Many thanks to everyone who attended our 5th annual Cheers for Volunteers on April 24 in honor of this year’s Hands On Heroes, and all the volunteers who lend a hand in our community. This year, we changed things up and held the event at the Thomasville Amphitheater where we, and 250 of our friends, enjoyed great fellowship, food, drinks, lawn games, and local entertainment. Take a look at our pictures below!
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 30 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 (volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Ms. Jennifer Gamble, Ms. Susan Haberkorn and Ms. Martha Reneau
Hands On Heroes Award Winner– Mr. Rick Barnes
Rick has volunteered over the years for Relay For Life, Birdsong Nature Center, Friends of Lost Creek Forest, and Keep Thomas County Beautiful but what really sets Rick apart is his personal commitment to our environment and community beautification. Chances are, if you ride through town, you’ll find Rick with gloves and garbage bags in hand picking up litter in neighborhoods and on side roads about every week! He has also made this a family affair, setting an example for his daughters and sons, but also as a role model for all of us within the community. We are thankful for his service.
STUDENT (youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Mr. Jordan Bass, Ms. Brooke Giemza, Ms. Hannah Jones, Mr. Ethan Mainprize, Ms. Ja’Niece Manning, Ms. Rondesja Mitchell, Ms. Destiny Roberts, Ms. Trinity Spencer, and Ms. Abigail Witcher
Hands On Heroes Award Winner– Ms. Angelina Lankford
Angelina is a senior at Thomas County Central High School. She is President of the Thomasville Youth Leadership Council at the Boys & Girls Club educating teens on health issues and is also a regular HOTC volunteer. Her willingness, drive, determination, and constant smile have impressed community members, and we recognize and applaud her efforts to engage her peers, and exhibit true leadership qualities. As the student winner, Angelina was the recipient of a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
GROUP (businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County)
Honorable Mention – Warrior Wednesday, Rotary Club of Thomasville, Thomasville Youth Leadership Council
Hands On Hero Award Winner– Friends Of Lost Creek Forest
Friends of Lost Creek Forest originated from a group of citizens who wanted to save (and in fact did) a local natural treasure – an old growth slope forest – from being turned into an industrial park. Along with being caretakers of and advocates for this property, as well as the Pollinator Garden at Cherokee Lake, they also bring their love and knowledge of nature into the schools – sharing their passion, and fueling those of budding future environmentalists by providing in-the-field lessons, research, and hands-on experience. Learn more about this outstanding group here.
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Student Group: ABC Art Club
ABC stands for Art Because We Care. It was originally started by a Scholars Academy student — and now 5 years strong, is still coordinated and run by high school students — which promotes art in schools. Specifically, they plan and create art lessons, and then teach to pre-k students at Scott Elementary, inspiring creativity and future artists. They exhibit commitment and passion for their art, and the young kids who they mentor and inspire. We are proud to honor this remarkable and unique student group!
Other nominees included: Mr. Alton Burns, Mr. Cleveland Brown, Mr. Patrick Harden, Mr. Chester Hightower, Ms. Shelia Lee, Ms. Mariam Mirabzadeh, Ms. Jennifer Roberts, Ms. Amanda West, Ms. Emma Wynn, Bishop Hall Table Top Game Club, and K-Kids of Cross Creek.
Special thank you to Whitehurst Blackburn & Warren, Blue Bell Creamery, Southern Bleu Catering, Thomas County Schools, Everfan, City of Thomasville, Quinton Spivey & Friends, Bryan Watt & Friends, The Methodist Friends; as well as all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible.
Do you know an individual, student, or group you would like to nominate? Nominations are accepted year-round. For more information on Hands On Heroes, or to submit a nomination for 2019, click here.
More photos below…