Oakdale Electric Cooperative [OEC] believes in the power of individuals stepping forward and using their talents for the benefit of others. In an effort to thank these outstanding individuals for their selfless service to their community, the co-op is recognizing one nominated individual quarterly for his or her volunteer work with a Selfless Service Award.
Elroy resident, Joe Vitcenda, has been coaching baseball for over 50 years. On Monday, May 16th, Joe’s team, Royall High School, knocked it out of the park with a win against rival New Lisbon High School. To add to the night of celebration, Joe reached the milestone of coaching 1,000 games on his 80th birthday.
Friend Marjorie Gerber stated, “Joe has volunteered endless hours to encourage, shape and build up the young men and women of his community.” Gerber continued, “Joe keeps in contact with numerous former players who have gone on to pursue careers in teaching and coaching. Joe is always there to make sure his students have the equipment and the financial resources to compete with the other students.”
Vitcenda is a staple in his community, and is genuine about improving the lives around him. For 33 years, Joe taught at Royall High School before retiring in 2001. In addition to coaching baseball, he assisted with the football, wrestling and cross-country programs. Today he remains an active member of the VFW and is a church leader. You’ll also find Joe running the Elroy summer recreation program.
Oakdale Electric Cooperative aims to recognize individuals who strive to improve the quality of life within the surrounding communities and Joe Vitcenda represents what the Selfless Service Award is all about. Following the baseball game, and surrounded by his team, community, family, and friends, Joe was presented the cooperative’s fifth Selfless Service Award. It was the perfect evening to enjoy some peanuts, popcorn, and cracker jacks, while recognizing a cherished community member.
“Joe does not seek recognition for his accomplishments. He truly is an unsung hero in his community, recognition is long overdue for this man,” stated Gerber.