NORWOOD -- Vanessa Stanka was recently named the Norwood Kiwanis citizen of the year at a dinner meeting March 6.
Stanka is a third grade student at Trinity Catholic School in Massena and she resides in Norwood with her parents Brian and Linda Stanka.
“Vanessa is an outstanding young lady, whose generosity and commitment to helping others is an inspiration to us all,” said a press release from the club.
Stanka collected games, puzzles, arts and crafts and stuffed animals for the children at the Cancer Center in Burlington, VT, and she and her family delivered the items to Burlington.
She also volunteers at the Potsdam Humane Society, where she visits and plays with the animals, the release said. She also makes toys for the animals at the shelter.
On her eighth birthday, Stanka requested gifts for the animals and she plans to do so again this year.
She and her parents also “adopt” a family each holiday season and provide Christmas dinner and gifts for the children.
For her next community service project, Stanka plans to collect non-perishable foods items for organizations providing food to the needy, the release said.
Kiwanis President Patti Dean presented Stanka with a plaque and other gifts and thanked her for her willingness to serve her community.
Dean congratulated Vanessa for her “many accomplishments at such a young age and encouraged her to continue her philanthropic endeavors,” the release said.