Students, groups receive Service Above Self Awards
The Rowan Rotary Club and the Rowan County United Way recognized young people for their service to the community recently with the annual Service Above Self Youth Awards.
Individual awards this year went to Jeffrey Stanton, John Bloom and Candace Brucker.
This is the 16th year for the awards, established by Dr. Jim Duncan in 1995. Based on the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self,” they are made possible by Rotary, the United Way and the Wilson Smith family.
This year, organizers said 283 young people or groups were nominated for the awards, which honor students and groups at the elementary, middle and high school levels for their volunteer service.
Student winners in each division receive a medal and a Visa gift card. They also receive a check in the amount of half their award for the school or organization that nominated them.
In each individual category, the first-place winner receives $250, first runner-up receives $100 and the second runner-up receives $50. In the group categories, each first-place winner receives a $500 contribution to the organization, each first runner-up receives a $100 contribution and each second runner-up receives a $50 contribution.
Service Above Self awards this year went to:
• Candace Brucker is this year’s winner. Nominated for her assistance with the Hurley School Relay for Life team, Candace told teachers about her 4-year-old brother’s fight with cancer and the effect it had on her family. Candace educated and shared her experiences with the staff and students about the disease and the obstacles faced when fighting it. She spread hope and knowledge throughout the school and gave encouragement to Overton’s team.
• Katelyn Byrd is first runner-up for her efforts to help a teacher diagnosed with breast cancer by making earrings and pins and selling them as Katelyn’s Kreations.
• Gracie Hudson is second runner-up for her service to Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith and Rowan Helping Ministries.
• John Bloom is this year’s winner for his work with the homeless. He inspired the Cougar Team at Erwin Middle by telling his story of giving up Christmas gifts to assist those sleeping at the bus station in Charlotte. His project, Hats for the Holidays, inspired Erwin Middle School including many service clubs. They purchased hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and blankets to give to the Hats for the Holidays program.
• Tanner O’Neal is first runner-up for his work with the Southeast Middle Recycling program.
• Mallory Humphries is second runner-up for her work with Global Expeditions-Teen Mania.
High school individual
• Jeffrey Stanton is this year’s winner for his toy closet project. Jeffrey worked with the Salvation Army, Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and many others to provide toys for children. He sent toy bags to sick children as well as those affected by natural disasters. Last year, Jeffrey played Santa Claus on Christmas Eve to his own Angel Kids.
• Dani Burris is first runner-up for her work with All Things Great and Small Rescue.
• Justin Holmes is second runner-up for his work with numerous organizations including the N.C. Transportation Museum.
• The Overton Elementary Student Council is the winner for its participation in several activities throughout the school year including assisting with a blood drive, the Salvation Army White Christmas Canned Food Drive, working at the Norvell Theater as ushers buying toiletries for children at Rowan Helping Ministries, delivering for Meals on Wheels and its annual Recycle Brigade.
• The Morgan Elementary Student Council/Safety Patrol is first runner-up for activities including its Pennies for Patients for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
• The Faith American Legion Jr. Auxiliary is second runner-up for activities including making tray favors and cards for veterans at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center.
Middle school group
• The Corriher-Lipe Middle Beta Club is the winner. The club served as guides and greeters for back-to-school open houses, administrative meetings and a visit by U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, assisted with parent functions, created teacher goody bags for American Education Week, raised money for the Salvation Army, and served as the lead organization for school-wide Relay for Life activities.
• The Erwin Middle Jr. Civitan Club is first runner-up for activities including collecting a donation for a huge tree house for Happy Farm and assisting with the Happy Farm fall event.
• The Corriher-Lipe Middle School Just Stomp is second runner-up for its work to raise teen awareness about tobacco-use health issues.
High school group
• The East Rowan High Jr. Civitan Club is the winner. The group received a $1,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to host an event promoting the values and ideas of Special Olympics’ Project Unify. The event helped unify the East students with those with mental disabilities who live in group homes throughout the community.
• The Rowan County Early College Jr. Civitan Club is first runner-up for activities including its participation in the Junior Civitan International Convention.
• The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 400 is second runner-up for activities including volunteering for Downtown Salisbury’s Friday Night Out.
Service Above Self awards organizers also recognized Granite Quarry Elementary School, Corriher-Lipe Middle School and Rowan County Early College for “presenting numerous quality nominations that were submitted in a timely manner.”
Each school received a check for $500.
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