Sheryl K. Nienhuis

Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial Volunteer Service Award

The Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial Volunteer Service Award is given annually to the St. Jude  volunteer who exemplifies the qualities of Sheryl K. Nienhuis.

Sheryl was the epitome of an outstanding volunteer with her unwavering commitment and selfless dedication to the mission of St. Jude. While waging a personal battle with cancer, she provided immeasurable encouragement to countless St. Jude patients and their families in their own battles against the disease.

Maureen Kennedy and Sarah Klein

Maureen Kennedy (right), 2016 recipient of the Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial Volunteer Service Award, with Sara Klein

Sheryl began volunteering at St. Jude in 1993, shortly after moving to Memphis with her husband Arthur Nienhuis, MD, former Director of St. Jude. She soon became one of the hospital's leading volunteers, consistently ranking near the top of the list for total hours served annually. Her volunteer roles were many and she never considered any task too unimportant. As an active member of both The Women’s Club and The Ladies of St. Jude, she was very involved in the Christmas card project, holiday decorating, patient birthday parties and the book sales. The pride of her work at St. Jude was her afternoons in the activity room spending time talking and playing games with the patients. This commitment was a priority in her life and many personal opportunities were passed up because she “had to work that day”!

Sheryl established close relationships with many of the patients, staff and fellow volunteers with whom she worked. Her courage, optimism and faith were an inspiration to all who she encountered. Although cancer took Sheryl's life in 2001, she left St. behind a legacy that will continue to motivate all who were blessed to know her.

The winner of the Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial Volunteer Service Award will be honored at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

    • All active St. Jude volunteers are eligible to receive the award. This includes, but is not limited to, active volunteer club members who are in good standing with their respective club.
    • The nominee must be someone who has made volunteering at St. Jude a priority in his/her life.
    • The nominee must be someone who has demonstrated allegiance and commitment to St. Jude and its mission.
    • The judges for the Sheryl K. Nienhuis Memorial Volunteer Services Award are not eligible to receive the award.
  1. A St. Jude volunteer may be nominated for the award by anyone--employee, volunteer, patient or patient family member. An individual may nominate more than one volunteer and self-nominations are allowed.

    All nominations must be submitted on the official nomination form and be received in the Volunteer Services office by the third Friday in March.

  2. The panel of judges will select a nominee who has made volunteerism at St. Jude a priority in his/her life. This person will have made a commitment to support the mission of St. Jude and have demonstrated their unselfish dedication to this organization.

    The following criteria may be useful in preparing nominations:

    • Activity: Describe the nominee's service; be as specific as possible.
    • Commitment: Explain how the nominee has exemplified dedication and commitment to service.
    • Impact: Explain how the nominee's service has resulted in a positive change or made a difference within St. Jude during his/her time of service.
    • Spirit of Volunteerism: Describe how the nominee has displayed a sincere interest and spirit for volunteering.
  3. A panel three to five judges will review the nominations and select the recipient. Judges may not be nominated for the award.

  4. No. One form signed by several individuals does not provide the same information for the judges as several nominations on different forms.

  5. Yes, you may nominate anyone you feel who deserves to receive this award.

  6. Yes, you may nominate multiple volunteers.

  7. Please call the Volunteer Services office at 901-595-3328, and we would be happy to furnish you with this kind of factual information.

  8. No. Nominators will remain anonymous and all information received is highly confidential.

  9. No, previous winners are not eligible. Previous award winners include:

    • Gayatri Mamidanna (2015)
    • Cathy Glavas (2014)
    • Betty Christy and Georgia Gilbertson (2013)
    • Suzanne Hieserman (2012)
    • Robert McVeigh and Patty Stephens (2011)
    • Maria Chandler (2010)
    • Memina Franklin and Martha Williford (2009)
    • Jenny Bledsoe (2008)
    • Penny Tramontozzi (2007)
    • Aggie Wagner (2006)
    • Doris Burton (2005)
    • Andrea Cleveland & Larry Campagna (2004)
    • Mary Kay Kuhns (2003)
    • Marjorie Webster (2002)