Trailblazers honored

Mayor Sandi Bloem
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Coeur de’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem has worked tirelessly to bring the holistic ministry of The Salvation Army to her community through the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center currently under construction. She led the way with the planning, development, fundraising and public relations needed to secure the Kroc Center, which will offer recreational facilities and a safe spiritual haven for all members of the community.

Mayor Bloem is the chair of the Coeur d’Alene Advisory Board and serves on the capital campaign cabinet and donor relations committees of the board. She is the driving force behind the successfully completed $7.2 million capital campaign for the Kroc Center. She has helped the Army tell its story to a broad audience and to expand the Army’s presence in a community that had not had a local Salvation Army for decades. She has also made a generous and personally significant pledge to the Kroc Center—setting a leadership example for other members of the community.

For her outstanding leadership and commitment to the Kroc Center and the ministry of the Army in northern Idaho, we are pleased to honor Mayor Sandi Bloem with the Trailblazer of the Year Award, recognizing her as a true Trailblazer for her inspiring vision, dedication and hard work.

Robert J. and Joyce C. Robinson
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Bob and Joyce Robinson receive this award for their outstanding work in the Colorado Springs area, where Bob is the chairman of the El Paso County Advisory Board, and Joyce is the president of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.

The Robinsons have put their support and finances behind the ministries of The Salvation Army through advisory board membership for over 30 years. They are the top donors in the county, contributing thousands of dollars each year.

As a volunteer, Bob heads up the most successful kettle campaign in the Western Territory—an all-volunteer effort that topped over a half a million dollars last year.
Recently, under the leadership of Joyce, the Women’s Auxiliary conducted the most successful fundraiser to support local programs that the auxiliary has ever had. Joyce also oversees the “Adopt a Family” program that serves families with food and toys during the Christmas season.

The Robinsons’ next project is a possible $20 million comprehensive campaign in El Paso County.

Bob and Joyce Robinson are a passionate couple who have given their lives to the work of The Salvation Army, not only with words but with actions and monetary support. They are indeed Trailblazers!

Major Debi Shrum
Turlock, California
Following appointments at the College for Officer Training and at the divisional level, Major Debi Shrum, in 2002, became responsible for the newly opened Turlock Corps and Community Center. In addition to the corps, the facilities include a senior center, youth and gym programs, family services, and a Silvercrest residence. Shrum has done an outstanding job as a corps officer and is well known in the Turlock community for her work, especially with gang prevention and outreach.

She is on the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Board, reaching out to current gang members and trying to prevent other young adults from being influenced by gang activity. She has helped youths to make the right decisions in their lives by getting them involved in after-school activities, scouting and sports.

Shrum is also known as the “Hoops Chaplain.” Every Sunday evening the corps hosts a basketball program for young adults. During half-time everything in the gym comes to a halt, and they gather around center court where Debi leads a devotional and prays for each of those in attendance. Her latest venture is a dodge ball tournament sponsored by the Turlock Advisory Board—a significant outreach to the community.

In all aspects of the work in the Turlock community, Major Debi Shrum is a true Trailblazer.

George and Olive Wild
Eugene, Oregon
George and Olive Wild are second generation Salvationists originally from England. Upon arriving in the United States, they began a long history of soldiership in many different corps.
Because of George’s job, the Wilds moved frequently—living in San Jose, Sacramento and Oxnard, Calif., and in Calgary, Canada. In Oklahoma City, George’s office was in the Federal building just a few blocks from the Oklahoma City bombing, and there he served with the Army’s emergency disaster team. A final transfer brought the Wilds to the Concord Corps in Northern California.

George is passionate about banding. No matter the size of the corps, he always supported and played in the band. If there was no band, he started one, and he was the bandmaster in several corps. He also served as corps sergeant major and on the corps council.

In retirement George and Olive attend the Eugene, Ore., corps. George encourages young musicians and plays in the Cascade divisional brass band. A strong voice on the corps council, he has been instrumental in the success of the corps visioning process and goal achievements.

A gifted teacher of the adult Bible class, Olive assists with soldiers’ preparation classes, at leadership training sessions, and as an instructor at divisional events, as well serving as a member of the worship team.

George and Olive have two officer sons: Major Ivan and Captain Roy.

With steadfastness through many years and in leadership positions in various corps, George and Olive Wild have displayed the true Trailblazer spirit.

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