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2013 Black Excellence Awards Honoree Denotra Griffin-Wallace

March 15, 2013
Denotra Griffi n-Wallace Roselette Dancers

Denotra Griffi n-Wallace
Roselette Dancers

Volunteerism

It’s not often that you meet someone who gives of themself so freely and lovingly without expecting anything in return. Well, Denotra Griffin-Wallace challenges that idea and does it well. After a 22- year career at Miller Brewing Company as a machine operator, Denotra retired, and since that time, she has dedicated her time to volunteering and helping others. Denotra was born in DeKalb, MS, but came to Milwaukee in 1957 for a visit because her brothers were here – and she never left. She has been involved in a variety of volunteering efforts since the late 1990s.

Since 1999, she has been a member of the Roselette Dancers of the Clinton Rose Senior Center. Denotra was president and set up special programming to honor those who have been with the dance group for more than fi ve years. The Roselette Dancers practice two nights a week and are a line dancing group that perform all throughout Milwaukee. Her fondest memory is when they performed at the 96th Annual NAACP Convention held in Milwaukee in 2005.

Denotra has volunteered to deliver meals to the sick and shut-in since 1998 through the Goodwill Foundation. “Volunteering makes me feel good and I love to be around older people; you learn more,” she said. Denotra delivers meals Monday – Friday and she has about 23 people on her route. She commented that some people even know she’s coming and will leave the door open for her.

“You build relationships with people, and learn from them too; sometimes t hey invite me in and other times, I just stand in the doorway and talk,” she said.

Denotra graduated from DeKalb High School and studied for 3 years at Mississippi Valley University as an education major. She is a member of the St. James United Methodist Church and is active in the fi nancial ministry there. Denotra also has an active family life, including fi ve daughters (one passed away), and one son and she has fi ve grandchildren. “This is just what I’ve always wanted to do. Helping people gives me satisfaction,” she said.