MDOC Employee Named Finalist for Governor's Service Award
Peggy Carberry has been selected as a finalist for the 2011 Governor's Service Awards in the Volunteer of the Year category. She was nominated by Alger Correctional Facility Warden Catherine Bauman and was chosen as a finalist from over 100 applications. She is committed to the local community through the work which she and her sisters, known as "The Cooking Carberrys," conduct throughout the year during their free time.
Peggy has been instrumental in raising literally tens of thousands of dollars for the community, primarily through baking in their bread oven at Munising's Bay Shore Park. Throughout the years they have helped The Eric R. Beverly Foundation (breast cancer), the American Red Cross, the Anna River Peddlers Bicycle Group, a homeless shelter in Detroit, the Valley Spur Ski Trails, the local 7th and 8th grade girl's basketball teams, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk. Each year as the donations have increased, more people have become involved with baking pizzas allowing Peggy to give more back to the community. Last year "The Cooking Carberrys" were instrumental in raising $30,000 for a matching grant so Munising could provide their first paved bike path in Munising.
Peggy, along with her sisters, volunteers her time every Tuesday for approximately 7-8 hours, baking in the community bread oven at the Farmer's Market at Bay Shore Park in Munising from May to October. It is estimated they serve 300 people and raise at least $850 every Tuesday. Also, Peggy adds that they man the community oven almost every weekend during the summer months and those donations also go directly to various special events. Their sign says, "The Cooking Carberrys are helping the community One Pizza at a Time."
They recently donated $1,200 to Munising's 4th of July fireworks fund and currently they are raising money for new tennis courts to be constructed in Munising. The local high school team has to play all of their matches out of town because of the lack of four tennis courts in Munising.
Doug Bovin, Munising's City Manager, said, "Peggy and her sisters donated a significant amount of time and money putting that bread oven in the Bay Shore Park. They also contributed to the cost of the new pavilion in the park and spend a lot of their own time baking at their bread oven in order to contribute to this community. I used to look down at the park from my office window and it would be dead, but since the Carberry sisters put in that bread oven, it is busy and filled with people all the time. They have helped to create an identity for Munising."
The Cooking Carberrys also help to raise money for Valley Spur Cross-Country Ski Trails during the winter months. Peggy spends approximately 6-7 hours each Saturday and Sunday and other days when there are special events, making homemade soup, bread and cookies to sell for donations, at the Valley Spur Ski Lodge. She also spends about 3 hours each day mentoring children on how to cross country ski and, of course, ensures the kids have a bowl of soup and a homemade cookie after their "big ski!" The money raised from the soup is donated to help defray the cost of grooming the 28 mile course that is considered to be one of the best places to cross-country ski in the Midwest. The vibe that is created in the lodge by having a great bowl of soup with homemade bread is tremendous. During the past two years the Cooking Carberrys have been able to provide over $1,000 each year for the grooming of Valley Spur which is totally operated by volunteers of the community. The funds made it possible to keep the ski trails open. People come from all over to enjoy this ski area.
John Swanberg, Head Groomer at the Valley Spur Ski Area said, "When it comes to moving mountains, Peggy doesn't wait for the bulldozer, she just gets a shovel and gets going! Peggy always has such a positive attitude."
Peggy recently received the Michigan Department of Corrections Citizenship Award for her organizational efforts and support of the Christmas Giving Program. However, that only reflects a very small part of what Peggy does for her community. In addition to everything listed thus far, she also spends time baking pies to donate to the local church, baking various items for funerals, and volunteering as a board member for the Anna River Peddlers' Cycling Club and the Valley Spur Ski Area.
The Alger Correctional Facility and the Michigan Department of Corrections are fortunate to have Peggy as an employee. We are proud of her accomplishments and commitment to the community. She is an outstanding individual who unselfishly strives to improve the lives of neighbors, friends and visitors, and make the community a better place. Congratulations Peggy!!