Volunteers from around the county were honored by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners for their long hours donated to volunteer work during the 28th annual Ashe County Commissioner’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony, held Thursday evening at the Ashe County High School auditorium.
“Tonight, we will be honoring 180 people who have made our county a wonderful place in which to live,” said Ashe County Commissioner William Sands. “Volunteers make a difference in Ashe County each day. In fact, each day in Ashe County, over 1,000 hours of service are given by volunteers like you.”
Before the role-call of the 180 volunteers, Ashe County Manager Dr. Pat Mitchell recognized the importance of volunteering. Mitchell said her father called volunteerism “civic rent,” and said “when the time is appropriate, you need to give back.”
“I want to express appreciation to the many volunteers who have supported Ashe County,” said Mitchell. Mitchell also thanked Glenda Luther, the county’s volunteer coordinator, for her work with the Volunteer Initiative Program.
“We’re fortunate to have a volunteer initiative program in Ashe County,” said Luther.
Volunteers were divided into eight different groups, which included business volunteer group, church/religious volunteer group, community organization, human service, school/mentor volunteers, youth volunteers, individual volunteers and senior volunteers.
Although every volunteer’s name was called during the ceremony, each sub-group had a winner for the 2013 year, and Gary Poe voiced a short essay for each winner, wrapping up in applause from the audience.
The business volunteer group of the year for 2013 was C and C Dairy.
“C and C Dairy in Fleetwood has worked with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center for several years,” said Poe. “There use of best practices has made them good stewards of the land and evironment as they are always looking ahead so that C and C Dairy can be in operation for future generations.”
The Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Ladies Circle was awarded the religious group for 2013.
“This small group of ladies meets monthly to establish a project for the month. Each month, they are enthusiastic and passionate about their calling to help others,” said Poe.
The community organization for 2013 was awarded to Peak Creek Ruritan Club.
“The Peak Creek Ruritan Club, founded in 1984, believes that the community is the backbone of the American way of life,” said Poe. According to him, club members contributed 3,535 hours in volunteer work last year.
The human service volunteer of the year was awarded to Angela Taylor for her work at High Country Health Care Hospice.
“Angie has been a volunteer for High Country Health Care Hospice since August of 2010 and has been such an asset to our volunteer program. In 2012, she shared the gift of 300 hours of her time in various roles,” said Poe.
“Our school/mentor volunteer of the year is Terry Kimmer,” said Poe. “Terry volunteers often at Generations Developmental Child Day Care and has a close relationship with the children in every classroom. He frequently joins them in play, both in the classroom and outdoors on the playground.”
Poe also announced the youth volunteer of the year for 2013 is Kena Patrick.
“As an Ashe Memorial Hospital volunteer, Kena brings joy to patients and families. Kena has dedicated over 300 hours of service. It is apparent how much of an impact she has made on not only the patients, but also the staff and volunteers she works along side,” said Poe.
The individual volunteer of the year was awarded Joann Crawley for long hours spent at Ashe County Public Library.
“Joann has been a library volunteer for several years. She has put in an estimated 3,120 volunteer hours over the past five years. Joann spends two days of every week helping to prepare books for circulation,” said Poe.
Finally, the Ashe County senior volunteer of the year was awarded to Betty Ball.
“Betty Ball has been a volunteer for Ashe Services for Aging’s Meals on Wheels program for 14 years. Betty goes by a local grocery store three times a week to pick up breads so that some of the clients will have extra to eat,” said Poe.
Also recognized at the Volunteer Awards Ceremony were winners of the Governor’s Award. Winners included The Praise Brigade, Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church Youth, High Country Health Care Hospice, Bernadette Zimmerman and Hewey Testerman.
“What we say every year is Ashe County is very blessed to have such a wonderful group of volunteers. A lot of places here rely on our volunteers and couldn’t operate as efficiently without them,” said Luther.
Sons of Pitch, a barber shop quartet, provided entertainment for the evening.