April was National Volunteer Month and we celebrated to the fullest during Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week April 16-23, presented by Check Mate Industries! Over 840 individuals joined us throughout the week at select volunteer opportunities and as we recognized the many Hands On Heroes at Cheers For Volunteers! Take a look at the highlights and pictures below.
Volunteer Week is a celebration of volunteer service and the many people who make good things happen in our community! We were excited to start the week doing just that by planting roses at the City of Thomasville Pocket Park located at the corner of Smith and Hansell Street! Fifteen individuals came together on Saturday, April 16 to plant roses, graciously given to us by Flowerwood Nursery, in honor of our wonderful volunteers and sponsors. This project brightened & beautified this little spot in town so be sure to drive by and check them out!
This same day, volunteers headed to the Pavo Peacock Center in Pavo to join forces with the Pavo Manna Group to fight hunger! A little over a dozen volunteers sorted, bagged, and distributed more than 500 bags of food which included an assortment of breads, beans, frozen meats, and canned goods to over 204 individuals! We are so proud of the Pavo Manna Group and HOTC volunteers for working so hard, all while dodging the rain!
On Tuesday, April 19, we celebrated our Hands On Heroes (aka volunteer heroes) at our 9th annual Cheers For Volunteers awards and reception at the Ritz Amphitheater. A good time was had by all – so much we had to write another post, which you can read here.
Throughout the week, volunteers participated in rose-themed projects in honor of the City of Thomasville’s 101st Rose Show & Festival such as Rocks and Roses which saw over 30 volunteers who painted and hid rose show related rocks around places like the Big Oak, Paradise Park, The Ritz Amphitheater, Cherokee Lake, and along Downtown. It was neat seeing the rocks made, especially the ones found on the Thomasville Rocks FB page. School groups and individuals also made flower bouquets filled with paper roses and rose boutineers which were given to local residents at The Residence of Oak Grove and Scott Senior Center. The seniors were so happy to receive the beautiful handmade flowers. Take a look at the pics below!
Also throughout the week, volunteers beautified their community by picking up litter and lending a hand at our local food bank Second Harvest. Volunteers also served at the Cherokee Lake Pollinator Garden by pulling invasive weeds as well as helping around the barn at Hands & Hearts For Horses.
We ended the week with some fun at the 101st annual Rose Show Parade themed “Where Roses Reign, New Traditions Bloom“. It was fun having a few of our Hands On Heroes on board as they put on their best parade wave down Broad Street.
All in all, it was a great Volunteer Week and we are proud of our community’s response to this event! We honestly can’t say it enough – THANK YOU to all of our volunteers, sponsors, and donors who make this such a great community to be a part of. We couldn’t do it without you!
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors: 1915 South/Ashley, Belazul, Check-Mate Industries, Flowers Foods, Mr. & Mrs Clint Kadel, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
BIG cheers for the 9th annual Cheers For Volunteers Presented by 1915 South/Ashley! Thanks to the more than 400 people who joined us on Tuesday, April 19 to celebrate 60+ volunteer heroes. Friends, family, and interested community members were treated to Diablo’s, Blue Bell Ice Cream, lemonade and popcorn compliments of Thomas County Schools, and entertainment by The Leftovers.
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. 68 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual, and group categories. Award winners, as well as honorable mentions, were selected by a committee based, not just on hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, passion, and leadership. Cheers For Volunteers is our opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate and thank all volunteers for all their good work.
Each nominee received a certificate, note of thanks, and their very own Hands On Hero cape compliments of Everfan! Selected winners also received a Hands On Heroes award and prizes, and the student winner received a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship. On behalf of our 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
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Ms. Mandy Yates & Mr. Aundre Walker Midway CME Cemetery was founded in the 1800s and served as the primary church (and later school) for local enslaved people, and later, their free descendants. Mr. Walker, a former attendee, took over maintenance of this church cemetery after years of neglect. For 3 years, he worked solo to uncover grave sites reclaimed by nature. In summer 2021, Mandy Yates learned of the site and was moved by his work and devotion to help. Together with the help of volunteers, they have reclaimed the church grounds and uncovered and brought dignity to more than 100 grave sites. Now their focus is improving the grounds and salvaging the church in the hopes of creating a museum and memorial to those who worshiped and are buried there. We thank them for honoring and bringing awareness to this historic site. To learn more about Midway CME Cemetery & Church or to lend a hand, visit their Facebook page. As our 2022 Award Winner(s), they received an award, and each received a $500 gift card to Ashley Homestore.
Congratulations also these Individual Nominees: Christine Ambrose, Matthew Brotzman, David Carver, Sharon Cook, Rich Curtis, Karen Dorn, Larry Dorn, Charles Evans, Sanford Giemza, Rhonda Grim, Pat Hall, Paige Hurst, Kirstern James, Teresa James, Janice Jones, Micah Kimler, Retha Lee, John Letteney, Annie Doris Lovejoy, Julie Nixon-Berry, Mike Owens, Kristy Roland, Jessica Rauls, Sue Ann Sanders, Jackie Spadoni, Misty Taylor, Cierra Thomas, Sandi Turner, Heather Ward, Will Watt, Leon Yates
Student Category – Youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner – Ms. Je’Niece Manning Je’Niece is no stranger to volunteering or to Hands On Thomas County, volunteering through our partners Virtuous Girls Group of Meigs, Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy, Thomas County 4H, her church, and our organization since she was a young girl. She has also been nominated as a Hands On Hero several times throughout the years. Now 18 and a senior at Thomas County Central High School, it is time for us to give thanks for all her volunteer efforts over the years whether picking up litter for Keep Thomas County Beautiful, making comfort items for patients at Archbold, or visiting seniors at Pelham Parkway, she has exhibited a true servant heart directed by her strong personal faith, and is a model for all of us. As our 2022 Award Winner, Je’Niece received an award, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Group Category – Businesses, Organizations, and Civic Clubs in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner – Pavo Manna Drop Volunteers represented by Cecil & Cheryl Barbee In 2020, HOTC held a manna drop in Pavo alongside the very active Pavo Civic Club. Recognizing the continued need in the community, these local volunteers wanted to keep the food distributions going. After getting some basic info and support from HOTC, this group went solo. And now spend the 3rd weekend of every month sorting and packing food boxes (on Friday), then distributing them at a manna drop on Saturday feeding hundreds of Pavo citizens each month. Thank you for stepping up to help your neighbors in need.Click here to get involved with the Pavo Civic Club or visit our daily opportunities calendar to help with their 3rd Saturday Manna Drops.
Hands On Heroes Community Impact Special Award Winner – Northside Park Volunteers Summer of 2021, community members, businesses, and the City of Thomasville reached out to HOTC to help facilitate improvements at Northside, a small and underused neighborhood park to make it more accessible, usable, and safe. They installed a new roof, electric, and upgrades to the bathroom; redid the ball fields, graded the dirt road, and added practice equipment and storage buildings. Nowadays you will find the park active with teams and families on a daily basis. Thank you to FSA, Al’s quality painting, bannister electric, cch construction, Johnson landscaping, kustom exteriors, scoggins dozer, Thomas County Stars, Tsunami Wash, The Connection, and many more for coming together to create these park improvements. This was a true community effort with widespread impact. Read more about this project here.
Hands On Heroes Student Group Award Winner – Stand For A Cause represented by Neil & JC Wise, and Thomas & William Casper What started out as just a lemonade stand to earn spending money during the summer, turned into bigger opportunity to give back to the community. These kids received so much community support for their original lemonade stand – selling out in less than one hour – they realized they could return the favor. With support of family and friends, they expanded their enterprise – making bbq sandwiches and other homemade goodies, and held another 3 stands. Through their hard work and selflessness, they raised $7500: $600 for the Humane Society, $5200 for medical expenses for a local nurse, and $1700 for The Treehouse. Thank you for turning a summer of fun into a summer of giving. Along with their Award, they were presented with a check for $250 for their next “stand.” If you’d like to help with or donate to a stand, email us!
Congratulations also to these Group Nominees – S&L Integrated, St. Luke Ministries, The Apprentice Program of Thomasville History Center, Thomasville Church, Thomasville Jeepers, Thomasville National Bank, TCCHS, Chick fil-A Leadership Academy, TCCHS Key Club
BIG CHEERS to all those who volunteer tirelessly and selflessly every day. Super thanks to 1915 South/Ashley, Everfan, City of Thomasville, Thomas County Schools, Grassroots, Diablo’s, Blue Bell, Whitehurst Blackburn & Warren, Jennifer Rhodes Photography; as well as all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible.
April is National Volunteer Month! Join us for Thomas County’s very ownVolunteer Week – April 16-23 as we celebrate volunteer service and the many people who make good things happen in our community! During this annual event – always the week before Rose Show – you have the opportunity to choose from select in-person and DIY volunteer opportunities (see below) PLUS you’re invited toCheers For Volunteers, our annual awards and reception for our Hands On Heroes, now back at The Ritz Amphitheater!
We are truly thankful to all of our volunteers, sponsors, non-profits, and agencies who make this such a great community to be a part of. Together we can really make a difference!
Stay up-to-date on further opportunities, updates and “shout-outs” by liking our Facebook page!
Sign Up To Volunteer Limited Spaces. First Come/First Served
Paint and hide rose themed rocks in honor of the Rose Festival.
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors: 1915 South/Ashley, Belazul, Check-Mate Industries, Flowers Foods, Mr. & Mrs Clint Kadel, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
GIVE ME SPACE HERE PLEASE
Click the pic to sign up directly through these organizations
What a super night we had on Tuesday, April 20 as we honored our local volunteer Hands On Heroes at our 8th annual Cheers For Volunteers at the Big Oak. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us!
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 60 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual, and group categories. Award winners, as well as honorable mentions were selected by a committee based, not just on hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, passion, and leadership.
Each nominee received a certificate, a bag of goodies, and their very own Hands On Hero cape compliments of Everfan! Selected winners also received a Hands On Heroes awards, and the student winner received a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship. On behalf of our partners, HOTC is proud to recognize theses very special volunteers who shine brightly in the eyes of local non-profit agencies and community members as Hands On Heroes. Take a look at the winners and photos of the evening below.
2021 Hands On Heroes Award Winners
Individual Category – Volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Mr. Pat Christopher Patriotism runs strong in our community, but unfortunately, there is little actual assistance for veterans in our community. Pat, who has a military background, not only believes all of our veterans deserve respect and dignity in return for their service, but works tirelessly to ensure it happens. Since 2015, Pat has been the Chairman of Dog Tagss, a group originally formed in Thomasville as a veterans’ home, which has now pivoted to a resource center run by volunteers to help veterans who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, not just in Thomas County, but throughout southwest Georgia. His leadership and efforts help provide food, rent, utilities, clothing, and emotional support. Often personally going out into the community, and unfortunately, often into the streets, to find and assist hundreds of veterans in need each year. For this, we salute you! As our 2021 Award Winner, Pat received an award, and a $250 donation to DogTaggs.
Individual Category Honorable Mention – Rose Marie Robbins, Ellen Henderson
Congratulations also these Individual Nominees: Akoshua Williams, Barbara Johnson, Cheryl Walters, Christine Santos, Cynthia Anderson, Dale Millere, Dawn Phinazee Allen, Dr. Craig Wolff, Ginny Howard, Gretchen Stephens, Jacqueline Knight, Janice Hill, Janice Rauls, Jay Flowers, Jeffery Sigala, Keyla Sigala, Jodi Merritt, Kathy Pipken, Lindsay Leverette, Mary Beth Donalson, Megan Henderson, Melissa Artz, Nancy Tillinghast, Orangie James-McCraw, Rich Curtis, Sandra Crimley-Bell, Shelba Sellers, Tim Hobbs, Valerie West, Wayne Adams, and Wendy Beatty.
Special Lifetime Achievement Award – Mrs. Aldrena Williams Aldrena is a long-time resident and volunteer in Meigs. She has a heart for service which extends beyond herself. Her efforts not only benefit the entire Meigs community, but specifically she acts as a mentor for hundreds of youth through the Virtuous Girls Group of Meigs. For more than 10 years, she has personally arranged, coordinated, and led volunteer efforts for community clean-ups through Keep Thomas County Beautiful, fed neighbors in need, and sewn comfort items for cancer patients at Archbold. She coordinates an annual literacy fair which provides free books to hundreds of children. She is a model volunteer, and you cannot keep Aldrena down. She is always full of smiles, gratitude, and a can-do attitude we should all strive for. As a 2021 Award Winner, Mrs. Aldrena received an award, and four Disney Park Hopper Passes.
Student Category – Youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner – Mr. Oxzavier Rivers Oxzavier is an 11th Grade student/athlete at Thomasville High School Scholars Academy where he volunteers for a wide variety of school functions and community organizations such as stadium clean-ups, Wildlife Arts Festival, Homeless Coalition, and more through his membership in the Thomasville High School National Honor Society. This year has looked very different in terms of the number of service projects that have been offered in our local community, yet Oxzavier has plugged himself in to support in any way that he can. When our selection committee chooses award winners, they look at not only the type and amount of service, but also their commitment and inspiration to others as reflected on the nomination form. And what really set Oxzavier apart for our committee was the impression he left on his teachers and advisors which in turn left a big impression on us. Comments like — He will do a wonderful job in whatever capacity he is asked to serve. We constantly marvel at this young man’s selfless acts and the positive attitude and wonderful smile that he shows when he is volunteering, and we have said time and time again how wonderful it would be to have a society full of hearts to serve like Oxzavier’s. He sets the bar high for his peers, and the example that he sets through his actions and through his volunteering is creating a legacy for Thomasville High School and our wonderful community. Thank you for being a role model for your peers! As our 2021 Award Winner, Oxzavier received an award, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Student Category Honorable Mention – Tisha Stevens, DeAsia Daniels, Jiayi Yao, Andrew Robertson, Xavier Glenn, Peyton Cosby, Anna Pope, Mya Cooney, Randy Sowell, and Katie Giemza
Group Category – Businesses, Organizations, and Civic Clubs in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner – Vital Signs LLC Vital Signs has been a supporter of HOTC and other organizations such as Hands & Hearts for Horses, and the Humane Society for many years, but really stepped up to fulfill an urgent need for the community this past year. When lock-down was ordered, owner Chris Lovelady turned Vital Signs into a full-time mask-making effort with the help of a group of 50 volunteers (led by Dawn Phinazee Allen). Chris, had just taught himself how to sew and devoted company efforts to making more than 8000 masks that were then distributed free to individuals and groups, as well as essential workers during a very critical time. He did not do it for the credit, but because he saw a need. Even when his business re-opened, he continued to devote his own time, his staff, and resources to this effort. Although many companies pivoted during the pandemic to stay in business, Vital Signs pivoted to fill an urgent need to protect our community and for that we are truly thankful. As a 2021 Award Winner, Vital Signs received an award.
Group Category Honorable Mention – South Georgia Adventures, Thomas County School – 3D Printer Group
Congratulations also to these Group Nominees – City of Thomasville Public Works, First Missionary Baptist Church, Magnolia High School Alumni Association, PBL Chapter of Southern Regional Technical College, Providence Missionary Baptist Church Leadership, The Lomax Family, Thomas County Health Department, Thomasville Jeepers, Victory Fellowship Church Food Pantry, Thomas County Central Key Club, Thomasville High School JROTC
Our first ever Community Impact Award – Ashley HomeStore Ashley HomeStore has a corporate culture of stewardship that shines brightly through their Thomasville division. Their commitment to community starts with its leadership. This top-down approach inspires employees at every level. Locally, their far-reaching support as volunteers and donors benefits the arts, environment, healthcare, veterans, schools and youth. Examples of their corporate civic-mindedness include Hope to Dream which provides mattresses to organizations like The Boys & Girls Club. in 2019, Ashley employees and partners created teachers lounges and updated the bathroom and kitchen at Scholars Academy and MacIntyre Park Middle School with a commitment to continue this work in other schools in our area. They have provided design assistance and furnishings for the Chamber of Commerce, Vashti Center and local festivals; provided over 400 meals to local healthcare staff during the pandemic; and support local organizations like Thomas University, Troupe, Thomasville Antiques Show foundation, Tall Timbers, the Humane Society, and of course HOTC where they come out every year to volunteer for at least one project site – this past year at a Manna Drop in Pavo. Ashley HomeStore is committed to the present and future well-being of this community as also noted by their recent investment — the 1915 South Building in the West Jackson Street Corridor. Thank you for being a model corporate citizen! As a 2021 Award Winner, Ashley HomeStore received an award.
BIG CHEERS to all those who volunteer tirelessly and selflessly every day. Super thanks to Everfan, City of Thomasville, Thomas County Schools, Banks Italian Ice, Jennifer Rhodes Photography; as well as all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible, especially Diamond Level and above sponsors Ashley HomeStore, New Hire Solutions, Mr. & Mrs. Russell Chubb, Mr. & Mrs. Howell L. Ferguson, Ms. Diane W. Parker, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip C. Watt.
Take a look at the photos below. Click to enlarge.
Normally this time of year, we would be planning to honor local volunteers – we call them Hands On Heroes – and HOTC supporters, in person, at Cheers For Volunteers presented by Ashley HomeStore, in partnership with the City of Thomasville and Everfan. Now in its 7th year, Cheers is a big celebration gathering hundreds of community members to enjoy free food and beverages, entertainment, and lots of fun and goodwill! Unfortunately, with large gatherings cancelled due to COVID-19, this year’s party was put on hold. However, our community spirit and appreciation of all the wonderful people who give back through volunteer service can never be denied.
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 75 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual, and group categories. Award Winners, as well as Honorable Mentions, were carefully considered and selected by a committee based, not just on the number of volunteer hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, leadership, and passion.
All of our 2020 Hands On Heroes Winners have two things in common. They all have volunteered on HOTC event days, and they all have a focus around youth – elementary school kids just learning what it means to give back, a high school senior inspiring a legacy of learning and giving before he makes his way in the world, and an adult who takes what he learned as a kid to help create new future leaders. On behalf of our 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.
* Heroes! Use one of these Facebook frames to update your profile picture:FRAME 1, FRAME 2, FRAME 3 * Supporters! Continue showing your support by using this special Facebook frame.
2020 Hands On Heroes Award Winners
INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY– volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Award Winner– Mr. Christopher Henderson Our hope is that the positive actions and traits we learn in our youth, we carry forward into our adult lives. Chris grew up with the positive ideals he learned as a long-time member of the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club which works to build self-esteem, values, and skills in youth – our future leaders. Chris now leads by example, lending his time as a club greeter, tutor, basketball coach, desk clerk – basically, wherever there is a need at the Club, Chris is willing to fill the spot. He also volunteers every Saturday mentoring young men for Omega Psi Phi fraternity, coaching at the YMCA, assisting at Thomasville Community Resource Center, and The Talent Hunt which supports youth in the arts. Chris Henderson is the embodiment of paying-it-forward: Taking what he learned in his youth to motivate and inspire the next generations of hands on heroes. As our 2020 Award Winner, Chris received an award, superhero cape, and 4 Disney Park Hopper Passes.
Congratulations also to these Individual Nominees: Ann Larson, Jessica Rivera, Tracy Zolt, Todd Bennett, Rebecca Ramsey, Emily Eckels, Jackie Spadoni, Larry Plank, Mary Beth Donalson, Jay Flowers, Mark Harmon, Jodi Merritt, Allen Thornhill, Kay Davis, Liz Williams, Patricia Kinnee, Shelba Sellers, Ashley Henderson, Jacqueline Lamons, Cynthia Anderson, Janice Hill, Verna Rauls, Julie Nixon-Berry, Akoshua Williams, Orangie James-McCraw, Sue Davis, Telvis Crimley, Sandra Crimley-Bell, Andrew Wells, Helen Cody, Cheryl Walters, Vivian Washington, Valerie West, Jandell Griffin, Laverne Bell, Pamela Jenkins, Emma Holton, Constance James, Teresa James, Keyla Sigala, Jefferey Sigala, Sarah Glass, Janice Rauls
STUDENT CATEGORY– youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner– Mr. Winston Cornish Sometimes a volunteer makes the biggest impact, not through the number of hours or years served, but through their passion and inspiration to others. Winston, a senior at Scholars Academy, is a talented artist who has volunteered throughout high school for the Thomasville Center for the Arts, Thom Magazine, and the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival, and a junior entomologist. Yes, he studies bugs. He has combined these passions to create exquisite art and envied insect collections that were recently showcased in the Thomasville Center for the Arts public art event – Bug Out. Then for 9 months, through coLab – a collaborative learning experience with sixty 3rd graders from Brookwood and Harper Elementary School – he shared his passion and artistic skills to educate kids about insects, their essential role in our ecosystem, and their often underappreciated beauty. Through his big love for little creatures, Winston may have inspired a future biologist or researcher. As the Dalai Lama said, if you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. As our 2020 Award Winner, Winston received an award, 6-month YMCA membership, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Student Category Honorable Mention – Edjenee Corbin, Camryn Williams, Peyton Owens, Maylon Cochran, Tahj Brown, Mauri Leroux, Maston Whigham, Hayden Johnson, Joseph Kimler, Melia Saunders, Kate Griffith
GROUP CATEGORY– businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner– Cross Creek Elementary K-Kids led by Ms. Leslie Aracri & Ms. Lanie West Kiwanis K-Kids clubs teaches leadership through volunteer activities within the school and community, and creates a heart for service that will grow with them into their adult lives. Throughout the year, K-Kids learn how to give back through hands-on service – such as making cards for soldiers, serving at the annual pancake supper, and heading recycling efforts within their school; through philanthropy – they collected $1000 for the Humane Society, and enough in donations to provide tetanus shots to 232 expectant mothers; and through awareness-building – encouraging their peers to sign the Youth Environmental Stewardship Pledge and get involved in school and community matters. We look forward to seeing what these kids do as they take these seeds planted now and grow. As a 2020 Winner, K-Kids received an award and superhero cape.
Group Category Honorable Mention – Dodge Boyz 229, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated Theta Chi Zeta Chapter
Congratulations to these Group Nominees: ServPro of Thomas Colquitt & Grady Counties, Thomasville High School Football, Thomasville High School JROTC, Thomasville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., TJ Maxx, St. Luke CME Missionary & Youth Ministries, Retired Nurses & Teachers of Thomas County
BIG CHEERS to everyone who volunteers tirelessly and selflessly every day!
Special thank you to all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible, especially Diamond Level and above sponsors Ashley Homestore, Hurst Boiler, and Ms. Diane W. Parker; as well as the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation for making volunteer programs like these possible. We look forward to being able to celebrate with all of you in person soon!
It was a super night on Tuesday, April 23 as over 364 community members came together to honor local volunteers during the 6th Annual Hands On Thomas County’s Cheers for Volunteers Reception & Awards at The Ritz Amphitheater.
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 70 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual and group categories. Award Winners, as well as Honorable Mentions, were carefully considered and selected by a committee based, not just on the number of volunteer hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, passion, and leadership.
This year, ALL of our nominees received their very own superhero cape compliments ofEverfan. Selected winners also received handcrafted Hands On Heroes awards, and the student winner received a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship. On behalf of our 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. Take a look at the winners and photos of the evening below.
INDIVIDUAL (volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – Stephanie White, Jackie Spadoni, Charlie Robbins
Hands On Heroes Award Winner– Mr. Artie Newcombe Artie is relatively new to our community, but has made an immediate impact. He volunteers at Habitat For Humanity (where he is now a valued Board Member), Thomasville Landmarks, Keep Thomas County Beautiful (also now a Board Member), assists with Spark, which mentors entrepreneurs, and the list continues to grow. There has not been one volunteer opportunity that Artie has passed on, that has been asked of him. His commitment to jumping in and helping others, and his kindness and generosity truly set him apart. Everyone who has had the privilege to meet and volunteer alongside him will agree that Artie is incredibly deserving of this honor. And we are all so pleased that he has made Thomas County his home. As the individual winner, Artie received 4 Disney Park Hopper Passes!
Hands On Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Sister Erlean Douglas In contrast to the individual winner, Sister Erlean is a long-time resident and volunteer in this community. Some of you may already know her selfless service through Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen which she has operated in this community for more than 30 years. Every weekday, she coordinates volunteers who make hot meals for local neighbors in need, helping to fight the issue of hunger that exists for too many. She regularly serves hundreds of hot meals daily, providing individuals with both lunch and a dinner for later. Food insecurity is unfortunately a problem right here, but one that she is not afraid to confront and help rectify with no judgement. Along with an award, Sister Douglas received a $250 check for the Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen to help purchase food items. If we all do what we can daily, as modeled by Sister Erlean, we make ourselves and our community a better place.
STUDENT (youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – Caleb Moore, Jason Guo, Blaine West, Nathaniel Bellamy, Nathan Landing, Melia Saunders
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner– Ms. Langley Wooten There are many things that resulted in Langley being selected as our student award winner. Her list of accomplishments, activities, and awards took 2 single spaced pages and she received 2 separate nominations. She was inducted into the Thomasville-Thomas County Athletic Hall of Fame. She is an all A honor student – As a matter of fact, she is a 16 year old senior who will be graduating a year ahead of schedule. In between all that, she has averaged 50+ hours of community service each year volunteering with HOTC, Backpack Buddies, voter elections, DogTags for veterans, and through Chick fil A Leadership and FCA. And in true service before self form, she has been accepted to the US Naval Academy. Langley is an all-around achiever, and a true servant leader. We can’t wait to see what her future holds! As the student winner, Langley received an award, a 6-month YMCA membership and the $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leadership Scholarship.
GROUP (businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – TCCHS FCA, THS National Honor Society, SALT Group, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jerger Library Volunteers
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner– Red Hills Pet Therapy Red Hills Pet Therapy is a group of both 2-legged and 4-legged volunteers who provide countless hours of service bringing comfort to patients at local medical facilities and hospice, offering companionship to residents of senior living facilities, acting as stress buffers and teaching aids to students, providing relief for children with speech and emotional disorders, and of course giving lots of unconditional furry love to all they encounter. These animals and handler teams have passed a 13 item evaluation and training prior to even going out into the community to volunteer. We are awed by their commitment, bond, and the joy they bring to so many lives. If you have an animal that you think would make a good therapy pet or just want to learn more about this outstanding group, click here.
Other nominees included:Christopher Seay, Amy Rockwell, Leigh Ann Raynor, Kha McDonald, Mary & Robert Anderson, Megan Lauer, Anne Avera, Carolyn Treadon, Brenda Griffin, Jeremiah Hobbs, Leslie Parker, Dale Ragan, Walt Grey, Pris Craw, Dan Gaultney, Susan Fowler, Peggie Wood, Stephanie Coffee, Allen Thornhill, Tracy Zolt, Don Sims, Shaletta Pierce, Shekirah Hines, Casey Dyksterhouse, Jodi Merritt, Rebecca Ramsey, Ponder Cook, Gigi Roger, Kiel Angry, Starkisha Belle, James West, CB Scooter Grubbs, Eric Ward, Leonard Gibson, Pamela Jenkins, Yolanda Nixon, Laura Mican, Doris Davies, Nancy Inman, Alfred Carver, Donna Taylor, Aaron Reneau, Thomasville Crossfit, TJ Maxx, Kiwanis Club of Thomasville, TU Womens Softball, Thrive Physical Therapy, City of Thomasville Public Works, TU Studio Art, Thomas Grady Service Center, and Thomas University
April is National Volunteer Month. Join us for Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week, April 20-27. Volunteer Week is a celebration of service and all the volunteers who help make good things happen in our community. During this annual event (always the week before Rose Festival), we’ll have select volunteer opportunities(of course!), volunteer “shout-outs”, and Appreciation Stations at select businesses around town. THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who make this such a great community to be a part of!
While you’re working up a hunger volunteering, be sure to stop by Jersey Mike’s, April 22-26 and take advantage of one of these great coupons (just click image to print or save flyer). Every time you redeem a coupon, $3 will be donated to HOTC!
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.
April is National Volunteer Month! To celebrate service and all the volunteers who help make good things happen in our community, we will have Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week — April 21-28! This annual event is always the week of the Rose Show & Festival and we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s theme – Helping Hands: A Celebration of Community Volunteers.
On Tuesday, April 24 at 5:30p, we will do just that at our 5th annual Cheers for Volunteersaward reception taking place at the Downtown Amphitheater. At this event, we will celebrate our Hands On Heroes, who are nominated by their peers for going above and beyond and making a difference in their community, with good food, lawn games, entertainment and awards!
Also during Volunteer Week, we’ll have select volunteer opportunities (of course!), volunteer ‘shout-outs’, and Appreciation Stations at select businesses around town. THANK YOU to all our wonderful volunteers for making this such a great community! See what we’re planning below and make sure to check back for updates.
Saturday, April 21 · 9a-12p Manna Drop Volunteer Opportunity! Feeding the hungry in our own back yard.Click here to volunteer.
Saturday, April 21 · 9a-12p (Other days & times also available) Second Harvest Volunteer Opportunity! Volunteers wanted to sort and pack food for local families in need. This is a great volunteer opportunity for students. Lend a hand.
Saturday, April 21 Due South Volunteer Opportunity! Art, food and music benefiting the Thomasville Center for the Arts. Sign up here to volunteer.
Monday, April 23, 9am – 4pm Thomasville Landmarks Appreciation Station! Stop by our non-profit partner, Thomasville Landmarks on 312 N. Broad Street, to pick up a free, limited edition Bob Dixon print: Historic Homes of Thomas County (matte and frame not included). While supplies last!
All appreciation stations are open to all volunteers – past, present & future!
Mon-Fri, April 23-27 Care Package Collection Drive Volunteer Opportunity! Give back! Local agencies are in need of travel size toiletries to make care packages for families displaced from their homes. Learn more.
Mon-Fri, April 23-27 Grassroots Coffee Appreciation Station! Stop by Grassroots at 118 S. Broad St. anytime this week, identify yourself as a HOTC Volunteer and receive a free cup of java on the house!\
Mon-Fri, April 23-27 HOTC Appreciation Station! We love our volunteers! Come by our office at 120 E. Monroe Street all this week to receive a free HOTC decal. While supplies last.
Mon-Fri, April 23-27 Yoburst Frozen Yogurt & Deli Appreciation Station! Stop by Yoburst located at 2963 E. Pinetree Blvd. any time this week, identify yourself as a HOTC volunteer and receive 15% off your purchase.
Tuesday, April 24 · 5:30p Cheers for Volunteers Appreciation Station! Help us toast the many volunteers that make a difference in our community as we present our Hands On Heroes award winners. See more.
Mon-Fri, April 23-27 Keep Thomas County Beautiful Volunteer Opportunity! Help keep our community clean and pretty by picking up litter as past of the Great American Cleanup! This flexible volunteer opportunity is great for students and families with busy schedules. Details here.
Tu & Th, April 24&26 · 3p-5p Humane Society Volunteer Opportunity! Help our furry friends at the Humane Society! Animal socialization, cleaning & maintenance, bathing & grooming animals – these are just some of the ways you can lend a hand. Sign up to volunteer on Tuesday or Thursday.
Friday, April 27 · 6p-9p Rose Show Parade Volunteer Opportunity! Adult volunteers needed to help with the Post-Parade Meal for parade participants. Find more details here.
Volunteers are our community’s heroes!
Saturday, April 28 Bark in the Park Volunteer Opportunity! Lend a hand at this fun event benefiting the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society. Click here to volunteer.
Saturday, April 28 Art In The Park Volunteer Opportunity! Volunteers will help at this Rose Festival event. Sign up to lend a hand.
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)
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.
GroupCategory(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!