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2022 winners recognized during FOX 17 Pay it Forward Awards Gala

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Jan 26, 2023
2022 winners recognized during FOX 17 Pay it Forward Awards Gala

Each month, FOX 17 recognizes someone doing good in West Michigan as our Pay it Forward Person of the Month.

Thursday, all of the monthly winners from 2022 were honored during the annual FOX 17 Pay it Forward Awards Gala.

"It is super inspiring to watch all these other people, including myself, for all the hard work we've put in," said July winner Kayla Cornell. "I love it, it means the world to me to see all these people giving back to the community and helping out."

The diverse group of winners ranged from 11 to 82 years old.

Audrey Maioho was featured in August for raising money for the Humane Society of West Michigan.

"I'm so honored to be here, I'm really thankful for this," Maioho told FOX 17 News. "I think its really awesome and cool and amazing how other people are doing all this stuff too."

September winner Lakeisha S. Gilbert, the founder of HOAP, Inc., said it was a "blessing to be acknowledged."

"It's just an honor, it's really a privilege because you give, give, give so much. It is nice... just to have something deposited back into you," she said.

The FOX 17 and Lake Michigan Credit Union Pay it Forward Person of the Year was also announced at the gala.

John Redmond was featured in February 2022 for his decades of service on the Paw Paw Quick Response team as a volunteer first responder.

Redmond, who was unable to attend the event, will be receiving a $5,000 prize, courtesy of Lake Michigan Credit Union.

Former Paw Paw Fire Chief Kirk Richardson accepted the award on Redmond's behalf.

"I met John when I was 13 years old, he taught my CPR class at the fire station," explained Richardson. "I can't think of anyone more dedicated and deserving. I mean even at 82 years old, 24/7, 365, he responds to calls all hours of the day. The team responds to a 140 calls a month, so he definitely puts others ahead of himself."

Winners like Alicia Mathieu said they hope their stories will resonate and inspire others to give back.

"I just feel like if you give, someone will give to the next person. It just keeps going," Mathieu said. "There's no reason not to give, there's no reason not to pay it forward."

To see more of the monthly winners, click here.

To nominate someone you know to be featured as a Pay it Forward Person of the Month, click here.