Five honored for their work as top volunteers
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 5, 2006 1:50 PM
Five Wayne County people were honored for their volunteer work at an awards ceremony Wednesday at Cherry Hospital's conference center.
Receiving the 2006 North Carolina Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service were Donna Edmundson, Jake Fischer, Tara Humphries, Jennifer Jordan and Emily Peacock.
Each had his or her own story to tell.
Mrs. Edmundson was nominated by two local agencies -- the Wayne County Health Department and the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Both praised her leadership as a board member.
At the Health Department, she helps make sure that the health needs of Wayne County's residents are met, especially through a program that stresses abstinence for teenagers. She inspired staff and other board members to raise scholarship funds to reward abstinence essay winners.
During the Health Department's mass vaccinations, Mrs. Edmundson spent eight hours giving shots on her day off.
At the Red Cross, she volunteered for more than 18 years before joining the board five years ago. Her nomination form stated that she "leads by example. No task is too small or too bid."
Mrs. Edmundson was instrumental in expanding the Red Cross programs in this community.
Fischer not only serves in the Air Force, but he gives of his time to youth efforts. He has coached a youth baseball team where he taught children sportsmanship and how to work together toward a common goal.
He also took part in school-related field trips. And he has devoted many hours to children whose fathers are deployed.
His nomination form stated that Fischer has served as a leader, mentor and guide to many children.
Ms. Humphries is a founding member of Wayne County Reads and remains active in organizing and planning the yearly event that promotes literacy.
She is also the publicity chairman for United Way Days of Caring and is a board member of Volunteer Wayne/RSVP. She has delivered Meals on Wheels and has helped both the Board of Elections and Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
Following Hurricane Isabel, Ms. Humphries spearheaded a drive that mobilized Wayne Community College students, faculty and staff to raise money, clothing and other necessities for a a devastated sister community college in the mountains. She then assembled a group of volunteers to deliver the items and they spent a weekend helping survivors clean up.
After Hurricane Katrina, she organized events to raise money for victims.
Ms. Jordan also serves in the Air Force and mentors young children and delivers meals to the elderly. She was team leader for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and has served meals at the Community Soup Kitchen, helped build a home through Habitat for Humanity and has volunteered in many capacities in the Wayne County Public School System.
She was also named a finalist for the Tuskegee Institute's SMSgt. Margaret Frances Barbour Military Award, an award designed for those who exhibit outstanding performance in both professional and community service.
Mrs. Peacock has been a tireless advocate for the abused, neglected and disadvantaged. For more than 30 years, she served the children of North Carolina professionally and for 20 years as a volunteer with Guardian ad Litem.
She also volunteers with the Girl Scouts, Read to Succeed, United Way, Pierre the Pelican, Red Cross, Wayne Uplift Resource Association and the United Methodist youth fellowship council.
Mrs. Peacock also received a new award from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism -- the North Carolina Outstanding Volunteer Medallion. Only 20 people in the entire state were selected for this award.
This was the 28th anniversary of the program that showcases North Carolina's most dedicated residents, said Barbara Stiles, director of Volunteer Wayne. "Through the years, North Carolinians have demonstrated their concern and compassion for their neighbors by volunteering in their local communities."
She said that volunteers in Wayne County gave more than 44,327 hours of volunteer service last year, valued at $799,659.
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