Several years ago, Volunteer Tennessee initiated the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards, a program designed to recognize the outstanding service of those who volunteer in various ways throughout their local Tennessee communities. This year two award recipients, one youth and one adult in each county, will be recognized once again in Franklin by Governor Bill Haslam. This celebration will illustrate the importance of civic participation and service to improve overall community norms.
“The event was developed to recognize the unsung heroes from across Tennessee. This state has a long legacy of service and was named “The Volunteer State” almost 200 years ago,” said Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady. “These volunteers play a critical role in the success of Tennessee communities. Through nonprofit organizations, national service programs, faith-based organizations, and neighbor helping neighbor, outstanding volunteer service is part of our state heritage.
“In fact, the annual value of Tennessee volunteers is $3.4 billion. As the Volunteer State, we must continue to foster this sense of service and civic responsibility. In an effort to encourage more Grundy County citizens to help improve our community through volunteerism, Volunteer Tennessee has instituted the statewide volunteer recognition program, the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards.”
The 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award honoree for Grundy County in the adult category is Roxanne Fults. Roxanne and her husband live in Tracy City. They have two adult sons, Jeremy Fults and Christopher “Critter” Fults.
“While most people quit working once they clock out, others take their job home and make it their life. Roxanna Fults, city recorder of Tracy City, not only keeps the city in order, but over the last several years she has really brought back something it had been missing- community. From the Community Thanksgiving dinner she organizes each year to the ‘Small Town Christmas,’ she is always making sure that Tracy City is more than just a place to live and is a place to call home.
“Fults seeks neither recognition nor attention for the work she does. She does it from her heart and for the town she loves. The Community Thanksgiving Dinner is an event that she organized to help insure that everyone in her community and beyond will have a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch. She knows that even though she enjoys the gift of family and good food, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy that amazing gift. So, she organized this event four years ago and it has been very successful every year. She always gives credit to all of the volunteers, but we all know that anything must start with a leader and an organizer. Food is delivered to home bound folks throughout the community and the doors of the American Legion are open to all. She is always looking for ways to give back to community. She is the shining example of what we should all be.”
The 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award honoree in the Youth category is Grundy County High School senior Hunter Ladd.
“While Hunter has worked a great deal in high school, he has also found time to volunteer. He not only picks up trash and helps the elderly across the street, but also anything that helps the community without earning wages. Among all the obligations on his pallet, he still makes time for helping the community that he lives in. These activities usually include seven hours of school each day, 20-30 hours of work each week, 6 hours of church each week, and an attempt to get at least 5 hours of sleep each day. “If he has to sacrifice anything to get something done or to help others it is sleep. Furthermore, Monteagle Elementary School has an elderly custodian that is a sweetheart. Any time that he has an option, he is there for her. He has completed 48 hours of community service at Monteagle Elementary School, and 25 hours at churches and public events such as the local election.
“Also, he is in the Interact Club, a club that participates in most local community projects. The hours at Monteagle Elementary School are scattered amid working the concession stand at basketball games, cleaning out classrooms in the summer, and helping a teacher when he or she catches him in the hallway with minor cleaning. He does not count church among his community projects, however, one major thing he does with his church is travel to the local housing project about three times a year to donate food baskets for the adults, read Christmas stories for the children, and provide clothing for the teenagers.
“Recording for National Honors Society, he has received 25 hours from working the local election and helping the other local churches his friends and family go to with Bible School. The Interact club is where his community service hours are extensively varied. The limited hours he has worked with this club are from helping with the Miracle on the Mountain project.
“Lastly, he has brought in a box of food every week of his senior year for the local food drive. He has a goal to give back to his community through donations of new books and computers at Grundy County High school. Ladd is also considering being a public servant by seeking a political office in his community.”
“The Grundy County Mayors Office is happy to help organize and promote volunteerism in Grundy County, while recognizing the efforts of those who go above and beyond the call of duty every day by making a difference in the lives of others,” said Brady.
Brady has invited these honorees to the February 27, County Commission meeting for special recognition. In closing, Brady stated that he is truly thankful and appreciative for these individuals that always go above and beyond in order to help others in need.