitchers. She has carried on this position almost every single year and still works with pitchers almost year-round. In the early 2000’s, she was hired as an assistant coach for the team but gave that up after a few years to begin coaching her daughter, Michaela, in little league. She helped shape many of the RSM softball players throughout the years as a little league volunteer coach. In more recent years, Ann has called pitches from the dugout at all home games as well as many away games for the softball team.

During winter months, Ann can be found in black and white stripes behind the scorer’s table as the official bookkeeper for the girls’ basketball team despite never having a daughter play basketball (we were way too short!). She has been doing this volunteer job for quite a few years and has traded many dollars with Joe Loutsch when betting who will get the first foul.

When not helping with sports teams, Ann can often be found working the gate or concession stands, especially when St. Mary’s hosts district play-off games and needs extra volunteers. She put in many years making popcorn while her children participated in sports. She is arguably one of the best popcorn makers and sometimes gets roped into working concessions for her grandkids’ games. In addition to her concessions stand duty, Ann has also volunteered many times to drive teams to away games when needed and even accompanied the dance team to the state competition in Des Moines.

Not all of Ann’s volunteer activities involve sports. She was one of the first members of the marketing committee many years ago and was instrumental in promoting St. Mary’s to prospective students and families. She helped with the school logo to be used in advertising and also created the standard letterhead to be used in all communication by the school. Ann helped set the framework for proactively marketing the school. As part of the marketing committee, she also contributed her artistic talents by helping to paint the west entryway and the area between the cafeteria and gym.

Using her marketing expertise, Ann also helped with the Friends of St. Mary’s Ball for many, many years. She assisted with designing and digitizing the logos many times, helped create advertising templates, and assisted with programs by designing layouts and editing the booklet.

I am sure that I missed many things Ann has done for St. Mary’s, but these are the memories that stand out to me. Ann has been and continues to be a huge supporter of Remsen St. Mary’s and deserves recognition as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year.”

The winner was announced during Catholic Schools Week at the All-School Picnic on Friday, February 3, 2023.