By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 18, 2004 2:05 PM
Volunteers who give to the community every day got something back Tuesday. It was gratitude.
The 24th annual North Carolina Outstanding Volunteer Service in Wayne County awards reception was held at First Presbyterian Church.
Five residents received awards: Patricia Sexton, Brandi Matthews, Cheryl Roberson, Donald Nobers and Tommy Gibson.
Mrs. Sexton has volunteered with the Southern Wayne Family Center for two years. She is the program assistant and a board member and donates about 10 hours a week as a volunteer.
Her nominator, Dana Frady, said Mrs. Sexton went to the family center as a program participant. Then she began doing whatever she could to help, even when her husband was dying of cancer.
She also visits the homebound and elderly, giving about 25 hours a week. And she drives them to appointments and visits them in the hospital.
Seventeen-year-old Miss Matthews gives her time to the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, where she volunteers about 12 hours a week.
Mary Ann Dudley, club director, said Miss Matthews was originally sentenced to juvenile restitution through Teen Court and that took place at the Boys and Girls Club. But Miss Matthews continues to volunteer at the club.
Mrs. Roberson volunteers 30 to 40 hours a week with the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. She also volunteers at her church, Wayne Country Day School, the hospital, Red Cross and the Soup Kitchen. During the holiday season, she helped bake and package cookies for more than 900 airmen.
Elizabeth Rosborg, her nominator, said "her nomination is but a snapshot of her vibrant volunteer service and significant contribution to the Goldsboro, Seymour Johnson AFB and North Carolina communities."
Nobers has volunteered with 3HC for five years, visiting patients and their families each week and helping them through the tough times they are experiencing with the patient's terminal illness.
In addition, he is active in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul where he serves as president, maintaining 30 volunteers, writing grants, overseeing monthly meetings and providing an annual financial report.
Nobers has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for three years and Center Stage Theatre for 22 years. He is a board member for Community Concerts of Wayne County.
Gibson volunteers his time with WAGES, delivering Meals on Wheels, serving on the Nutrition Program Advisory Council and serving as pharmacist for the medication management program.
He delivers meals to 16 homebound seniors and sees patients two days a week for medication management and assistance.
Gibson has been with Golden K Kiwanis for five years and Third Century Singers for 20. He volunteers with First Baptist Church, where he has been a member for 60 years.
His nominator, Brownie Doss, director of Meals on Wheels, said, "Tommy Gibson ... shares with others and is always willing to lend a helping hand."
Chuck Waller, interim director of the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross, was the speaker for the reception. He received one of the awards last year.
He praised the volunteers, saying that doing the right thing doesn't always reap the proper rewards. He told the story of Teddy Roosevelt who went on a big-game hunting trip to Africa for two months. He boarded the ship to the cheers of a crowd of people.
A missionary had been in Africa two years and had lost his wife there. They both arrived back in the states on the same boat, where once again, Roosevelt was met by a crowd of people, but nobody even noticed the missionary.
Once in his hotel room, the missionary fell to his knees and asked God why Roosevelt received so much attention when he had only been on a pleasure trip and he did not.
God touched the missionary on the shoulder and told him he had not gotten to His home yet and to do the right thing for the right reasons.
Waller said volunteers have a good attitude and come to serve others.
"When you choose to volunteer, you pay a price -- you give up your time," he said. "That price is great, but you do it to help mankind. The more kindness you sprinkle on others, the more that's sprinkled on you.
"There comes a time in your life when there's a whisper in your ear that only you can hear, when there's a tug in your heart that only you can feel."
Mayor Al King told those attending that "it's always great to be in a group of volunteers. I have great respect and admiration for volunteers. You are very special."
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