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Volunteer of the Year - Tarence Wheeler
Volunteer of the Year Award: honors an individual who strives to improve the lives of neighbors, friends, community or congregation through volunteerism
TARENCE WHEELER of River Rouge has wowed many with basketball skills, but it’s off the court where he has been a slam dunk with his community for more than 20 years. Upon his return to Detroit from playing professional basketball in South America, he saw children who lacked hope, families that were deprived and neighborhoods that were crime-ridden. He realized then that he had to do something to make a difference. Since 2007, Tarence’s volunteer efforts have impacted the lives of over 50,000 people. His organization, All-Star Giveback, has provided over 12,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to families in need throughout Wayne County. He consistently mentors 50 Detroit youth, helping them foster positive relationships with their community leaders and build promising futures. He has also partnered with DTE to facilitate over $2.7 million in utility payments for low-income families. Tarence often says that he is in the life-saving business, constantly giving back to the community that raised him. “When I leave this earth,” said Tarence, “I will leave empty because I will continually pour into the lives of people.”