Individuals, groups recognized for work in 2012

May. 01, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

The woman who helped establish the Storehouse Pantry in Forest City was named Rutherford County’s Volunteer of the Year on Tuesday.

Pat Evans received the award during the annual volunteer luncheon held at First Baptist Church in Forest City.

Accompanying the award was a $1,000 check from United Way to be used for the Storehouse Pantry. 

With her husband, the late Junior Evans at the helm of the pantry the couple established the food distribution center to feed the hungry in Rutherford County in 2010.

United Way Executive Director Faye Hassell said in 2012, the couple distributed 1,253,485 pounds of food and personal hygiene items and used 10,823 pounds of food to fill backpacks for school children in Rutherford County.

Tuesday marked the ninth year United Way has given $1,000 to the volunteer of the year recipient to be be used for their respective charity. 

The $1,000 will go a long way in buying a lot of food Evans said.

Evans organizes the food distribution at the Storehouse Pantry, the food truck schedule, volunteers and the preparation work that goes on before the distribution. 

Evans joins four other individuals/groups who will be recognized by Gov. Pat McCory as being the county’s top volunteers. 

Roy Splawn was recognized as the senior volunteer; Devin Sisk, teen volunteer;and the Women Roofers was the volunteer group of the year.

Splawn volunteers with Hospice of Rutherford County. He has volunteered there for the the past two years, six hours a day three or more days a week. He helps with landscaping, grounds and general maintenance of the facilities.

Sisk is a volunteer with the Rutherford Regional Medical Center’s auxiliary. For the past six years, she has accumulated 312 hours working in medical records, the education department, as a nurse helper in the Birth Place and in the operating room and recovery room. 

The Women Roofers is a group of more than 40 women who have been volunteering for the past 10 years, laboring for 16 hours per roof, nine times a year roofing homes for Rutherford Housing Partnership and Habitat for Humanity.

Other volunteers nominated and recognized Tuesday were Ann West, Yokefellow volunteer; Ashton Hunt, teen volunteer, Forrest Hunt mentor; Bob Bourne, Habitat volunteer; Cathy Watson, pet therapy volunteer; Ed and Pat Jenson, Habitat volunteers; Frankie and John McWhorter, Rutherfordton’s 225th committee chairs; Hazel Crook, Habitat; Larry Hodges, volunteer with the Master Garden program at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service; Michael Lawing, Hospice; Pauline Givens, Church of the Exception; Prudence Kolh, Yokefellow;  and Susie Keith, Habitat and Rutherford Housing Partnership volunteer.

Chris Fox, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church addressed the volunteers prior to the awards presentation and told them from first hand experience how volunteers change lives.

Fox said in 1990 his mother and siblings were the recipients of the ninth Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity home.

The house was built on Elm Street in Rutherfordton. “My mother still lives there,” he said. 

Fox said in addition to seeing family members and church family assisting with the home construction in 1990, he remembered seeing “strangers coming to build our house.”

When he went to Mars Hill College he became involved in several volunteer projects because of what Habitat volunteers taught him.

“I was affected by their motivation, their kindness . . . it affected how I saw life,” Fox said.

“The seeds were planted,” Fox said. He said observing the kindness and compassion of the Habitat volunteers was one of the reasons he felt called into the ministry.

“We are grateful for all these true MVPs,” he said of the nominees.