Thursday, April 28, 2011
Four honored for volunteerism
By SUE WATSON
Three men from Marshall County and one who volunteers at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center were among 25 recently honored at the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards ceremony in Senatobia.
The four were recommended for their efforts in various community projects.
Tracy Reynolds, employed with the Holly Springs Utility Department, was honored for his long hours and follow-through in helping with the Bikers’ Night/Blues Alley project in 2010. It was a Main Street event that captured the hearts and imagination of Holly Springs’ residents and leaders last year. He was named volunteer of the year by Main Street for his service in setting up for every Bikers’ Night and taking down after the music stopped.
Historic preservationist Chelius H. Carter was chosen for the PVSA for his service as an organizer and volunteer through Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs Inc. Carter led efforts to clean up the historic Chalmers Institute, the first university chartered by the Mississippi Legislature in 1837. He helped organize a group of volunteers to work on stabilizing the structure and clearing the lot.
Byhalia resident Terry Rodgers was recognized for his community volunteerism for charity. Dedicated to service of his church and community, Rodgers served as president of the Byhalia Lions Club, the Byhalia High School Booster Club, the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce and as manager of the chamber’s horse show. He serves as a volunteer fireman for the Byhalia and Barton communities and has spent endless hours fund-raising for and organizing the Clydesdale Christmas Store where he has served as Santa Claus. He also serves as a Santa for numerous Christmas parades, tree lightings and events in Marshall and DeSoto counties.
Ray Emmons first became interested in Strawberry Plains Audubon Center by taking a naturalist class in 2006 to create a wildlife-friendly environment on his own property. Since then he has logged 500 hours of volunteer time in construction of Chimney Swift towers at Strawberry Plains. Emmons is a regular volunteer at the Hummingbird Migration Celebration at the Audubon Center where he can usually be found working the parking lot, one of the toughest jobs at the festival.
Each person winning a PVSA is given a certificate and pin from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, established in 2003. The award recognizes the valuable contributions volunteers make in communities and encourages people to serve.
The council created the PVSA as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. Recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspires others to make service a central part of their lives.
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