Meals on Wheels salutes volunteers at luncheon

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2002

On a day when sunshine was not part of anyone’s vocabulary, 150 Suffolk Meals on Wheels Volunteers brought sunshine into Bethlehem Christian Church on Holland Road this past Thursday as they were recognized at the 15th Annual Volunteer Recognition reception.

Sharon Dewitt, program director since December 2001, praised volunteers for giving their time and automobiles to a very worthy cause. She also quoted a very well-known scientist by saying that Dr. Albert Schweitzer once said that everyone must give some time to their fellow man even if it’s a little thing…they must do something for others–something for which they get no pay but the privilege for doing it.

&uot;Each of you receives no pay…but unselfishly gives of yourselves daily to help others by delivering nutritious meals to our homebound. Each of you shines light and brings sunshine into the life of our recipients with your daily visits. After all, no one ever knows what we’ll find behind those closed doors. It could be an anxious recipient hungry and waiting to eat, a lonely recipient awaiting that daily visit and a chance to say

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hello, or maybe even an ill or injured recipient just longing for help or even requiring a 911 emergency call.,&uot; she said.

She then called up board members Doug Casey, Hugh West, Earl Smith, and Sarah Walden to assist in distributing awards.

Board members recognized were 23 and the following Special Awards were presented: Five 15-Year Awards; eight 10-Year Awards; 32 Five-Year Awards; and 63 First-Year Awards.

These volunteers were: 15 years: Bertha Crocker, Grace Lancaster, Dorothy Williams, Euell Williams, and Hattie West who is a founding member of the board of directors.

Ten years: Lynn Barlow, Charles Hughes, Carol Johnson, Jack Howell, Joan Hughes, Harry Leggett, Jim Pearce, and Dot Harvell.

Five years: Barbara Carper, Jacque Edwards, Haywood Briggs, Fran Duman, Collette Ballard, June Barrett, John Bright, Raymond Griffin, Jean Houchins, Louise Howell, Pauline Modlin, Pamela Geiss, Robert Hall, Don Herring, Erma Hobbs, Kermit Kelley, Ted Friend, Rev. Douglas Gibson, Alice Griffin, Lydia Duke-Hevener, Cindy Howell, Sonica Murray, Blanch Rountree, Sharry Swann, Sarah Walden, Antoinette Williams, Lena Small, Toni Taylor, Ronald Williams, John Wilmer, Holmes Small and Horice Thomas.

One year: Sherry Atwood, Shelby Beale, Patty Bransford, Sybil Caf, Garnise Cennis, Jean Cobb, Jill Copeland, Timothy Davis, Velma Dilday, Betty Alphin, Virginia Babey, Ruth Brinkley, Parris Carson, Shirley Crocker, Deborah Dalton, Christine DeBause, Sharon DeWitt, Jean-Louise Bile, Jackie Blythe, Doug Casey, Tim Cline, Mildred Darden, Jesse Dilday, Barbara Harrell, Robert Holland, Raymond Johnson, Web Keck, Tricia Kelly, Nola Munford, David Grove, Carol Hammerly, Robert Harrup, Wilson Holland, Robert Johnson, Joyce Neighbours, Dot Gwaltney, Perry Harrell, Martha Holland, Lorene Johnson, Jean Keck, Tammie Jo Miller, Marion Neighbours, Millard Sherman, Aubrey Skeeter, Ruby Thompson, Bernice Welch, Nancy Williams, Tony Willis, Shirley O’Brian, George Potter, Effie Shrader, Clarence West, Gladys Rose, Foy Sherman, Heather Spencer, Wendy Totty, Vic Walker, Hugh West, Troy Willis Jr. and Ballard Wood.

DeWitt praised Earl Smith, assistant director, as being her right hand and Jean Claud, volunteer coordinator, as being her left hand.

&uot;These two people, although part-timers, not only assist in the office but also carry regularly scheduled routes as volunteers,&uot; she said.

She told volunteers that each one of them works diligently just for the privilege of doing it.

&uot;You work for the greater good of man and as far as I am concerned, Suffolk Meals on Wheels is privileged to have a group of the most exceptional volunteers ever. This is your day to celebrate. Congratulations and may God bless each and everyone of you,&uot; she said.

Clarence West also presented an award to Bee Norris, the program director preceding DeWitt, for her years of service to Meals on Wheels.

Others on the program were Hugh A. West, board chairman; the Rev. Michael Halley, pastor of Suffolk Christian Church; Marvin A. Crocker Jr., Windsor mayor; Calvin Jones, City of Suffolk (Holy Neck Borough); and Chet Hart, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Louise Obici Hospital.

Volunteers and guests were entertained by the Windsor Christian Church Choir who sang three selections-&uot;The Red White and Blue,&uot; &uot;The Ones Left Standing,&uot; and &uot;How Great Thou Art.&uot;

Each guest received a gift from the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors.

Others who made the program a success were Sodexho, Inc., Obici Hospital, and the hospital’s food service staff.

Suffolk Meals on Wheels (SMOW) was established in Suffolk in March,1987 through the efforts of members of the community, the hospital and the former Suffolk Voluntary Action and Information center. In the spring of 1998, service to Windsor was added.