Community members honored for service
by Michelle Babcock
April 26, 2014 04:00 AM | 1728 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Canton Rotary Club member John Hicks, Lamar Haley Community Service Award winners Todd and Amy Stormant, Lamar Haley Community Service Award winner Deidra Hollands, Rotary Club member Peter Gleichman, Volunteer of the Year Karen Fegely and Rotary Club member Jeff Mitchell celebrate the 2014 community service and volunteer awards presented at Tuesday’s Rotary Club of Canton meeting.<br>Staff/Michelle Babcock
From left, Canton Rotary Club member John Hicks, Lamar Haley Community Service Award winners Todd and Amy Stormant, Lamar Haley Community Service Award winner Deidra Hollands, Rotary Club member Peter Gleichman, Volunteer of the Year Karen Fegely and Rotary Club member Jeff Mitchell celebrate the 2014 community service and volunteer awards presented at Tuesday’s Rotary Club of Canton meeting.
Staff/Michelle Babcock
slideshow
Jean Harris Award Volunteer of the Year Karen Fegely, left, was surprised by the honor. Rotary Club member Jeff Mitchell presented the award to Fegely at the meeting.<br>Staff/Michelle Babcock
Jean Harris Award Volunteer of the Year Karen Fegely, left, was surprised by the honor. Rotary Club member Jeff Mitchell presented the award to Fegely at the meeting.
Staff/Michelle Babcock
slideshow
CANTON — Three Cherokee County residents were honored Tuesday for their exemplary service and volunteer work in the community.

The award winners were surprised Tuesday during the Rotary Club of Canton meeting at the Cherokee County Conference Center at The Bluffs.

Karen Fegely was named the Jean Harris 2014 Volunteer of the Year for her work with children in the community and beyond.

Rotary Club member Jeff Mitchell announced Fegely as the Volunteer of the Year, and explained how she has given so much of her time and energy to helping people.

Mitchell said Fegely began volunteering at church through music ministry, then moved to helping people medically and in foreign countries, and her life took many different paths.

“The next path led to Canton,” Mitchell explained.

Fegely founded the nonprofit Bethesda Community Clinic in Cherokee in 2011, which serves the “working poor” residents in the area, the clinic’s mission statement read.

Fegely was teary-eyed when she accepted the honor of Volunteer of the Year.

“This is something that can’t be done by one person ... what we’re doing here, it takes a whole village,” Fegely said. “This is a real honor, and a big surprise.”

Two of three 2014 Lamar Haley Community Service Awards were presented to community members at the meeting Tuesday, with the third to be presented at an upcoming meeting.

Rotary Club member Peter Gleichman presented Deidra Hollands with a Lamar Haley Community Service Award and listed dozens of examples when Hollands volunteered in the community.

“Deidra began volunteering over 20 years ago,” Gleichman said of Hollands. “She currently serves on the Juvenile Courts Foundation Initiative, which promotes connections between teens in the county’s foster care system with adults in the community. She also serves on the county child fatality review panel, which reviews all child deaths in our community so that safety factors can be promoted, which might prevent a similar event in the future.”

From providing more than 3,000 MUST Ministries meals to those in need to giving 800 hours of her time to Service League work, Hollands has helped the community in more ways than one.

“Well before becoming a Rotarian, Deidra Hollands has exemplified the Rotary motto of ‘service above self.’ In her case, she’s demonstrated service over and above and beyond self,” Gleichman said.

When she accepted the award, Hollands said she was privileged to be selected.

“For me, volunteering is an overflow of a grateful heart,” she said.

Rotary Club member John Hicks presented the second Lamar Haley Award Community Service Award to Todd and Amy Stormant for their work with the YMCA soccer program.

“They actively coach and support and do all of the work that goes along with taking care of the soccer team,” Hicks said. “They’re not just doing one team, they’ve got three teams, and they’ve been doing this for years.”

Hicks said the Stormants are in their 10th year of volunteering with the program, and the said the YMCA soccer program owes much of its success to them.

“You see how much they care about the kids, you see how they engage and involve the kids,” Hicks said. “They show respect for the other players, the parents, the referees, it’s all part of what they do as volunteers leaders for our soccer program. They have become exemplary role models for these kids they’re working with. They’re the kind of volunteers we want to have.”

Stormant said she and her husband are involved because they want to influence the children in the county and help them be the best community members they can be.

“These kids have become like my kids.” Stormant said. “When one of them gets in trouble and I find out about it, I go to them and I say ‘What are you doing?’ They’re a part of our family.”

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