Barbara “Ann” Parsons Named Volunteer of the Year

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Wilkes Community College presented the 31st Annual Volunteer Recognition Reception to celebrate the contribution volunteers make to the success of the college. Approximately 130 guests enjoyed the food, fellowship, and festivities of the evening. Volunteers assist in many areas of the college including in various departments, serving on various boards, golf tournaments, MerleFest, and the Walker Center. In 2020-2021 we had 1,826 volunteers that gave over 25,000 hours of service to Wilkes Community College.

WCC President Dr. Jeff Cox was unable to attend the reception due to a prior commitment, so he recorded a thank you video to be shared during the event. In his video message, Dr. Cox said, “I just want to say thank you to all of our volunteers. You are amazing, playing invaluable roles here at the college and during MerleFest. It’s great to have you back on campus and I look forward to seeing you soon!

The following WCC Administrative Council members were in attendance and thanked the volunteers for their dedication and service to the college: Kim Faw, VP of Instructional Support & Student Services; Michael Wingler, VP of Information Technology and Operations/CIO; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director-Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness; Dr. Yolanda Wilson, VP of Instruction; Jody Call, Executive Director of Strategy; and Allison Phillips, VP of Institutional Advancement. The new MerleFest Director, Wes Whitson, also thanked the volunteers.

The event culminated with the naming of volunteer of the year. Angela Bond, the 2019 recipient, presented volunteer Barbara Ann Parsons with the 2020-2021 Chloe Sturdivant Award of Appreciation for Volunteer Excellence. Allison Phillips, executive director of WCC Foundation, nominated Ms. Parsons for the award.

Parsons’ nomination letter read in part, “Being more because you want to; her volunteerism began at Wilkes Community College six months after she retired in 2014 from WCC. During the pandemic, she stepped up and continued to do work from the office. She believes in the mission of Wilkes Community College and our work to provide funds for our students.”

“The Chloe Sturdivant Award of Appreciation for Volunteer Excellence is named for Chloe Sturdivant, who volunteered faithfully at WCC 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.”

The Non Prophets, consisting of 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, Atrium Health – Wake Forest Baptist Health Wilkes Medical Center. Special thanks were also extended to the WCC Foundation and Walker Center staff and hospitality staff for organizing and staffing the event. Recognition was also given to the following businesses and individuals: Carolina West Wireless, dreamwalls/Gardner Glass Products, Wilkes Community College Absher Bookstore, Michael and Jenni Wingler, Angela Bond, The Walker Center, Ashe County Cheese, Talia Espresso, Harold’s Restaurant, Don’s Seafood and Steak, Mountain Outfitters, Liberty Theater, Johnson Limited, Tweetsie Railroad, and MerleFest 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.

l-r: Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation Executive Director; Ann Parsons, 2020-21Volunteer of the Year; and Denna F. Parsons, WCC Volunteer and Development Specialist.