Madison Vogel, 17, of Ocean View was named a top youth volunteer of 2020 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Vogel will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C., where she will join nationwide honorees for four days of national recognition events.
A senior at Sussex Technical High School, Madison has helped her family organize a variety of events over the past seven years that have collected money and books for the families of children with cancer. Madison’s youngest sister Gabby died from a rare brain tumor when she was only 5.
“I was inspired by the strength my sister had while she was fighting this horrible disease,” said Madison. So when her parents created the Get Well Gabby Foundation, Madison was anxious to help raise funds to find a cure and to assist in the care and well-being of children and families dealing with cancer.
Over the years, Madison has helped plan, manage and recruit volunteers for events such as a 5K run/walk, a carnival, a princess and pirate breakfast, a bowling night and a secret Santa shop. These events have raised large amounts of money to pay for medical treatments and other expenses incurred by families of kids with malignancies, as well as for research. These fundraising activities also built a $125,000 playroom in the oncology unit of a children’s hospital in Wilmington.
Madison also has helped conduct an annual drive that has collected thousands of new books each year for young people with cancer across the country.
“Saddened by the loss of my sister, I have fought to bring about more awareness of childhood cancer and make sure others do not have to suffer the same fate as Gabby, as no one should have to endure what she did,” said Madison.