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Schultz, VanMeter honored as Citizens of the YearKeynote speaker Tremblay gives overview of the life and career of Walt Disney

Mary Kay Schultz addresses the gathering at Sturgis Fest kick-off, after receiving Citizen of the Year honor.
Doug VanMeter, Citizen of the Year, speaks at Sturgis Fest kick-off. Photos by Dennis Volkert/Sentinel
Christopher W. Tremblay, keynote speaker, gives an overview of the life of Walt Disney.

By Dennis Volkert

Sturgis Fest kick-off dinner was held Tuesday at Sturges-Young Center for the Arts.
Mary Kay Schultz and Doug VanMeter received their plaque and statuette as 2024 Citizens of the Year. Each gave a brief thank-you speech. State Sen. Jonathan Lindsey and Rep. Steve Carra presented the awards.
Keynote speaker was Christopher W. Tremblay, adjunct instructor at Western Michigan University. As a tie-in with the 2024 Sturgis Fest theme of “Disney Days,” Tremblay narrated an in-depth slide-show exploring the life and career of Walt Disney.
After the presentation, Tremblay gave Schultz and VanMeter a signed copy of “Walt’s Pilgrimage,” the professor’s book published in 2017.
Sturgis Mayor Frank Perez gave the welcome and invocation. Kari Hatt, executive director at Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, bookended the evening with a thank-you to Sturgis Fest sponsors and organizers, and closing remarks outlining the festival schedule and attractions.
Schultz, a 1978 graduate of Sturgis High School, worked for 37 years at Sturgis Hospital. She retired in 2019 as vice president of human resources.
VanMeter is a life-long resident of Sturgis, SHS class of 1955, and a member of the high school’s hall of fame.
Each has an extensive history of contribution to the community in a variety of roles, including service organizations, education, faith and leisure activities. Both have continued involvement.
Schultz currently is a member of the board of directors for Thurston Woods Village and Sturgis Exchange Club. She reamins active at school functions, concerts, recitals and sporting events.
VanMeter, a longtime pilot, has served as a member of Kirsch Municipal Airport Advisory Committee. A model-train enthusiast, he currently is a member of the board at Sturgis Historical Society.

2 Replies to “Schultz, VanMeter honored as Citizens of the YearKeynote speaker Tremblay gives overview of the life and career of Walt Disney

  1. Chris Tremblay is a former student of mine at Western Michigan University. He is the most creative, generous and talented man I know. he gives always without counting the cost. He does all the covers for my books for me, He is outstanding in whatever he does. One exceptional man!!

  2. Nice article, but you have the captions swapped for Doug and Dr. Tremblay.

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