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County natives honored at banquet

THOMASVILLE — Tommy Vice of Demopolis was named the Marengo County Volunteer of the Year at the Retired and Senior Volunteers Program (RSVP) Southwest Alabama annual awards and recognition dinner last night.

Lucille Dunn and Mary Gaddy were also Marengo County Volunteer of the Year nominees.

Vice has done volunteer work with the Nutrition Center for Seniors, Westside Baptist Church and the Demopolis Singers, among others. He recently helped raise $1,600 for the March of Dimes annual Walk.

Georgia Dukes of Linden won the Presidential Volunteer Service gold award for serving more than 500 hours of volunteer work. Betty Aydelott and Leroy Johnson each won the Presidential Volunteer Service silver award for serving 200 to 499 hours of volunteer work, and Dot Baggett, Earl Burge, Eldridge Nolan and Wynnell Stokes each won Presidential Volunteer Service bronze awards for serving 100 to 199 hours of volunteer work.

This year, RSVP Southwest Alabama awarded Volunteer of the Year honors to volunteers from each of its five counties: Marengo, Choctaw, Clarke, Washington and Wilcox.

Other counties’ RSVP Volunteers of the Year were Lillian Hodge, Choctaw County; Elinor Ott, Clarke County; Stella Howard, Washington County; and Iona Pearson, Wilcox County.

Voncile Long of Wilcox County was honored with the 2008 RSVP Volunteer Hall of Fame Award.

“We pick three volunteers from each county,” said RSVP Southwest Alabama director Donna Phillips. “Each county’s Volunteer of the Year is chosen from those nominees.”

“Our volunteers are required to be 55 or over,” said Debbie McClure, RSVP volunteer coordinator. “Tommy has been a volunteer with us for several years. This year, he had enough hours to be chosen as Volunteer of the Year.”

“This was really exciting,” Vice said. “I love doing volunteer work, and it’s something I’m always going to do. I enjoy helping people.”