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Community advocate, radio reading service earn volunteer awards

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The state of North Carolina has presented Nash and Edgecombe counties’ 2019 Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service to the Down East Radio Reading Service and Dr. Glenda Lawrence-Knight.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. Any person, group or entity from the public, nonprofit and private sector may be nominated for an award to their county award coordinator. County award coordinators submit their top 10 volunteer nominations per county. County recommendations are reviewed by the commission and awards are given out in the counties. Nominees must have been engaged in volunteer activities for a minimum of one year in North Carolina and benefited a community or communities in the state in a substantial, important or unique way.

The Down East Radio Reading Service, Inc. was nominated by David Winnett and was also recommended by others including David Edwards for its commitment to volunteerism. DERRS is composed of more than 80 volunteers who donate their time to prepare and read newspaper information six days a week to the blind and print impaired. Recipients of this service live in Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties.

This organization and its volunteers allow almost 400 area blind and print-impaired listeners to hear local and regional news, sports, grocery sales, obituaries and more. Anyone interested in volunteering can call the radio reading service at 252-443-7551.

Joe Warner, chairman, has been an integral part of this organization. Edwards said, “Joe is a genuine volunteer who sincerely just wants to help. Joe’s attitude is: ‘What do you want me to do and I’ll do it’….he does it all without hesitation or need for recognition.’’

Dr. Glenda Lawrence-Knight was nominated by the Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Walker and was recommended by Carol Allen White, N.C. clerk of Superior Court.

White said, “Since my acquaintance with her several years ago, she has unselfishly served as a community advocate with multiple organizations and involved herself in numerous community outreach projects.”

Lawrence-Knight received the Medallion Award and attended a ceremony in Raleigh last month to receive her certificate and medal, where she was able to meet Gov. Roy Cooper’s wife, first lady Kristin Cooper.

United Way Tar River Region Vice Presidents of Community Development Lisa Wright and Alane Gordon-Bray presented awards to the radio reading service and Lawrence-Knight during a June 19 reception.

“This is a perfect example of philanthropy in action, as we celebrate DERRS and Dr. Glenda Lawrence-Knight who embody volunteer service and giving back to our community,” said Ginny Mohrbutter, executive director of the United Way Tar River Region.

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