West Windsor Arts Council Honors their Volunteers
National Volunteer Week April 17 – 23, 2022

Princeton Junction, NJ (April 17, 2022) – It’s National Volunteer Week, and this year the value and importance of those who give of their time to help others has an added resonance as the world recuperates from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. From those on the front lines, to those helping their local communities, recognizing the work of volunteers is perhaps more important than ever.

Over 135 dedicated and energetic individuals make up the volunteer roles at the West Windsor Arts Council. These folks share their time and skills in service of transforming the world around us through the arts. Volunteers help in many ways from organizing and running exhibitions, to event support, fundraising, serving on advisory committees, and by providing leadership through board membership. Day in and day out, each individual’s contributions are greatly appreciated and valued.

As part of National Volunteer Week, the West Windsor Arts Council is honoring four very dedicated individuals who went above and beyond in service this past year, awarding them the Volunteers of the Year award. Eilleen Cardone and Mikel Cirkus are recognized for their high-level commitment to both the arts and to the community.  High school students Olivia Popovic and Sanjay Potluri are recognized for the hours they have given to West Windsor Arts and for their steadfast readiness to help.

Eilleen Cardone is a local real estate professional and started volunteering for West Windsor Arts in June of 2021. She currently works for Groundfloor, a real estate investment firm, and she is a real estate broker. Eilleen states, “Over the summer of 2021, I read several articles which stated local nonprofits (community aid and arts centers in particular) had suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic. I wanted to start volunteering more for local nonprofits and have a positive impact on my local community. I reached out to West Windsor Arts and it was great timing as they needed help with updating their online store. This was an easy way I could contribute in my spare time outside of work. I encourage anyone else to reach out and find ways to help out – even a few hours once a month can make a big difference for these local community resources.”

Mikel Cirkus is a West Windsor resident and has been involved with the Arts his entire life. He has worked as a writer, illustrator, street artist, designer, photographer, and creative director. After designing the logo for the WWAC, he was later asked to join the Board, where today he holds the active role of Vice President. Additionally, Mikel’s shed murals can be found at the West Windsor Community Farmers Market, Ward Little League Field, along the trolley line bike trail, and a few select private residences.

Olivia Popovic is a sophomore from the Princeton Junction area. Olivia had gotten involved with West Windsor Arts this past year and has been an enormous help. She was excited to get the opportunity to work behind the scenes. She has volunteered for the Tuesday After School Group, the October Martian Project at Whole World Arts, and various art Opening Reception events. She is a great leader who loves public speaking and encourages those around her. Her hardworking nature and problem solving skills are apparent to the community and those at West Windsor Arts.  

Sanjay Potluri is a freshman at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North and has been volunteering at West Windsor Arts since October 2021. He has helped in the Whole World Art Center shop at Marketfair and has helped out in numerous events such as the Gala, the Autumn Arts Afternoon and the Aliens Community event. He loves greeting customers at the Whole World Arts Center as they walk into the store and helping children with the drop-in crafts at the store. Through this volunteering service, Sanjay has gained the unique opportunity of meeting local artisans and learning the value of bringing the community together through art. He is also very fortunate to work with the staff at WWA who has made this volunteering activity a truly memorable event in the recent months, especially during these tough times. Sanjay states, “Being a part of the Special Art Crew has shown me how powerful art can be when people come together to celebrate it. For example, the Mars painting that we all worked on during the Aliens Community Event brought forth lots of smiles and laughter. Volunteering with West Windsor Arts has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to work on our future projects!”

West Windsor Arts sends a sincere thank you to Eilleen Cardone, Mikel Cirkus, Olivia Popovic, Sanjay Potluri, and all our volunteers for sharing their talents and welcomes members of the community to join this vital team. For more information, visit www.westwindsorarts.org/volunteer.

For a complete list of all our 2022 Volunteers, please click HERE.

Featured Image:
Adult Volunteer of the Year Eilleen Cardone
Adult Volunteer of the Year Mikel Cirkus
High School Volunteer of the Year Sanjay Potluri
High School Volunteer of the Year Olivia Popovic