On Thursday, March 5, Wilkes Community College hosted the 29th Annual Volunteer Recognition Reception to celebrate the contribution volunteers make to the success of the college. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed the food, fellowship, and festivities of the evening. Volunteers assist in many areas of the college including various departments and boards, MerleFest and the Walker Center. In 2019, volunteers gave 50,345 hours of service to Wilkes Community College, which is equivalent to having over 25 full-time staff working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of the year. The financial value of this volunteer service at a rate of $25.43 per hour would equal $1,280,273.35.

Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC President stated, “Our volunteers truly represent all that is good about living and working in Wilkes County. I am impressed by the tremendous loyalty, respect, admiration, and appreciation the people in our service area have for Wilkes Community College. They love this college and understand how vital it is to the long-term success of this community and our region.”

The event culminated with the naming of volunteer of the year. Lynn Day, last year’s recipient, presented volunteer Angela Bond with the 2019 Chloe Sturdivant Award of Appreciation for Volunteer Excellence. Allison Phillips, executive director of WCC Foundation, nominated Mrs. Bond for the award.

Her nomination stated, “Angela has a passion for the college mission as she worked for the college for 32 years and has volunteered since her retirement every week in the Development Office. She is a team player; whatever the project, she is the first to say yes I can help, and yes that can be accomplished. The energy she brings to the office is contagious. There is laughter when she is around and always an uplifting spirit.”

“The Chloe Sturdivant Award of Appreciation for Volunteer Excellence is named for Chloe Sturdivant, who volunteered faithfully at WCC for approximately 20 years. She served as the first MerleFest volunteer coordinator, and her impact at the college was felt from every corner of the campus,” says WCC volunteer coordinator Denna Foster Parsons. “She volunteered for Walker Center season and school shows, gave tours of the WCC gardens, helped with the annual golf tournament, and did anything else that she saw needed to be done to make Wilkes Community College a better place. She volunteered with enthusiasm and grace.”

Billy Gee, Randy Gambill, Don Story, and Mel Jones volunteered their time and talents to provide live musical entertainment throughout the night’s event.

WCC extends special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Wake Forest Baptist Health Wilkes Medical Center. Special thanks were also extended to the WCC Foundation and Walker Center staff for organizing the event and a special thank you to the Walker Center Hospitality staff, led by Chef Nicole Burrell for the delicious meal. Recognition was also given to the following businesses and individuals: Carolina West Wireless, Duane Cornett, Gardner Glass Products, Lowes Home Improvement, MerleFest Merchandise, The Walker Center, Two Rivers Cinema, WCC Absher Bookstore, Michael and Jenni Wingler, Johnson Limited (custom framed MerleFest poster), and the WCC Foundation for their ongoing support of our Volunteer Recognition Reception with the donation of door prizes.

For information on volunteer opportunities with Wilkes Community College, The Walker Center and MerleFest, contact Denna Foster Parsons at 336-838-6262.

Photo by Monty Combs

l-r: Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation executive director; Angela Bond, 2019 Volunteer of the Year; Denna F. Parsons, WCC volunteer coordinator and Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president.