The Hardee Help Center held the Center’s 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Monday, February 4th at Florida’s First Assembly of God in Wauchula. The event attendance was 136, which included HHC Volunteers, Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign Bell Ringers, Hardee Help Center Board Members and Staff.
Attendees were welcomed by Amy Harper, HHC Executive Director, and the event was opened in prayer by Rev. Jeff Fowler, Senior Pastor at Florida’s First Assembly of God. A delicious barbeque meal of pulled pork, green beans, macaroni & cheese, and dinner roll was catered by Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ of Bowling Green. Pies were donated by Florida’s First Assembly of God. Pastor Harold Davis of Immanuel Baptist Church donated several of his famous pecan pies and iced tea was provided by McDonald’s Restaurant of Wauchula.
After the wonderful meal was enjoyed, the awards ceremony began. Ms. Harper greeted the guests and thanked everyone for their hard work and support. Ms. Harper then introduced HHC staff members Jill Vaillancourt, Laura Calvillo, Louise Baucom, Jamie Samuels, Kristy Tharp, and HHC Board Members, Pastor Joe Butler, Pastor Rod Cannon, Pastor Harold Davis, Pastor Dave Harper, and Pastor Scott Tharp.
The awards ceremony continued with Major Timothy Roberts of the Salvation Army, awarding certificates to the community churches, clubs, organizations, and RV parks that participated in the 2018 Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Major Timothy Roberts and wife, Janice, were honored for their 32 years of service in the Salvation Army. The Roberts’ are retiring in June 2019. Awards were announced for HHC volunteers, presented by HHC Volunteer Coordinator, Kristy Tharp and HHC Staff.
The HHC has special projects and campaigns throughout the year and volunteers were asked to stand and be recognized for their participation in the following: Community Food Rescue Pick Up, Office and Pantry Volunteering, Building and Maintenance Projects, Drive Out Hunger Campaign, Christmas Gift Shoppe, Stamp Out Hunger Campaign, Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, Love LOUD Campaign, Back to School and Summer Break Spot Programs, and Community Partnerships.
The event continued with Door Prize drawings. Door prizes were donated from the following community organizations: Bee Barn of Zolfo Springs, Bowl of Fun Lanes, Bowling Green Diner, Center for Great Apes, Center Hill Farm, Everglades Seasoning, Hardee County Fair Board, Hardee County Farm Bureau, Hardee County YMCA, Heartland Place, Java Café, Main Street Wauchula, Mater’z Steakhouse, Mosaic, Nicholas Family Restaurant, Paynes Creek Park, Peace River Electric Cooperative, SendMeMissions, and Vision Ace Hardware.
Following a fun candy contest, the event was concluded with prayer by HHC Board Member, Pastor Joe Butler. Before guests dispersed for the evening, a beautiful group photo was made to commemorate the event.
The Hardee Help Center is a Christ-centered community service organization bringing hope and healing to Hardee County families in difficult seasons of life. The Hardee Help Center would like to thank all the wonderful people who volunteer their time, talents, and resources to love and serve the people of the Hardee County.