Thanks to everyone who attended HOTC’s 3rd Annual Cheers for Volunteers in honor of this year’s Hands On Heroes, and all the volunteers who lend a hand in our community. With 30+ nominations, our committee selected the following to be recognized based on their commitment, impact and passion. You’ll find more pictures below, and also on Facebook!
Individual (volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County)
Recognized Nominee: Darrell Allen, Joan Holmes, Beth Grant, Joe Kitchens
Honorable Mention – Judy & Doug Bauer, Alison Knox, Andre Marria, Larry Plank
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Larry Davis & Morrisce Dockett
For the past 9 years, Mr. Davis & Ms. Dockett have operated the Community Lunch Program at Good Shepherd and Oak Street Mission, serving meals with love to neighbors in need, 5 days a week, January through March. They regularly serve 80 folks each day with home-cooked meals, featuring fresh produce from the community garden. We recognize them for their generosity and love, and for serving the needs of those who are often overlooked.
Hands On Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Ed Elam
Mr. Elam is a long-time volunteer fixture in our community serving many deserving efforts and organizations over the years including The Vashti Center for children in crisis, and the Lawson Neel MedBank which assists low income people in obtaining crucial medications. He has been a project site team leader for every Hands On Thomas County Day since it began 13 years ago, and is a valued member of Rotary where he has also been recognized for his active service. As one person said, “if something needs to be done, you can count on Ed.”
Group (business, club or civic organization)
Recognized Nominee – TCMS Merit Program, The Connection Church
Honorable Mention – TCCHS Key Club, Thomas University Men’s Soccer Program
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Crafts For A Cause
This group is a model of what HOTC is all about – inspiring individuals through positive volunteer experiences to continue their efforts independently. Founders Connie Blosch and Shawna Griffin volunteered at an HOTC Day project site: Sewing 4 Service which made comfort items for local cancer patients. They were so inspired by the service and its end-goal, that they started their own group which now meets monthly to hand make comfort pillows, hats, blankets, neck pillows, drainage bags, and other items for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Hands On Heroes Student Group Award Winner – Bishop Hall Charter School
Bishop Hall has taken student service a step further by actually making volunteer service part of the school day. Groups such as The Guitar Club, Step Group, and classes led by Steve Mavity and Dan Salveter volunteer weekly for Habitat for Humanity, The Humane Society, Keep Thomas County Beautiful, as well as through HOTC. These students contribute hundreds of hours to local organizations with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. We are grateful to their commitment to not only youth volunteer service, but in-school service learning.
Student (youth in grades 6-12)
Honorable Mention – Caitlyn Atkinson, Honey Balfour, Christopher Alan Brinn, Renee Hunnewell, Iesha Pettis, Keldren Reddick
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner – Anne Scott Turner
Anne Scott is being honored for her passion and commitment to Oak Street Mission, a joint ministry of the local Episcopal churches, whose goal is to empower and revitalize the Steven Street National Historic District neighborhood. Herself, a member of First Presbyterian Church, Anne Scott initially volunteered to help with Oak Street’s 5 week summer program, Camp Hope, but has continued to volunteer throughout the school year, providing more than 100 hours mentoring and befriending neighborhood youth in between her own studies, soccer games and Student Government. She is a wonderful role model for her peers, and adults alike, and the recipient of the $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
If you know an outstanding volunteer who deserves to be recognized for their good work, make a nomination! Nominations are accepted year-round through March 17.