Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of profiles of people doing good in the community. If you know anyone who is deserving of recognition for something good they’ve done, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: L-R, Riley, Breanna and Sophia Patzer.
Sisters Breanna and Riley Patzer, along with their cousin Sophia Patzer, were recently honored as part of the 2021 National Philanthropy Day awardees for their work in the community.
The trio received the Talbert & Leota Abrams Foundation/Next Gen Grantmakers award for making outstanding contributions to the philanthropic culture of the community, especially in times of need. To be considered, recipients need to have contributed to the community by the giving of their time, resources, and financial support in innovative ways that create a lasting impact and set an example.
The three were nominated by Leader Dogs for the Blind.
Breanna Patzer, a sophomore at Hartland High School, has spent the last five years working with Leader Dogs for the Blind. During that time, she’s embraced the mission of the organization, and her involvement has become multifaceted. She is currently raising Harley, a Future Leader Dog, and her daily care and training of him is laying the foundation for him becoming a trusted guide for someone who is blind.
“Her dedication in working with Harley for one year will forever change the life of the client who will someday walk side-by-side with him,” Leader Dogs said in the nomination letter.
Riley Patzer, a 2020 graduate of Hartland High School who is in her second year in the nursing program at Saginaw Valley State University, has always sought to encourage her peers in school, as well as those who participate in the programs of the Special Olympics.
“Her innate ability to come alongside people, helping them discover new strengths and experience success, is testimony to her philanthropic heart,” said Leader Dogs in the nomination letter.
Sophia Patzer, who has given generously of her time and talents with various organizations over the years, has most recently been involved with The Soldier Support Group, participating in the restorative work of those who have faithfully served our country and are working to re-establish themselves and their families.
“Her connection with these heroes has shown her what it means to be part of the healing process of the men and women who have sacrificed so much,” is how the nomination letter described her work.
Sophia graduated from Oakland Christian High School in 2021, and is now a student at Grand Valley State University.