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Rebecca Crane named Community Contributor of the Year

March 14, 2022 | By Michael H. Babcock



Longtime Dial Help Executive Director Rebecca Crane was named Community Contributor of the Year for the year 2021 during the Sparkplug Awards dinner. 

“It’s great that this award was given to Rebecca,” Dial Help Board Vice President Lieutenant Nick Roberts said. “People like her don’t do what they do for any kind of recognition. She is a selfless person who will always make great sacrifices to support our community.”

The Keweenaw Spark Plug of the Year’s Community Contributor of the Year is given to an individual or organization that has made significant strides in the development of our community. The award was presented to Crane by Lt. Roberts in front of nearly 300 community members at the Memorial Union Building on Michigan Tech’s campus on March 3. She received multiple nominations for the award, pointing to her incredible track record at the organization. 


Rebecca Crane accepting award.
Rebecca Crane accepting award.


“Most people don’t realize what Dial Help does in this community and the lives that it has saved,” one nomination read. “Rebecca is one of our unsung heroes.”

Crane has a master’s degree in Human Services and began her career at Dial Help on the crisis line before becoming Executive Director in 2009. Under her leadership, Dial Help has flourished, creating new and innovative programs to serve the Copper Country and the entire UP. She is especially passionate when it comes to advocating for victims and other vulnerable populations in our community. Crane also received Portage Health Foundation’s Person of the Year Award (2015), Keweenaw Community Foundation’s Community Impact Award (2016) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Visionary Voice Award (2018).

Below are a couple other meaningful clips from her nominations:


  • (Dial Help and its staff) are incredibly deserving of this recognition for the significant efforts they have made to serve the crisis mental health needs of the region through a time as uncertain as the pandemic. 
  • Through the past year Dial Help has not missed a beat, in fact, many significant accomplishments have taken place to better serve our community - from young school aged children all the way up. Their crisis line has continued to serve hundreds of individuals per quarter, their school-based prevention programs reached hundreds of students in spite of the pandemic and the dynamic learning environments we now have, and their family support programs added hundreds of additional contacts. The crisis line was also reaccredited by the international council of helplines in the past year. 
  • Their leadership in Communities that Care project across the region has also proven instrumental. They also continue to develop a child advocacy center that is near (or may already be) accreditation status. I’ve always thought Dial Help flies under the radar and serves some critical needs in our community that are not always pleasant to talk about.
  • To continue to grow, add programs and meet a huge community need in a pandemic that has increased stresses all throughout our community - to me is incredibly impressive. Mental health and other crisis services have proven increasingly important in rural communities and I’m so thankful they are here.
  • Prior to Rebecca's direction, Dial Help went from almost closing its doors to becoming a major nonprofit in the upper peninsula, after Rebecca took over as the Director of Dial Help. Under her direction Dial Help has reached all corners of the upper peninsula and has literally saved lives because of her nonstop work ethic. Most people don't realize what Dial Help Does in this community and the lives that it has saved. 
  • Rebecca is one of our unsung heroes. Rebecca has a staff that works with her and Dial Helps goals. Dial Helps goals are literally to save lives. Rebecca works tirelessly getting grants to keep Dial Help going and has partnered with other non-profits to achieve these goals. I can't say enough about Rebecca and what she has been able to achieve, sometimes on a shoestring budget. 
  • Most accomplishments Rebecca and Dial Help have made never make it to the public because of the nature of the help they give. Their suicide help lines, and suicide counseling have helped so many people along with their other awareness training programs. There is no one person or agency better for this award.
  • Rebecca and the staff at Dial Help are dedicated to serving the people of the Copper Country. They are available to meet the needs of various populations in whatever way is applicable. They utilize whatever resources are available. In providing services, they are energetic, enthused, and innovative and the staff always put the needs of the consumers first. 
  • When there are obstacles, such as the pandemic, they reorganized as to how they might continue to provide services while adhering to various guidelines and mandates. Rebecca and the staff are dedicated professionals who go "above and beyond" in their position. They are a group of individuals who work as a team to provide the most desirable and proactive outcomes.


The Sparkplug Awards are hosted in partnership between Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, Portage Health Foundation, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, MTEC SmartZone and Keweenaw Young Professionals. Learn more about the Spark Plug Awards at

If you want to thank Rebecca Crane and support the incredible work Dial Help is doing, make a donation at

Michael H. Babcock

Michael H. Babcock