Ordinary people’ honored
AC Spirit Awards
By Beverly Majors | [email protected]
October 12, 2008
CLINTON, Tenn. — The Anderson County Health Council honored nine “ordinary people who do extraordinary things” during a dinner meeting Sept. 30 at the Clinton Community Center.
The 2008 Anderson County Community Spirit Awards were presented to Mary Bridges, Hal Hoyt, the Rev. Jimmy and Mickey Lindsay, Calvin A. Knoke, Joe Lance, V. Louise
Rhodey, Jill B. Silvey, and John Thurman.
Sen. Randy McNally and D. Ray Smith, Oak Ridge historian, were the guest speakers for the event.
Smith talked about volunteerism and said the Health Council got “really good things accomplished by volunteers’ efforts.”
“What in the world would cause someone to give time without compensation, per se, to do the things you would think no one wanted to do, and do it persistently, unselfishly, out of love, joy and concern?” Smith asked.
He said that without volunteers the county would not be able to do what needed to be accomplished.
“You are the heart, the strength that makes our organizations what they are,” Smith said.
McNally talked about some of his experiences during his term in office and said most of those volunteers present had probably experienced similar events.
“The best part of life is giving something of ourselves,” the senator said. “We are here to honor some for giving that extra effort.”
McNally also quoted Winston Churchill, stating that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
In presenting the awards, Marcia Slagle, Health Council executive director, read some of the recipients’ accomplishments.
Bridges has been a part of Meals on Wheels for more than 30 years, is always willing to do what it takes to serve, and at age 89 doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Hoyt volunteers at Tabitha’s Table, Healthy Start and his church. He takes elderly residents to appointments, helps others with home repairs and gardening, helps in a second grade Spanish Club and with his granddaughter’s Brownie troop’s special projects.
The Lindsays provide meals to needy families, transportation to medical appointments, help with the purchase of over-the-counter medication, visit hospital patients and give comfort to people who have lost a family member. They have been foster parents for more than 10 years and adopted a special needs child.
Knoke has been a Habitat for Humanity volunteer for more than eight years. He works on Tuesdays and Thursdays on construction sites and at home on projects like shelves, window sills and even wooden games for children. He also donates materials and labor.
Lance is also a Habitat volunteer but works in the Habitat Home Store. He is not only the cashier but also assesses donations, including antiques.
The 85-year-old Rhodey has worked for the Anderson County Community Action Commission since 1968. In addition, she supports Poplar Creek Church and helps people in the Marlow community by providing meals, basic needs and gives assistance in applying for Social Security benefits.
Silvey works for the Match Program at Ridgeview Psychiatric Hospital. The program is designed to help the chronically homeless/mentally ill population. Silvey helps with securing and maintaining housing, and with vocational, education and family connections.
Thurman created a mentoring program at Norris Elementary School about eight years ago after working with the Adult Education Program in literacy, believing that early intervention was one of the keys to reducing illiteracy. Through his program, children meet with volunteers once a week. Thurman is now helping create a prairie on the school grounds using his money and time to prepare the site for prairie grass for spring planting.