Danny Wetzel, 2015-2016 Harold Award Winner
This year’s recipient of the Pledge for Life Partnership’s Harold Award is one of the Partnership’s most dedicated volunteers. For over 25 years, Danny Wetzel has provided untold hours of support to the Life Education Center programs. Danny has volunteered for the annual Family Fun-a-thon for all 20 years, including setting-up, working the event, and taking down.
Married to Brenda Wetzel, director of the Life Education Center Programs, he unselfishly shares his time to assist wherever he may be needed. He has gone well beyond being just a supportive spouse. Danny has helped to move the Iroquois Life Education Center, shoveled a path in the snow for Brenda to get into the unit, provided heavy lifting, and moved more things than we can imagine over all these years.
In 2004, Danny was part of the Family Fun-a-thon Planning Committee to start the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Since then, he has continued to head-up the tournament. This has brought in hundreds of 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade boys and girls teams to play, along with their families to enjoy the event.
A lifelong educator, Danny is employed by Herscher Community Unit School District where he serves at the high school as an educator in athletic training, as well as the varsity head football coach and assistant track coach. He previously taught in Kankakee School District 111 and at the Shapiro Developmental Center. Danny also served as the varsity head football coach at Kankakee High School.
As a teacher and coach, Danny is very passionate about what he does. His focus is on his students’ and teams’ well-being and their best interest. He is caring and committed, always looking for opportunities where important healthy lifestyle lessons can be taught.
In addition to working with youth as his career choice, Danny also knew how important it was to be a part of the lives of his own daughters, nieces, and their friends. He served as a volunteer coach for the Limestone youth softball program for many years. He has also been a volunteer with a number other youth sports programs in the community.
“Kids are the future. I try my best to be a positive role model, to show them how to work as a team. I believe that by investing in our kids, we make our community stronger,” replied Danny when asked why he has dedicated his life to working with youth. Danny leads by example. He listens to others and is a great communicator and team player. In everything he does, Danny tries to model positive goal setting, leadership skills, and good decision making.
Danny and Brenda live in Limestone Township and have two adult daughters, Kayla and Abagail. They are members of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Kankakee.