Vickie James, the executive director of the Northeast Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross, has been named the top director of the 65 nonprofit agencies in Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence and Elliott counties that receive money from the United Way of Northeast Kentucky.
James, the Red Coss leader in the region for nine years, was named director of the year at Thursday night’s United Way Recognition Dinner, during which it was announced the local United Way campaign had exceeded its goal of raising $750,000.
For the past few years, the United Way of Northeast Kentucky has honored one of the directors of the nonprofit agencies its supports.
Steve Towler, executive director of the United Way of Northeast Kentucky, said during her years with the Red Cross, James has established an “impressive list of training classes,” has helped in the acquisition of a former bank on Blackburn Avenue in Ashland for new offices and training facilities for the local Red Cross and “has kept the chapter financially sound through some difficult cuts mandated by the national Red Cross.’
James is the only Red Cross employee in the five counties. Despite that, the local Red Cross was on the scene less than two hours after tornadoes caused extensive damage in Lawrence County in March.
Towler said James has “organized recovery efforts from all types of disasters such as floods, fires and tornados .
“I could go on and on,” Towler said in praising James. “She has not been loafing for nine years. She has done an excellent job under some rather difficult circumstances.”
Twenty-one individuals also were honored by 19 United Way agencies for their volunteer efforts. They are:
Jesse David McChristian, Tri-State Council, Boy Scouts of America. An Eagle Scout, McChristian has given his time in the past four years, organizing fundraisers, outdoor camping excursions and working with boys from 7 to 18.
Tonya Allen, Wilderness Road Girl Scouts Council. Allen leads a troop, is the service unit manager and works with a day camp that serves a six-county area.
George Perry, CASA of Northeast Kentucky. For the past four years, Perry has worked to be sure abused and neglected young people have a voice in court. “George has proven time and time again that he will go beyond the normal call of duty for each person he works with,” said Dwane Johnson in announcing the award.
Diane Anderson, Shelter of Hope. Anderson assists with the financial records for the Shelter of Hope, and also sponsors children in the shelter with clothes and gifts for Christmas.
Vickie Borders, Safe Harbor. She was honored for having “single-handedly keeping together the Boyd County Medical Alliance, a physician spouses organization that supports Safe Harbor in many ways.
Michael Mussetter, Ashland Senior Center. Johnson said Mussetter organizes and encourages the senior adults to become involved in community activities and events.
Leon and Peggy Williams, OLBH Meals on Wheels. The couple serve as substitute drivers for Meals on Wheels and are “on call” every delivery day in case of a last-minute cancellation. Many days they do two routes.
Jean Fraley, the Dressing Room. A donor to the clothing closet for many years, since retiring as a teacher, Fraley has given many hours to the Dressing Room and encouraged her friends and family to do the same.
Helen and Jim Fout, River Cities Harvest. Helen Fout was honored for carrying on the work of her husband, the founder of River Cities Harvest who died late last year. The two were honored for their “giving spirits and tireless dedication to fighting hunger” during a period of more than 20 years.
Rhonda Nunley, Greenup County Habitat for Humanity. Since becoming a Habitat volunteer in 2006, Nunley has served as board president for two years and is “passionate in her efforts to serve others,” Johnson said.
William “Bill” Leach, American Red Cross. “His passion for the mission of the Red Cross has inspired many to get involved with the Boyd County Chapter,” Johnson said.
Tina Mussetter, Friends of the Children. She was honored for having a “servant’s heart and a particular tenderness for people in need,” Johnson said. Many times she has personally gone with children to get new clothes.
Dr. Lauren Miller, Hope’s Place. One of three volunteer doctors who perform medical examinations of young victims of sexual abuse, Miller examined 19 of the 69 children examined at Hope’s Place in 2012. She also helped organize and implement medical services through the agency.
Vance and Ella Mae Huston, Greenup Meals on Wheels. Vance Huston is a dependable driver for the program and Ella Mae Huston is a kitchen helper for the program. The couple also are involved in many other volunteer activities in Greenup County.
Sandra Brammell, CAReS. After retiring from King’s Daughter Medical Center, Brammell began helping clients sign up for the participation cards required to receive services from any agency in The Neighborhood. She soon became the receptionist at CAReS and helps the director coordinate volunteers.
Nina Schmidt, Helping Hands. She is volunteer coordinator for the agency in Greenup and assists with fundraising and other activities.
Fidelia Eze, Community Hospice. A Hospice volunteer since 1999, Eze visits patients at Oakmont and Wurtland nursing facilities where she is “always willing to sing and dance for those she visits,” Johnson said.
Frank Maggard, Ashland Community Kitchen. Since 2009, Maggard has volunteered for Meals on Wheels and has been a daily volunteer in the kitchen.
Carrie Stambaugh, Big Brothers/Bid Sisters. She has served as a Big Sister for Little Sister Regina for six years, and was lot manager for the 2012 Christmas tree sales. The nonprofit agency called her an “exemplary Big Sister who is very concerned with the welfare, education and development of her Little Sister.”
JOHN CANNON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2649.