Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Humanitarians of the Year


At MICA’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 23, board member Dianna Dohm presented MICA’s Humanitarian of the Year Award to islanders Cheryl and Mike Mueller.

Past recipients of this prestigious award include: Mimi Torbush; Shirlee and Brian Barcic; Ward Bradeen; D’Ann and David Brandt; Dr. Sam and Mary Ann Durso; Judy Barney; Arturo Perez; Maury Dailey; Art Segal; Stevi Walthour; Luise Romano; Jane Williams; Karen Saeks; Nicki Davis; Bert and Jann Brewer; Maria Elena Pujol; Howard Jordan; and Jack Simmen.

Cheryl and Mike Mueller met during their senior year in college at Indiana State. They married in 1975, and have two children and three grandchildren. When they moved to Marco Island in 2005, Cheryl joined Newcomers, and was asked to be on their board where she served for several years.

Cheryl and Mike were instrumental in starting ESL classes (English-as-a-Second-Language) that ran for several years at St. Mark’s Church. They are very active in their church, where they coordinate the book and CD sales for the Flea Market and spend countless hours in the “shed” sorting donations for the Flea Market.

Both Cheryl and Mike assist with “Camp Able,” a special needs camp started by Kyle and Dody Bennett of St. Marks. They both pitch in and do whatever is needed. Cheryl coordinates breakfasts and lunches during camp sessions, and Mike takes the special needs kids out on his boat for an afternoon of adventure.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church also offers “Camp Jeffrey” as a respite for challenged’s caregivers. Cheryl and Mike coordinate and volunteer their time at this camp that offers parents a couple of hours to themselves.

Cheryl has been involved in Bedtime Bundles since the very beginning, which helps the migrant children who live practically in our backyards. She was at their first formal meeting in 2008 and has been there ever since. Of course, when Cheryl is involved, so is Mike. They both have spent innumerable hours doing whatever needs to be done and always with a smile, including delivering bread, food, clothing and household items to the camps, as well as purchasing, sorting and delivering food for the summer food drive. Cheryl chaired Bedtime Bundles’ yearly fundraiser, Mutts & Martinis Yappy Hour, last year, which raised more than $24,000.

Mike has been on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Collier County for a number of years and currently serves as secretary. He is also on the build sites at least once, if not twice, every week with hammer and nails in hand.

Somehow they manage to even fit in some down time. Cheryl needle points, and Mike is an excellent fisherman, which was relayed by his buddies in the Marco Island Sport Fishing Club.

It’s Cheryl and Mike’s actions that bring the community of Marco Island together through a common goal: helping those in our community who have so little. They have always been the people you could go to for anything.

Mike and Cheryl have always been involved where ever they have lived. They are selfless givers, living their faith by giving back to the community whenever asked. They recognize needs beyond our insulated world and help without hesitation — many, many times paying for items out of their own pockets. We are truly blessed on Marco to have such a loving, caring couple.


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