Volunteers from 53 counties will be honored at the Ninth Annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony at the Franklin Marriot Cool Springs in Franklin on Feb. 12. The award will celebrate the efforts of 84 volunteers statewide who have strived to improve their communities through service. Miss Tennessee 2016, Grace Burgess, will present the awards, and NewsChannel5 weekend anchor, Jennifer Kraus, will serve as the emcee.
One youth and one adult volunteer were selected from participating counties to receive this prestigious award. Nominees were judged based on the community’s need of the volunteer service performed, initiative taken to perform the service, creativity used to solve a community problem and impact of the volunteer service on the community.
Local honorees include:
Hunter Ladd, Grundy County Youth Honoree—Hunter donates many hours of service to school, local churches and public events, such as the local election. With his church, he travels to the local housing project three times a year to donate food baskets for the adults, read stories for the children and provide clothing for the teenagers. Through the Interact club, he is helping with the Miracle on the Mountain project, inspired by Audrey Nunley, a librarian at Grundy County High School who died of cancer. Audrey dreamed of having a special-needs playground for her son in Grundy County. Hunter has donated a box of food every week of his senior year for the local food drive, and has a goal to give back through donations of new books and computers at Grundy County High School. With all the obligations on his plate, he still always makes time for helping out his community. He has a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate third in his class.
Roxanna Fults, Grundy County Adult Honoree—As city recorder of Tracy City, Roxanna not only keeps the city in order, but over the last several years has brought back something it had been missing: community. From the community Thanksgiving dinner she organizes each year to this year’s “Small Town Christmas,” she is always making sure that Tracy City is more than just a place to live. The community Thanksgiving dinner is an event that she organizes to help ensure that everyone in her community and beyond will have a wonderful hot Thanksgiving lunch. She organized this event three years ago and it has been very successful every year. Food is delivered to homebound folks throughout the community, and the doors of the American Legion are open to all who are able to come and enjoy the fellowship.
Volunteer Tennessee coordinates the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards at the state level. Volunteer Tennessee is the 25 member bipartisan citizen board appointed by the Governor to oversee AmeriCorps and service-learning programs and to advance volunteerism and citizen service to solve community problems in the Volunteer State.