By Tamas Mondovics
The Eleventh Annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony was held last Sunday honoring volunteers from 61 counties at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin.
Each year, 1.6 million Tennessee volunteers give more than 137 million hours of service, contributing the equivalent of $3.3 billion to Tennessee’s economy.
“They are the backbone of our great state, and by giving of their time and talents to fulfill needs that would otherwise go unmet, they truly embody the spirit of giving,” said Volunteer Tennessee Executive Director, Jim Snell.
According to Volunteer Tennessee officials, the awards will celebrate the efforts of 108 volunteers statewide who have strived to improve their communities through service.
One youth and one adult volunteer were selected from participating counties to receive this prestigious award among them, Flo Bellamy and Chase R. McGlamery
Miss Tennessee 2018, Christine Williamson, presented the awards, while NewsChannel5 weekend anchor, Jennifer Kraus, served as emcee. Tennessee 4-H sponsors the individual awards.
“Throughout her life, Flo has been an active member and served with First United Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, the United Way of Johnson County, Mountain City Parks and Recreation, the Beta Theta Club of Johnson County and Johnson County 4-H,” the Volunteer Tennessee stated in a release. Flo established the Johnson County Cancer Support Group and had collaborated with Roan Creek Baptist Church to provide medical equipment to those in need. Flo also started an after-school program for at-risk youth through the Mountain City Community Center. Now known as LEAPS, the program focuses on helping youth develop accountability and responsibility. The center serves approximately 50 youth per day, providing meals and educational programming to participants at no cost. Flo’s commitment to helping others is an inspiration to many, and when she sees a need in the community, she will find a way to help.”
As for the youth Youth Honoree, the Volunteer Tennessee sated in a release, “Chase, a 2018 graduate of Johnson County High School, is most noted for his contributions to his school and community through his involvement with both the student council and as a member of the Heritage Hall board. While serving at Heritage Hall, Mountain City’s fine arts venue, Chase learned valuable skills working with sound, lights and as webmaster for their online webpage, integrating ticket sales in their online platform. These skills led Chase to the creation of Teachers Got Talent a fundraising event to benefit the local United Way. Chase planned, organized, and directed the event, and also recruited volunteers. Chase’s innovative thinking and initiative greatly benefit Johnson County.”
The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards also includes business and non-profit categories. Advance Financial sponsored the business awards.
Volunteer Tennessee coordinates the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards at the state level. Volunteer Tennessee is the 25 member, a 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.