Hailed as a “true example of what volunteer civic participation is about,” Jim Lee was awarded the Greater Cedarburg Foundation’s Civic Award at a ceremony on Feb. 12 at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. The award was presented by Jim Coutts, a former GCF board president who nominated Lee for the award.An Oshkosh native, Lee served in the U.S. Army from 1956 – 1957 as a member of the Army Airborne Division. He was assigned to the Inspector General’s Office and to an Outpost on the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. He later attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he met his future wife, Ruth. The couple moved to Cedarburg in the 1960s and raised a son and daughter.Lee ramped up his volunteer service after retiring as an AT&T sales manager 23 years ago. His service to his country left a lasting impact on him and he channeled that pride through a quarter-century of involvement with Cedarburg’s Peter Wollner American Legion Post. He has served nearly every position at the post, including commander, and currently serves as the 2nd District vice commander. The Wisconsin American Legion named him County Commander of the Year at its annual state convention last year. He has also been active in the Cedarburg-Grafton VFW Post.
Lee ‘s volunteer resume also includes 15 years as a town of Cedarburg election official, bagging food at the Family Sharing Food Pantry, volunteering at the Town Recycling Center, serving as a greeter at the Cedarburg Visitors Center and volunteering as a docent at the Kuhefuss House and for the early Gothic History Tours. He has been a longtime member of the Ozaukee Historical Society and served as a volunteer at Pioneer Village.
Lee has been a member of both the town and city recreation boards and has dedicated a large amount of time to working with area youth. He started the youth basketball leagues for boys and girls in Cedarburg and coached Little League Baseball for seven years, in addition to coaching other teams over 17 years.
Lee requested that the $1,000 grant that goes with the award be given to Camp American Legion.
The Civic Award annually honors people who have made a significant contribution to enhance the greater Cedarburg community. Previous recipients have included Merlin Rostad, Carl Edquist, Ralph Huiras, Robert Armbruster, Edward Rappold, Don & Janet Levy, M.D. “Mal” Hepburn, Layton & Barbara Olsen, Jim & Sandy Pape, Jim Coutts and Paul & Philia Hayes.