Gaines honored for volunteer work

Grace Christiansen

Lawrence Professor Emeritus Fred Gaines — who retired after 23 years of teaching — is by no means sitting still. He was recently awarded the 2008 Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award for his work in the Fox Valley community.
The recipient of the award, an award that “recognizes an individual who has served as a mentor in the community over time and has, by example, made meaningful contributions to the quality of life in the Fox Cities,” receives $5,000 to give to the charity of their choice, sponsored by the Mieke Family Foundation.
Some of Gaines’ most involved volunteering takes place at the Outagamie County Jail, where he has taught a weekly creative writing class since 2002. Gaines teaches sixteen students at a time and a spot in his class is always in high demand.
According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, Mr. Gaines’ class prints a weekly newsletter, and it is partly through reading and publishing that the inmates are able to see themselves in each other — their mistakes, regrets and most of all, resilience.
Gaines’ class presents an outlet for self-reflection and creativity. Gaines also teaches theater at Appleton West High School’s Renaissance School for the Arts. Clearly, he will continue contributing to the quality of life in the Fox Cities for a long time.