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Annual banquet awards foster grandparents

At the 42nd Foster Grandparent Program Recognition Banquet, several dedicated education volunteers were honored for their service and commitment to the Franklin-Colbert-Lauderdail-Marion-Winston organization.

The banquet, held Thursday at the AW Todd Centre in Russellville, recognized the efforts of staff members (Jessica Latham, director, Rena Price, volunteer coordinator and Betty Fisher, secretary), advisory board members (presnt: Paul Emerson, Nell Emerson, James Coman, Earnest Darby and Bernice Bolton) and many of the foster grandparents who work tirelessly at schools across Northwest Alabama. The FGP is a nonprofit volunteer organization that places senior citizens 55 and older with limited incomes on positions for mentoring and tutoring students with special or exceptional needs.

The top recognition of the annual luncheon is Volunteer of the Year, selected by a panel of judges from nominations made by teachers of each classroom where volunteers lend a hand. This year’s recipient was Charles DeVaney, who volunteers at Sheffield Headstart and has been involved in the program for six year. DeVaney was ill and unable to attend the banquet, but Latham said plans were being made to honor him soon in the classroom.

Teachers who were nominated but not selected for Volunteer of the Year were honored with the Volunteer Rose Award. Top fundraisers were also recognized, including Rada Knives, Margaret McGuire, Charles DeVaney and Irene Raney.

Lunchtime music was provided by Red Bay High FFA.