Mrs. Betty Thompson presented with Lifetime Volunteer Recognition Award

l-r: Denna F. Parsons, WCC volunteer and development specialist: Lee K. Cornett, senior customer service relations specialist; Tabitha Hudler, Walker Center director; Betty Thompson, and Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation Executive Director.

On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Wilkes Community College presented the 32nd 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 various departments, serving on various boards, golf tournaments, MerleFest, and the Walker Center.

The following WCC Administrative Council members were in attendance and thanked the volunteers for their dedication and service to the college: Michael Wingler, VP of Information Technology and Operations/CIO; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director-Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness; Jody Call, Executive Director of Strategy; Allison Phillips, VP of Institutional Advancement; and Zack Barricklow, VP of Rural Innovations.

Allison Phillips, VP of Institutional Advancement presented the Lifetime Volunteer Recognition Award. Phillips stated, “In the words of Marjorie Moore Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.

She added, “The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. For selflessly serving others with her time and talent, I am proud to present the Lifetime Volunteer Recognition to Mrs. Betty Thompson. We are truly grateful for your support and dedication.”

Tabitha Hudler, Walker Center director stated, “Mrs. Betty has changed Wilkes Community College. Over 40 years ago, she and others had the vision to create a community center that had a huge focus on the arts. Because of her vision, we can sit together in this room tonight to celebrate. Because of her vision, I was able to attend Walker Center shows as a child and now coming full circle as the director planning those school shows for other children to enjoy this many years later. It is evident of the passion and hard work she has put into this love of the arts.”

WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox was unable to attend the reception, but offered the following remarks through a video, “I want to thank you all for the valuable service you provide to Wilkes Community College. In 2022, we had over 2,700 volunteers who gave over 29,000 hours of service to the college, which equates to over $750,000 in savings in hourly wages. Or the equivalent of 15 full-time employees working 40 hours a week, all year long. We literally could not do what we do without you. Thank you!”

Cox added, “I want to offer a very special congratulations to Mrs. Betty Thompson for her achievement of earning the Lifetime Volunteer Recognition Award. You have done so much for the college and continue to do so.  It’s always a pleasure to see your smiling face.”

The NonProphets, 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: Brushy Mountain Granola, Carolina West Wireless, Cooks Sporting Goods, dreamwalls/Gardner Glass Products, WCC Foundation, Wilkes Community College Absher Bookstore, Michael Winger, Jenni Wingler, Angela Bond, The Walker Center, Ashe County Cheese, Third Day Market, The Tavern Restaurant, 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: Tabitha Hudler, Betty Thompson, and Allison Phillips