Who Is Your Hands On Hero? Shine A Light On Those Who Do Good!
Hands On Heroes is an annual award program to recognize those special members of our community who donate their time, energy and skills to support the people, places, and non-profits in Thomas County. These volunteer heroes help make our community a better place for everyone through the simple act of volunteer service.
Nominations are accepted year-round and reviewed every March. Winners are announced in April at Cheers For Volunteers, and will receive awards and/or prizes, including:
a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship for the Student Winner
Downtown Dollars (or other comparable item) for the Individual Winner.
All nominees will also receive their very own SUPER hero cape compliments of Everfan, as well as other goodies and perks.
Nominees are not just judged on number of hours, or years, served as a volunteer, but also on impact, passion, commitment, and inspiration. Nominees do not need to be associated with or volunteer through HOTC to be recognized. Make it easy for us to choose your nominee — tell us a compelling story that explains what makes this person or group so special. Be descriptive and heartfelt! See last year’s winners here.
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!
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.
Thanks to everyone who attended HOTC’s 2nd Annual Cheers for Volunteers in honor of this year’s Hands On Heroes, and all the volunteers who lend a hand in our community (see picture gallery below). With more than 25 nominations, our committee selected the following to be recognized:
Individual (volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – Ms. Nancy Byars, Ms. Mindy Katz, Mr. Michael Thomas Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Ms. Beverly Klocko Chances are, if you attend a community event, Ms. Klocko is on hand as a volunteer, especially if there is a costume involved! She has volunteered for Rainbow Reading Center, Hand In Hand, Downtown Thomasville, and is a Volunteer Ambassador for HOTC. If there is a need, all you have to do is ask, and you can be she will be there to lend a hand (even if her foot is in a cast!). We are thankful for her service.
Student (youth in grades 6-9 in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – Mr. Jacob Bruhn, Ms. Maria Dunbar, Ms. Isabella Grayson Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Mr. Tommy Williams Tommy is a 10th grader at Thomasville High School who comes to us through the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club where he is both a member and an active volunteer, giving back to the very organization that has given so much to him. At the BGC, he tutors and mentors other youth, coaches youth basketball, cleans The Teen Center, and unloads the Second Harvest food truck. He is a wonderful role model for all. As the student winner, Tommy was the recipient of a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Group (businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County) Honorable Mention – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority/Thomasville Chapter, Stony Creek Landscaping, Student Athletes of Thomas University Hands On Hero Award Winner – Virtuous Girls Group of Meigs The Virtuous Girls Group exhibits the true spirit of service to ones own community. Comprised of girls ages 4 to high school, led by adult mentors, the Virtuous Girls seek to address needs in their hometown by partnering with area non-profits, and by creating their own grassroots projects and events to make their community better for everyone. Volunteer projects have included Sewing 4 Service Manna Drops, an annual literacy fair, collection drives, neighborhood clean ups and more.
For more information on Hands On Heroes, or to submit a nomination for 2016 (nominations accepted year-round), click here.
Thank you to Board Member Mary Lawrence Lang for photos, Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship Fund, Jay Flowers for the awesome custom awards, Everfan for the super hero capes, Reunion Resorts for the weekend getaway presented to the Individual winner; Diamond Level Sponsors Mr. & Mrs. Clint Kadel, Mrs. Diane W. Parker, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip C. Watt; and everyone who lends a hand every day!
More than 75 people attended Hands On Thomas County’s Cheers for Volunteers Reception & Awards on April 22, 2014 at the historic Hardy Bryan House, home office of HOTC. With April being National Volunteer Month, April 19-26 was officially declared HOTC Volunteer Week by mayoral proclamation. Volunteer Week is a celebration of service and volunteers, making it the perfect time to announce Hands On Thomas County’s very first Hands On Heroes.
Hands On Heroes is a new annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. Nearly 20 recommendations and nominations were submitted by area non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual and group categories. Award winners were selected by a committee. Winners received handcrafted Hands On Heroes awards, a Downtown Thomasville Gift Basket (individual winner), and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship (student winner). On behalf of our non-profit partners, we are 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 – Mrs. Melissa B. Thomas Mrs. Thomas is being honored for her commitment to service through Hands & Hearts for Horses, which provides equine therapy, Thomasville Music & Drama Troupe, the Boys & Girls Club, Hand in Hand Primary, Children’s Miracle Network and the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation which benefits local children’s charities and programs, and many others. A successful business woman, devoted wife and mother, and passionate and active advocate for so many in our community, Mrs. Thomas is a true inspiration to all.
Student – Ms. Kelsey Reddick Ms. Reddick is a senior at Thomasville High School Scholars Academy, and outgoing President of the Rotary Interact Club, a student organization dedicated to volunteer service. She had demonstrated remarkable servant leader qualities, and we have been very impressed with her and the Interact Club as they have assisted at various sites including Habitat for Humanity and Second Harvest. We are thankful to have such committed youth such as Kelsey working on behalf of our community.
Group – Thomasville Junior Service League For over 80 years, the JSL has been an important part of our community, helping children in Thomas County through fundraising and service. Beneficiaries of their good work include the Treehouse, the Thomas County Public Library, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation, Plantation Wildlife Festival, Thomasville Antiques Show, Project Rosebud, Thomasville Community Resource Center, Halcyon Home and many, many more. They have been a part of every HOTC Day for the past 10 years. What we love most about JSL is their enthusiasm, commitment and willingness to lend a hand wherever it is needed.
Nominees recognized included: Ms. Natalie Ballard, Mr. Brian Bauer, Mr. Rich Curtis, Mr. Michael McCullough, Ms. Marjorie Shaw, Mrs. Melissa B. Thomas, Cadet Justin Coleman, Ms. Kelsey Reddick, Mr. Jonathan Rieber, Thomasville High School AFJROTC, Thomasville Junior Senior League, and Thomas County Middle School MERIT Program,
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 to us!
Cheers for Volunteer Reception & Awards Pictures (click an image to enlarge)