SHERIDAN — The Good Samaritan Awards will be held tomorrow night at the Holiday Inn, recognizing the people of the Sheridan community that quietly and selflessly serve others.
Don Warriner, captain at The Salvation Army, said they received 25 nominations and the board selected eight highly deserving individuals or couples representing a variety of organizations.
“I’m a firm believer that if a community works together, we can create a better environment — we can create something special,” he said.
The evening will commence at 5 p.m. and will include dinner and a keynote speech from Irene Deanda Lewis, executive director of the Los Angeles Red Shield Youth and Community Center, for $30.
For more information or tickets visit The Salvation Army office at 150 S. Tschirgi St., the store at 956 Coffeen Ave. or call 672-2444.
Good Samaritans Jerry and Judy Prescott
Nominated by Alan Weakly
In Weakly’s words:
I am nominating both Jerry and his wife, Judy, for this award because they started the Story Food Pantry in June 2012 and have run the program out of the Story fire Department Building. They are both involved with the Story Totes program which provides meals to school children.
The Prescotts’ thoughts:
My husband felt like he got a message from God that he needed to do that, so he is very focused on that, but we just love to give back to our community and now that we were so fortunate to have an early retirement, we are able to do that.
Good Samaritan Dick Warren
Nominated by Rex Arney
In Arney’s words:
I met Dick through the First Presbyterian Church and learned about him, his career with the Forest Service, his battle with and survival of cancer and his commitment to serving others after he and his wife moved to Sheridan. Dick does his good deeds and good works without expecting or even wanting any acknowledgement or reward for what he does. In fact, he seems to avoid it. What I know about Dick includes his involvement and being a part of the Senior Center — helping people with their taxes and being part of the Senior Center’s choir, the Sheridanaires — and helping with Lunch Together. In the church, he volunteers for the annual cleanup for Camp Story, is a member of the bell choir and vocal choir and has been on mission trips to Pearlington, Miss., and Texas City, Texas, helping in the recovery from disasters. This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson captures what Dick is all about: “The purpose of life is not to be happy, it is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
What Arney didn’t know:
Warren also volunteers at Camp Make a Dream, a camp for kids with cancer in Montana, as well as the Sheridan County Dog and Cat Shelter, the Peoples Assistance Food Bank, the Big Horn Wild and Scenic Run and the Sheridan County Hospital.
When I was growing up there were several people who helped me in various ways and I’m in a position now where I can pay back some of that. I’m sure there are a lot more deserving people than me out there, I was quite surprised when the captain called and told me about it. I don’t think most volunteers do it for this kind of recognition. The look on a dog’s face when you walk in the shelter to play with him or a smile from someone you’ve help, that’s what they do it for.
Good Samaritan Jim Schlenker
Nominated by Don Warriner
In Warriner’s words:
Jim works with the homeless veterans program collecting items needed at move-in. He pays for the storage of items with his own money. He also volunteers at the VA hospital representing the American Legion and the Sons of the American Legion. He was also one of the main people in the field of honor at the college. He is a part of the American Legion Color Guard, presenting the colors at military funerals and anywhere else the color guard is needed. He is also the Red Cross point of contact for Sheridan. He was the one that set up the warming shelter in the October snow storm.
I’m a disabled veteran and even though I can’t work I can’t just not work, especially when there’s so many people in need. I’ll just say that God’s kept me alive and I think for this purpose, to help people. In ‘79 I put my military uniform back on one day, looked in the mirror and I said, ‘Well, I can no longer serve my country but I can still serve my countryman,’ and that’s how I got involved with the Red Cross. When my health changed and I could no longer do that, I knew there was always a need to fill wherever I may be.
Good Samaritans Karl and Donna Hunt
Nominated by Gerry Pelesky
In Pelesky’s words:
This couple started Joy Junction probably 30 or 40 years ago. They started out with a few kids and now the population of Joy Junction, which meets at the YMCA every Sunday, has grown to approximately 50 kids. Volunteers use six buses to pick-up kids in Sheridan and return them home after Joy Junction. Karl and Donna started summer bible school too. Attendance of that is several hundred kids. They have been a blessing to Sheridan.
Good Samaritan Don Knievel
Nominated by Charles Whiton
In Whiton’s words:
Don is probably the most giving person I have ever met. He ran most of the kid’s programs at the YMCA for years and always had time for every kid. Also, he now takes veterans with disabilities to coffee, treating them to his time and conversation.
A lot of good people have done a lot of good things to me and it’s important to give back. A lot of the seniors I see are veterans who served in the war and I feel like it’s an important generation to give my services to and spend time with. I also feel a calling to serve the lord and those are all important reasons to give back to me.
Good Samaritan Jo Forbes
Nominated by Susan Carr
In Carr’s words:
Jo has one of the biggest hearts and souls of anyone I have known or worked with. She works part time as the Sheridan County CASA Coordinator but goes way behind in her tireless work and dedication she gives to children and families in Sheridan. She makes sure that each and every child who needs a voice is heard. She is spending her off-duty time going and visiting children in residential treatment centers, foster homes, schools, just to make sure they are doing well. She gives never-ending support of her volunteer advocates and makes sure they have everything they need to work for kiddos. She volunteers at her church and works in the schools as a sub. She judges Science Fair contests and is willing to do anything and everything to make sure the job gets done. In everything she does, she goes above and beyond to help her neighbors, children and families. There’s just nothing this woman won’t do to make sure a child has what they need to succeed. It is an honor and a joy to work with her and see her work her magic.
Good Samaritans Lou and Charise Westphal
Nominated by Shelli Lapp
In Lapp’s words:
Lou and Charise are selfless in their random acts of kindness. Examples are: donating their time to fix plumbing, donating food and other essential items, supplying motel rooms for the homeless and are always available for anything that is asked of them. The Sheridan Angels appreciate them and are proud to nominate them for this award.
The Westphals’ thoughts:
We believe there’s a difference between the human and the animal world and one thing that sets us apart in life is being humane, which means helping when you can if you can. Christ himself said love others as you love yourself. It can be hard to love yourself first but once you can do that it’s easy to love others. It’s a spiritual thing really.
Good Samaritan Doris Case
Nominated by Zena Husman
In Husman’s words:
For 50+ years I have had the privilege to know Doris Case. As long as I can remember, her mission in life has been to help others and give of herself selflessly. During her lifetime, Doris has volunteered for many community organizations in Sheridan as well as performing acts of kindness. She has volunteered in the Girl Scout program since 1961 and has served as a leader and role model for a multitude of age groups throughout the years. As an active member of the First Methodist Church, Doris has served on the Board of Trustees and taught Sunday School for 13 years. She is the church’s librarian and an usher for church services. Doris has volunteered for 11 years in the community soup kitchen. Since Doris’ husband Fred has been a member of the Kalif Shrine, Doris has been a very active supporter to this organization and has volunteered to cook many meals for the different committees when they have their get togethers. Doris is also very active in the Sheridan Masonic Order as a Beauceant of the Ladies of the Knight Templar. She has also served on the Job’s Daughters Bethel Guardian Council for more than 15 years as the Custodian of Paraphernalia. Another example of Doris’ kindness and commitment to helping others is her frequent visits to the local nursing homes. It never ceases to amaze me how Doris gives of herself and her time so freely from the heart and in this process always has fun doing it.
I always enjoy giving back to the community, especially working with children. I’ve been doing it for so long now I would not know what to do with myself if I didn’t. I just enjoy it.