Volunteers get top honors
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 23, 2008 1:46 PM
The North Carolina Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Services ceremony was held on Wednesday at the WAGES office in Goldsboro. In photo from left are Barbara Stiles, director of Volunteer Wayne & RSVP, Denise Hines, Louise Faison, Penny Withrow, Stefanie Bostic, Suzi Wharton and Tanya Rollins, president of Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administration.
Louise Faison serves others in many ways -- through Girl Scouts, Operation Santa Claus, the Volunteer Center, Meals on Wheels and the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Thrift Shop.
And while she doesn't do it for the recognition, it has earned her the honor of being named one of 20 North Carolina Medallion award winners and one of five Outstanding Volunteers in Wayne County for 2008.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony Wednesday at WAGES, sponsored annually by the Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administration and Volunteer Wayne/RSVP.
When her name was called, she said, she "was in total shock. I couldn't move.
"I'm not one to toot my own horn for volunteering. I don't even keep track of my hours like I'm supposed to. I couldn't believe they thought I should receive this award."
Mrs. Faison was nominated primarily for her work with the local Girl Scout program for the past 10 years. She has served as an assistant troop leader and a troop consultant, even though she has never had a child in Girl Scouts.
"She has worked tirelessly to ensure that girls receive the best experiences possible in everything they do," her nomination form stated. "She is an invaluable volunteer for Girl Scouting ... willing to take on work that others will not.."
Mrs. Faison also was recognized for her numerous community service projects through the Wayne County Extension and Community Association.
She said she volunteers because of the reward she gets from helping somedoby else. And each organization she works with gives her a different satisfaction.
"I enjoy working with the girls in Girl Scouts," said Mrs. Faison. "On the adult level, ECA has different community service projects."
Mrs. Faison will receive the Medallion Award Nov. 20 at a special luncheon hosted by the Governor's office.
Four other Wayne County people received Outstanding Volunteer awards.
Penny Withrow has volunteered with the Mental Health Association in Wayne County for more than eight years as a board member and committee chairwoman.
According to her nomination form, Mrs. Withrow "volunteers to help others and puts them before herself. She never looks for the recognition for her efforts, just a simple thank you is all she needs."
Mrs. Withrow also volunteers with Volunteer Wayne/RSVP and the Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administrators.
Suzi Wharton's passion is animals and she demonstrates it through the Wayne County Humane Society.
"Suzi is unselfish in her role to make others shine, look good and feel good, while learning something new," her nomination form stated. "Suzi is the epitome of service above self and she is committed to enriching the lives of all the citizens and animals of Wayne County."
Ms. Wharton also volunteers with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the Goldsboro Area Photography Club and Boy Scouts of America.
Denise Hines volunteers with WAGES doing clerical work, assisting in the classroom and helping with training.
Her nomination form stated that she "is committed to being here ready to serve in whatever capacity is needed. Ms. Hines has compassion to deal with difficult situations and the patience to work with young children and staff."
And finally, the fifth award recipient was Stefanie Bostic, a volunteer with Cherry Hospital for almost five years.
"Ms. Bostic makes a difference to the patients and staff at Cherry Hospital by bridging the gap from hospital to community," her nomination form stated. "She is an advocate for the patients to receive the best care and treatment. She has the ability to 'think outside the box,' to offer creative thoughts and suggestions."
She also volunteers with Rosewood Middle School and the Future Business Leaders of America, Relay for Life, Babe Ruth Baseball and Wayne County Junior Legion Baseball.
The speakers for the awards ceremony were Bill and Jan Edgerton, last year's Medallion Award winners and founders of Wayne County's Habitat for Humanity.
Edgerton stressed that it's not what people do for their community as much as the fact that they do something, no matter how small. He believes that everyone has a responsibility to do something if they see a need.
"It doesn't have to be an enormous thing," he said. "Just do something."
Mrs. Edgerton said that while not everyone is able to climb out onto a roof to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity, everyone can make phone calls, provide lunch for those who do climb out onto the roof or make some other small contribution to help.
"Each one of us can do a little bit," said Edgerton, "and those little bits come together and overwhelm the world."
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