More than 75 community members gathered on Tuesday, April 25 to honor local volunteers during Hands On Thomas County’s Cheers for Volunteers Reception & Awards at The Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce. With April being National Volunteer Month, April 19-22 was HOTC Volunteer Week, a celebration of service and volunteers, making it the perfect time to announce Hands On Thomas County’s 4th annual Hands On Heroes. Scroll down for pictures!
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 25 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual and group categories. Award winners and honorable mentions were selected by a committee based, not just on hours served, but impact, passion, commitment and inspiration. Winners received handcrafted Hands On Heroes awards, Everfan Super Hero Capes, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship (for the student winner). On behalf of local non-profit partners, HOTC is proud to recognize these very special volunteers who shine brightly in the eyes of local non-profit agencies and community members as Hands On Heroes.
Individual Category (volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Ms. Laura Pike, Ms. Gina Shumake, Ms. Crystal Willis
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Mr. Marvin Dawson
Mr. Dawson currently serves with Thomas University, United Way and CASA, but his true value to our community comes from his volunteer efforts benefiting local youth at the MNW Boys & Girls Club, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity where he mentors young men and women helping them become proud citizens and leaders in their own right. His commitment to youth, belief in their bright potential, and his model leadership makes him a true Hands On Hero!
Student Category (youth in grades 6-9 in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Ms. Kai Frazier, Ms. Katie Wise
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Ms. Malyce Collins
A Senior at Scholars Academy, not only is Ms. Collins a regular volunteer and vice president of Rose City Strings Interact Club which focuses on community service, but she took it upon herself to create her own service club, EARTH (Environmental Awareness & Relief Touching Humanity) Club which encourages fellow students to volunteer to make the world a better place. Efforts have included Hands & Hearts For Horses, tree planting, and raising funds to order recycle bins for the school. Her goal is to involve not only her school, but the entire community, in making a difference. We recognize and applaud her efforts to engage her peers, and exhibit true leadership qualities.
Group Category (businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Longhorn Steakhouse, Thomas County Central High School Student Ambassadors
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Thomas University Men’s Soccer Team
If you are a local sports fan or a non-profit, you are familiar with this group. They successfully balance school, work, jobs, practice, and games – yet still manage time to volunteer, as a Team and as individuals, in the community – not once in a while, but year-round – for organizations like HOTC, TASF, Vashti, Humane Society, Lives Without Limits and many more, including disaster relief efforts from the past January’s devastating storms. Most of these players are not originally from Thomasville, the state of Georgia, or even this continent, yet they contribute to this community like it is their home, and make it a better place as a result.
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Student Group: Thomasville High School Air Force Junior ROTC
The corps cadets have a mission: to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. Although the cadets may change from year to year, their commitment as a unit to service before self does not. They participate regularly in HOTC event days, and they are frequent volunteers for events and organizations that promote patriotism and unity.
Other nominees included: Jerrylene Brown, Glenda Butler, Marc Decosta, Shanna Derby, Katy Garbett, Kirstern James, Ken McKinnis, Rebecca Ramsey, Thomas County Health Department
Hands On Thomas County would like to thank all the nominees, award winners, those who took the time to make a nomination, and all those who volunteer tirelessly and selflessly every day. You are all HEROES!