By JAN CARROL, Chamber of commerce
CELINA-Twenty-two Clay County volunteers received Presidential awards Thursday evening here during the Three-Star Volunteer Appreciation gala.
On hand to present the honors was Tennessee’s district 38 Representative Kelly Keisling, and Clay County’s own first lady, Pandora Reagan, along with Three-Star’s Director Dr. Doug Young and Special Projects Director Susan Bailey. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ray Norris served as Master of Ceremonies.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award was created to recognize individuals and groups that represent the best of true American Spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service, and civic participation. Volunteer hours calculated for participation in the President’s Volunteer Service Awards Program helps with grant proposals and awards.
“We use the numbers that you submit about your volunteer activities to paint a better picture of our needs when submitting applications for grant money,” Norris said.
Norris wanted to show the impact volunteerism has on Clay County.
“Let me share how this year’s figures translate. Please realize that what I am about to share with you is only the tip of the iceberg because many volunteers are not yet participating in the President’s Volunteer Service Award Program,” Norris explained. “So keep in mind that these numbers should be much higher next year.
“This year’s combined volunteer hours average 8,839 and this does not include the hours submitted for the President’s Call to Service Awards. To help understand what this means for our community,” he added, “a paid employee would have had to work 221 40-hour work-weeks to accomplish what these volunteers gave to Clay County this year… that’s over four-and-a-half years of dedicated service.
“Even if that individual was only paid minimum wage that translates into $64,048.75 benefiting Clay County.”
Dr. Young joined Norris in urging citizens to get involved with the exciting programs at work in Clay County.
At the end of the awards ceremony, AmeriCorps/VISTA Jan Carrol was singularly honored for her year of dedicated service to the community.
Three-Star’s Ike Bonecutter presented Carrol with an engraved Moonshine Daze miniature still.
Bonecutter said that it was “a special thank you for all the dedicated help, guidance, systems, and outstanding files developed for continued guidance.”
Carrol’s service year will end this week and she told the audience that she had “fallen in love” with the Upper Cumberland and the people who live here.
“It has been an unforgettable year for me and I will miss you all,” she said.
On behalf of Clay County Three-Star Committees and the Chamber of Commerce, Norris added that Carrol had truly left her mark on Clay County and presented the VISTA with an elegant watch as a token of sincere appreciation.
For more information on how to become a volunteer, contact the Clay County Chamber of Commerce for information here at 424 Brown Street or call them at 931-243-3338.