02/27/04 — United Way honors volunteers

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United Way honors volunteers

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on February 27, 2004 1:57 PM

Not even a snowstorm could stop United Way of Wayne County from honoring its volunteers.

At its annual meeting Thursday, United Way presented the coveted Emil Rosenthal Award to Don Magoon, vice president of community investment.

Presenting the award was last year's recipient, Geoff Hulse. The award goes to an outstanding volunteer.

Magoon joined United Way seven years ago and has held various leadership positions. In addition to his volunteer work with United Way, Magoon is also on the St. Mary Church parish finance committee and belongs to the Knights of Columbus.

Hulse said Magoon does whatever he can to make the good life a reality for all in Wayne County. Magoon is executive director of Wayne County Partnership for Children.

Other awards were also presented during the annual meeting.

Gail Askins and Kay Albertson received plaques for serving as co-chairmen of the community investments committee. Plaques for media awards went to Wayne Alley, WGBR Radio; Becky Barclay, News-Argus; Tara Humphries, Wayne Community College chief information officer; Bobby Parker, PACC 10; Tony Denton, Curtis Media Group; and Hal Tanner Jr., News-Argus.

The speaker was Gen. Rick Rosborg, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He said that United Way has a tremendous reputation throughout the country and especially here in Wayne County for taking care of people in the community.

"In small towns like Goldsboro, people really do come together in a spirit of caring and giving for the less fortunate," Rosborg said. "People in small communities feel a responsibility for each other."

He said that spirit of giving and a spirit of volunteerism can only be found here in America. He said people in other countries don't come together in volunteer forums like here in America to help the community.

He gave as an example, Korea. He said in that country 70- and 80-year-old people have to sweep the streets just to get a bowl of rice to eat because they don't have that social support.

Rosborg said there are 6,500 people at the base here -- reservists, full-time active duty and civilian employees. He said they are well paid and not plagued by endemic want. "We have no hunger," he said. "No one is living on the streets. Housing is connected to electricity and sewer facilities. This is not the kind of atmosphere that breeds want in a community."

He said the base does have to deal with issues facing the families of deployed airmen, but that the Wayne County community helps meets these needs. He noted that base airmen also help meet the needs of the community in which they live.

"It's a testimony of the airmen in your Air Force that they consider themselves to be a big part of this community," said Rosborg. "They are out all the time in the community helping deliver Meals on Wheels, plant gardens, restock the Salvation Army shelves."

Rosborg said base airmen participate in a separate fund-raiser, the Combined Federal Campaign. He said this year was the most productive in 40 years, raising nearly $200,000 and that 70 percent of those dollars were spent in Wayne County.

"Our airman not only volunteer in this community, but they also give what they can. They live in a supportive and caring community that takes care of the families of the deployed, and they also help and give back where they can. If there is a need and you identify it to us, we are more than happy to help."

Dave Parsons, United Way president, presented Rosborg with a Wayne County gift pack, which the general promptly donated to the Salvation Army.

He also presented a medal to Rosborg for serving as chairman of the second annual Day of Remembrance and Caring. Last year 450 volunteers helped with 50 projects throughout the county. Rosborg accepted the award on behalf of all the base and community volunteers who made the event a success.