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More than 60 senior adults were recognized for their service during the 32nd annual Delta Community Action Foster Grandparent Recognition Luncheon Friday at First United Methodist Church.
These retired adults spend several hours a year in elementary schools as teacher helpers in classrooms.
With all the tragic events that have happened recently across the nation, Duncan Mayor Gene Brown, guest speaker for the event, said it’s wonderful to have such a positive program in place in the community. More than 10,000 children across the nation have been helped by such programs.
“It’s an amazing program and really is a win-win program,” Brown said. “I was impressed by the program’s mission.”
The Foster Grandparents program mission states that it offers opportunities for low-income senior adults to provide supportive, one-on-one service in educational and child care settings.
It enables participating seniors to remain physically and mentally active and to enhance their self-esteem.
“My mother-in-law was proud to be a part of this program and she shared it with everyone,” said Brown. “I never hear anything bad about it and that’s what’s special about it.”
There were several guests among the foster grandparents being honored and the lone legislator there was Rep. Dennis Johnson. Mynan Hutto, program director, said Johnson always makes it to the luncheon each year.
Johnson shared a few words on what is currently going on in legislature and expressed his feelings toward the Foster Grandparent program.
“Mynan has been a friend of mine for many years and has just been elected as the legislative representative for this group and I look forward to seeing her in my office often because I depend on her greatly for advice,” Johnson said.
“I’m amazed to see how many years some of you have been involved in this program and it speaks well of you. As a grandfather, I appreciate what you folks do for kids because this is a successful, needed and worthy program.”
Each volunteer was given a certificate and a trophy with their name and number of years in the program on it. The longest involved volunteer was Rose Williams with 24 years as a foster grandparent.
Other volunteers honored were: Armetha Richard, 18 years; Lucille Scoggins, 15 years; Dorothy Shumaker and Dorothy Cousins, 12 years; Irene Fleming, 11 years; Corine Shannon and LaQuita Hall, 9 years; Lillie Hall, Helen Bartlett, Ellen Mathews, Wanda Welch and LaDoris Peterson, 8 years.
Georgia Douglas, 7 years; Hulean Hoskins, Loretha Gordon Patterson, Shirley Brown, Juanita Cottrell and Othella Brown, 6 years; Jimmie Cottrell, 5 years; Peggy Purvey, Annette Fleming, Dorothy McDuffie, Shirley Pickens, Willie Toles and Pearlie Steele, 4 years; Ada Johnson, Clevonna Jones, Margie Louis, Johnny Bagby, Armella McKindra and Mary Harris, 3 years.
Bobby Dale, Helen Waters, Fannie Pointer, Edford Nolan, Anna Jean Townsend, Glenda Butler, Lillie Sheppard and Johnnie Patterson, 2 years; Lana Watkins, Mary Brown, Georgia McGee, Peggy Black, Brenda Chandler, Peggy Williams, Doris Lewis, Gena Turkett, 1 year.
New volunteers are: William Thomas Dees, Mable Baker, Donald Taylor, Willa Johnson, Lucille McCown, Kay Bagby, Dedra Spencer, Dorothy Pickens, Raymond Spencer, Brenda Holman, Judith Perry, Larry Perry, Willie Butler and Nell Willis.
“This program looks for the good and teaches young people to respect themselves and other people,” Brown said. “So, I want to say ‘thank you’ and may God bless you and keep you active in this program.”