Greg Evans received the Winona Health Foundation Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute at a dinner in his honor on Wednesday, April 24 at Cedar Valley Golf Course in Winona. This year marks Winona Health’s 125th year serving the community, and this is the 31st consecutive year the Tribute has been awarded.
“Greg firmly believes that what makes a community great are the people, and his servant leadership mentality has driven him to dedicate countless hours as a volunteer, mentor and community leader,” noted Mary Gordon, who has worked with Greg at Merchants Bank for 27 years. “Putting words into action, as a volunteer, Greg has enhanced the quality of life for community members of all ages.”
Evans’ volunteerism and generosity include founding the 10 Days of Giving Food Drive in 1989 and continuing to be the driving force behind its success for the past 30 years. The food drive has raised more than 3.5 million pounds of food for Winona Volunteer Services. He has also had a positive impact on numerous community organizations including the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Habitat for Humanity, Winona Health Foundation, Winona Health, Winona Family YMCA, Winona State University Foundation, Winona State University and Visit Winona.
Ken Mogren, retired president of Winona Agency and president of the Winona Health Board of Directors, has known the Evans family since Greg was a child. “Greg does stuff for all the right reasons,” he said. “One of the reasons Greg serves is because he understands that many of the things that make our community a great place to live are here because of the hard work and generosity of past generations, people like Ben and Adith Miller, and the only way we can repay them is to preserve their legacies and leave some good things ourselves for future generations.”
Greg’s parents, Ellen and Gary Evans, spoke briefly of Greg’s younger years, and Gary credited Ellen for doing a “magnificent job” raising their children. Gary received the Community Service Tribute in 1991, which added another touching element to the evening. He said that he was sure Greg would rather be there to honor someone else, just as he had felt those many years ago. In expressing his deep appreciation of Ben and Adith Miller’s generosity, Gary Evans said, “I remember that years-ago evening so well. It was that night that really began my friendship with Ben Miller…I lament that he is not here tonight, but his son Hugh and daughter-in-law, Vera, have done a phenomenal job of continuing this award.”
Hugh and Vera Miller and RTP Company generously gave $25,000 to the Winona Health Foundation’s Ben & Adith Miller Patient Care Fund in Evans’s honor. The Patient Care Fund helps community members in need with their medical bills. This is the 31st consecutive year that the Miller family has sponsored the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute.
Hugh and Vera’s son David presented this year’s award to Greg Evans, saying, “Greg is clearly a pillar of the community in so many ways and very deserving of this recognition. My grandparents felt very strongly that you couldn’t have a strong community without strong employers, strong education and a strong local healthcare organization.”
Those who would like to make a gift to the Winona Health Foundation in honor of Greg Evans may direct their gift to the Winona Health Foundation by mail: 855 Mankato Ave., Winona, MN 55987, or online: winonahealth.org/foundation.
Questions about the Winona Health Foundation may be directed to Rebecca Lamberty, chief administrative officer, 507.494.5745 or, for more information, visit winonahealth.org/foundation.
Past recipients of the Ben & Adith Miller Community Service Tribute:
2018 Steve and Nancy Bachler
2017 Steve Groth
2016 Jon Kohner
2015 Dr. Chuck and Judy Shepard
2014 Dee Cipov
2013 Irene Renk
2012 Marlene Kohner
2011 Jenny Kahl
2010 Justin Green
2009 Nancy Iglesias
2008 Dennis Theede and Home & Community Options, Inc.
2007 O.J. and Karen Fawcett
2006 Donna Helble
2005 Kent Gernander
2004 Marilyn and Keith Schwab, Kim and Pete Schwab
2003 M.L. “Max” DeBolt
2002 Rose Andersen and Diane Barge
2001 Carol “Mickey” and Dan Barr
2000 Joette and Michael Gostomski
1999 Roger Metz
1998 Nancy and Mark Kristensen
1997 Dave Arnold and Dan Rukavina
1996 Pete Woodworth
1995 Dr. Frank and Ruth Bures
1994 Sue Cornwell
1993 Bob Kierlin
1992 Tom Graham
1991 Gary Evans
1990 Pauline Knight
1989 Tom and Judith Stark, Dr. Roger and Helen Hartwich, John and Helen David