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Public Notices

April 18, 2014

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Golden Rule Awards Presented At Luncheon

Sun Photo by Jody Snyder

The JCPenney Company and the Volunteer Center of Greene County presented Golden Rule Awards Wednesday to individuals and groups for their volunteer service to the community. Winner of the adult category was Geneva Patton, and winner of the youth category was Holly McAmis. Chosen for the group award were the Camp Creek Care Bears. The Wonder of Words program was chosen in the education category. In front from left are: Sara Alenduff, representing WOW; Amanda Harrison, Holly McAmis, Taylor McAmis and E.J. Swatsell, members of the Camp Creek Care Bears; and Geneva Patton. Second row: Audrey Russell, a finalist in the youth category; Sheena Harrison, Alexandra Scott and Ashley Garritt, Camp Creek Care Bears; and Barbara Lawson, a finalist in the adult category. Back row: Patrick Wine, manager of the local JCPenney store; Tyler Sauceman, Casey McAmis and Paul Garritt, Camp Creek Care Bears; and Jan Chapman, a finalist in the adult category.

Originally published:
Last modified: 2009-08-03 17:05:06

The volunteer efforts of Geneva Patton, Holly McAmis, the Camp Creek Care Bears and the Wonder of Words program were recognized Wednesday as recipients of Golden Rule Awards.

Each was presented with an engraved crystal Golden Rule Award and a sizable contribution for the volunteer organization during a luncheon at the General Morgan Inn.

Patton received the award in the adult category, McAmis in the youth category, the Camp Creek Care Bears in the group category, and the Wonder of Words (WOW) program in the education category.

The Golden Rule Awards were presented by the JCPenney Company and the Volunteer Center of Greene County.

Patrick Wine, manager of the local JCPenney Company store, said that the award was established by JCPenney "to publicize volunteer heroes and encourage others to become heroes in improving the community, making it a happier place to live, work, and play."

Frankie DeBusk, head football coach at Tusculum College, who served as master of ceremonies at the luncheon, said that it was important to recognize volunteers.

"They know [that] what affects one of us in the community affects all of us," DeBusk said. "Their commitment to the common good and generosity of spirit are what we are recognizing. Each one of the volunteers here today deserves our deepest thanks."

Three additional finalists were selected from the adult category and received certificates and $250 donations to their volunteer organizations. The finalists were Jan Chapman with the Laughlin Memorial Hospital Volunteers; Barbara Lawson, a Delta Kappa Gamma volunteer who has been instrumental in starting youth leadership programs; and Peter Noel, a volunteer with the Greeneville Arts Council.

Another finalist chosen from the youth category was Audrey Russell. She initiated and has taught ballet classes at the Family Resource Center for three years. She also received a certificate and a $250 contribution for her volunteer organization.

More than 150 people attended the luncheon, which also included the presentation of two awards by the United Way of Greene County.

The Wal-Mart Regional Distribution Center in Midway was recognized for its corporate volunteerism, which has included significant contributions to the United Way and to the Children's Miracle Network and projects at Forest Park, the Opportunity House and West Greene High School.

One group of students from Tusculum College was recognized for its efforts in community service with the homeless, children, sick and elderly in Washington, D.C., and another was honored for its similar work in the inner city of Lafayette, La.

The students included Lee Ann Bledsoe, Eric Dilbeck, Mike Maggert, Chad Martel, Jared Moss, Heather Rich, Emilio Russo and Adam Sayers.

Award Winners

The Camp Creek [Elementary School] Care Bears won in the group category and received a $1,000 contribution and a crystal trophy.

This group of concerned youth is currently providing a wide variety of community services. They strive to complete two group projects a month by devoting time after school and on weekends.

Also, parents of the members have committed themselves to supervising and helping with at least one project a month, ensuring that the children are always supervised.

E.J. Swatzell, a member of the group, said the group was appreciative of being nominated for the award and promises to put the funds to good use.

Wonder of Words, recipient of the Education Award, received a $1,000 contribution and a trophy. WOW is composed of about 45 volunteers, including retirees, homemakers, business people and college students.

Each volunteer devotes 30 minutes every week throughout the school year to reading with a student. The selected students range from kindergarten through the third grade.

The volunteers work to establish one-on-one relationships with their individual students, with a goal of enhancing the students' ability to read and spurring interest in reading and words.

WOW was begun through efforts of Tusculum College's Artist in Residence, Marilyn DuBrisk, and a group of volunteers.

In accepting the award, Sara Alenduff expressed thanks to Tusculum College President Dr. Robert Knott; to Dr. Ernest Martin, director of Greeneville City Schools; and to Judy Phillips, assistant superintendent of the Greene County School System.

Winner of the youth category, Holly McAmis, received a $500 scholarship and $500 for her volunteer organization.

McAmis began working as a volunteer in the Special Playmate Program at Greene Valley Developmental Center in July 1997. She volunteers one afternoon a week after school and during the summer. She has volunteered more than 81 hours since she began.

In July 1998, McAmis was named "Special Playmate of the Year" by Greene Valley. Also in 1998, McAmis was awarded the Tennessee Outstanding Achievement Award by the governor for outstanding service.

McAmis said she appreciated having been selected for the award and encouraged others, whatever their age, to become involved in volunteering.

Patton received the top award in the adult category for initiating the fund-raising within the Exchange Club for the new Boys & Girls Club, originating the jail ministry program, and starting the efforts of the Family Resource Center.

Patton also serves as the Preschool Chairman for Youth Builders and as such guides their activities with the Head Start Program, the Child Development Program and the Help Us Grow (HUG) program. Currently she serves on the Opportunity House Board of Directors and spends a substantial amount of time at its retail thrift store, helping with its operations.

And, for the past six months, Patton has been director of the Babies First Program, which provides emotional support to young mothers.

Patton said she was very honored to have received the award. She said that she would donate half of the $1,000 that she received to local efforts to prevent child abuse and the other half to the Youth Builders organization.

Nominees in the adult category, in addition to the finalists, included: Deborah Close, Jack Hensley, Sarah Justice, Barbara Lawson, Edna Nojeim, Bob Schubel, Helen Smith and Richard Spain.

The other youth nominees were Bhavida Patel and Laurann Wiley.

United Way Awards

Also during the program, United Way honored Wal-Mart Regional Distribution Center for its outstanding corporate volunteerism.

Since locating in Greene County, the Distribution Center has supported many local nonprofit organizations and has encouraged its employees to volunteer in the community.

Last year the employees participated in the Week of Caring by refurbishing Forest Park, replacing the old siding on the pavilion, repairing and painting the ceiling and staining the building.

Through the Volunteer Center, Wal-Mart Distribution Center employees also chose the Opportunity House as a project, painting the porch and pillars of the house.

They also were the largest contributors in the region to the Children's Miracle Network, raising $20,927.

The Wal-Mart Distribution Center also has been the largest contributor to the United Way. Last year, its pledges totaled $81,000. In the history of the local United Way, no other company has contributed this much in one year.

The second recipient honored by United Way was a group of students from Tusculum College who were recognized for immersing themselves in volunteer service.

Seven of the students - Lee Ann Bledsoe, Eric Dilbeck, Mike Maggert, Chad Martel, Jared Moss, Heather Rich and Adam Sayers - traveled in February to Washington, D.C. There they spent all day every day for two weeks preparing meals for and working with homeless people, children, and the sick and elderly.

The eighth student, Emilio Russo, organized a spring break service trip for nine other students to Lafayette, La. There they spent time with homeless people and helped build a children's facility in an inner-city mission.
For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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