Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 19, 2012

Heart of a volunteer

Former area resident honored in North Carolina

ASHLAND — Mary Beth Brackman was just doing what came naturally, she said.

Brackman was presented with the TransTech Pharma Volunteer of the Year award for her work on several chamber committees and in the High Point, N.C., community.

Brackman, who graduated from Raceland-Worthington High School in 1996, said volunteering was something that was second nature in her family.

“I guess it comes from wanting to give back to the community,” she said. “Growing up in Ashland, I was blessed with such wonderful leadership from my family.”

Brackman and her husband, Steve, moved to High Point in 2006, she said. The family has grown since then with 2-year-old Max and the adoption of daughter Madison, who is 8.

Brackman serves on the steering committee of the High Point Chamber of Commerce, chairs the Woman’s Luncheon Award, is involved with the High Point Boys and Girls Club Salvation Army and mentors teenagers in foster care. She also has a fulltime job with the Bank of North Carolina. Her husband works for Edward Jones.

“I guess being an outgoing person you have to jump right in,” she said. “Going to your local chamber is a good way to get a start and get established in a community. Most chambers have leadership development programs.”

Brackman went through High Point’s development program and took off once she was a chamber member.

“United Way and volunteering is close to my heart because it serves so many people,” she said. “We’ve been a recepient of its services. We’re just so blessed.”

Brackman said her aunts, the late Linda Thomas and Elveda Womack and Audrey Bailey and Teddy Jo Bailey, were great role models along with her grandmothers.

“Really, honestly, my whole family is that way,” she said. “It’s something instilled in us.”

Brackman said she misses the small town and looks forward to visits here especially around Christmas.

“You take it for granted until you move away,” she said. “We try to go back and visit as much as we can. My poor little boy. Every night he wanted to go to the park. We walked the park, rode around on the trains and walked some more. We’ll keep coming back, too.”

Brackman’s parents are still in the area. Her father, Larry Woods, lives in Ashland and her mother, Jerry Riley, lives in South Point.

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