The United Way of Kershaw County (UWKC) recently hosted its annual volunteer recognition dinner where partner agencies honored volunteers.
“This recognizes not just the volunteers, but the agencies and their efforts to help what we feel like are not just United Way goals, but are community goals,” UWKC President Donny Supplee said.
Each agency selected one of its volunteers to recognize for their service. Before awards were presented, Supplee provided an overview of the impact UWKC partner agencies had on the community, including the number of volunteers and people served.
“The measure of our United Way and indeed our community and all of you as partners and volunteers is the difference we make in the people’s lives we serve,” Supplee said.
In total, he said, 22,484 people were served by 1,737 volunteers across all partner agencies.
“We are touching one in three people in the county,” Supplee said.
UWKC Vice President of Communications Maria Spring said each partner agency submitted a write up detailing the achievement of the volunteer they chose to honor.
“Wanda Salley for Food for the Soul, she volunteers every day. Bill Noeltner for Council on Aging delivered over 1,000 meals last year and has been volunteering for years,” Spring said.
The agency presented the Anne Dallas award, awarded to the UWKC Volunteer of the Year, to Kershaw County First Step volunteers Carl and Mollye Robinson. The UWKC recognized the Robinsons, who have been married more than 50 years, for serving as literary coaches and working with preschoolers at local child care centers.
UWKC Mentoring Program Director Margaret Lawhorn presented the award.
“I got my first teaching job from Mr. Carl M. Robinson in 1976,” Lawhorn said. “He gave me the chance to be an educator. He was always very supportive. He believed in me, that I could be the teacher I turned out to be. Mrs. Robinson was a librarian, very soft spoken and mild mannered, but when she looked at you in the library when you were too chatty, she just gave you the look -- we called it the mother look.”
Lawhorn said she admires the Robinson’s desire to volunteer in their community.
“They really are wonderful people. Even though they are retired, they continue to give back to the community. I have great admiration for that. They still have that zest to continue to give back,” she said.
The UWKC presented the Jake Watson Award for servant leadership to UWKC Board Chair Bob Gulledge.
“When he sees a need he fills it. He doesn’t wait for someone else. Like when he donated a car because it was needed. He is a leader of leaders, encourager, cheerleader and a friend of our United Way and Kershaw County,” Supplee said.
Volunteers from the UWKC were also recognized, including volunteers who provide transportation for the community.
“This year, we would like to thank some of our most dedicated volunteers. For almost the past 10 years, these men have not missed a single Tuesday or Thursday,” Spring said. “Almost 10 years ago, Bill Brown, Rich Quigley and Henry ‘Coach’ Stradford began driving the grocery bus. Jim Pontius started driving in 2011. We started with no more than six riders and we now have over 43 people who call to make sure there’s room on the bus to take them to Walmart, the drug store, banks and numerous other stops. We’ve grown from three apartments to over 35 different addresses in and around Camden.”
2016 Partner Agency Volunteers of the Year are: Renee Thompson and Hidden Heroes, The ALPHA Center; John West Jr., American Red Cross of Central SC; Dean West, Camden-KC Rescue Squad; Wanda Salley, Food for the Soul; Cathy Floyd, Girl Scouts of SC-Mountains to Midlands; Jeffrey Graham, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands; Jan Pierce, Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County; Boy Scouts of America Indian Waters Council; the American Legion Auxiliary of S.C., KC Board of Disabilities and Special Needs; Bill Noeltner, KC Council on Agin; Carl and Mollye Robinson, KC First Steps; Mandy Pair, KC Foster/Adoptive Family Association; Harriet Reid, Mental Health America of KC; Ralph C. Vincent, Buffalo-Mt. Pisgah Rescue Squad; Julia Locklear, Sistercare; and Gloria Stone, Family Resource Center.