Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” If that is true, Stephen Willison has certainly built a life to remember! As a parent volunteer, business leader and a man who deeply cherishes his faith, volunteering and community involvement have been his lifestyle. From his willingness to serve now all the way back to his service as a student, Stephen Willison has always used what he has to help those around him.
With nine active children, it’s natural to end up involved in a lot of things. As a parent volunteer, Stephen Willison has been a Cubmaster, an assistant coach for both baseball and volleyball and the club president for Girl’s Water Polo at the high school. He has been a marching instructor for his children’s high school band. He has served on the Music Boosters, chaperoned camps and events, organized carpools, coordinated volunteers and served as the announcer for varsity sports and band performances.
For Stephen Willison, however, the concept of community service goes back long before he was a parent and well beyond the activities of his children. In his business, his employees have always been asked to perform community service hours in organizations of their choice. He has volunteered on political campaigns and was in charge of a state-wide Supreme Court race. When he was just 27 years old, he organized, promoted and performed in a fundraising event for a children’s charity. He served as the conductor of the Grand Rapids Jazz Ensemble and played in the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band. In Law School he was the President of his school’s Legal Fraternity. When he was in college, he drew on his experience in the Michigan Marching Band to come home and spend weeks every summer helping local high school bands get ready for the following year. And back when he was in high school, his senior classmates voted him as the male student who “Did the Most for Rogers.”
At Church, his service has been even broader. In his mid-20’s he was a founding member of an organization to encourage the faith life of men in his parish. Over the years, he has chaired committees to support and encourage parish leadership, another to improve communications and the use of technology, and another to improve volunteerism and donations. He has been an instructor on matters of faith for both children and adults. He has served on the Parish Council, sang and played his instruments in the church choir and even designed the parish and school’s logo.
Long before he had to, long before anyone was watching, Stephen Willison built a life of community service! Now he stands ready to take another step forward in serving this community as its next Circuit Court Judge. Kent County deserves to have a person with this lifetime of leadership and service in this critical role. Will you join us? Tell your friends. Share this page by clicking the buttons below. Get involved at votewillison.com/volunteer