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9 UC Residents Honored For Their Volunteer Work

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
9 UC Residents Honored For Their Volunteer Work

The Governor recognized five adults and four youth from across the Upper Cumberland this weekend as Volunteer Star Award winners.

The program recognizes the volunteers who give more than 130 million hours of service in Tennessee annually.

Among the adults honored, Clay County’s Kathy Merrett, Cumberland County’s Tim French, Fentress County’s Jimmy and Angie Sweet, Jackson County’s Nancy Pruett, and Putnam County’s Kerry Masters.

Youth honorees include Clay County’s Tamara Smith honored for her work on the drug issue. Cumberland County’s Serenity Driscoll helps distribute surplus crops to those in need. Fentress County’s Kailee South has been part of the fair board for five years. Jackson County’s Keagan Thaxton volunteers to help middle school students in PE.

Merrett organized the Celina and Clay County Merchants Association to develop a plan for community events. Smith has worked with Students Against Destructive Decisions. She also volunteers through the Grace Free Meal Center to pack and deliver lunches to underprivileged children.

French walks 5 to 25 miles per day bringing awareness to fallen soldiers. He also works with Healing Hooves, which uses equine therapy to help veterans. Driscoll has volunteered with Christmas on the Mountain since middle school. She also works with the Gleaners Co-Op, to distribute fresh farm produce to the community.

The Sweets have been long time organizers in youth sports across Fentress County. Both have served as coaches for t-ball and softball, while also working with the fair. South has been a part of the Fentress County Fair Board, most recently serving as president.

Pruett worked in Gainesboro’s downtown area to beautify and help the area grow. She has applied for grants and helped in the design of the area’s new park. Thaxton has been active in-service learning, working at the middle school level to motivate young people. He also assists with the middle school football program.

Masters serves with the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program, helping children with special needs. She also works with the RSVP program by helping check in on local friends.


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