By David H Prigg
Nominations were plentiful for the 2013 Dimple Globe Awards. The selections made by the Dimple Globe Award Committee of the United Fund did not come easy. It has once again been proven that the people of Cumberland County care about their neighbors. But, after several round table discussions and numerous votes the decisions have been made. “Shining a light on neighbors making a difference” is the essence of the Dimple Globe Awards, and we believe you should join us in congratulating these generous people who give of their time and effort to make Cumberland County a great place to live.
The honorees will receive their awards at the eighth annual Dimple Globe Awards banquet held in their honor on April 6 at the Community and Conference Center in Fairfield Glade. Reservations for this gala event can be obtained from the United Fund office at 348 Taylor St. in Crossville or by calling 484-4082. Come and hear remarkable stories of your neighbors who are making a difference.
Now, for the names of the Honorees:
Dorothy Brush the “Community Communicator”: One of the most enjoyable times spent in reading the Crossville Chronicle has been the columns of Dorothy Brush. For over 25 years Brush has entertained us, educated us and even made us laugh. In writing over 1,000 columns, she has never been late for a deadline. This recipient has contributed to the lives of everyone in Cumberland County. A nonagenarian who has recently celebrated her 70th wedding Anniversary with her husband Earle, Dorothy is a pure delight. You definitely don’t want to miss meeting this Community Communicator.
Don Alexander, the “Ablest Administrator”: If you live in Cumberland County, you know Don Alexander. Sitting on over seven boards, ranging from Hospice, United Fund, Crossville Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce and LBJ & C Head Start, it is easy to see why Alexander feels that making a difference is what life is all about. His 27 years as executive director of the Crossville Housing Authority won him the proclamation that, in Crossville TN, July 19, 2007 was to be known as Don Alexander Day. Receiving numerous awards throughout his life Alexander is a quiet servant. You may not hear a lot about him but if you want something done and done right, call Don. He is our Ablest Administrator.
Paul Wennemark, the “Retiree of the Year “: Retiring doesn’t mean you sit back and relax. To Wennemark, it only means the opportunity to work harder. Moving to Tennessee in 2004, he immediately became active in missions work. As Wennemark states, he has a passion for missions. He feels that helping those who are in need is what it’s all about. Over the years he has gone on 28 missions, from Russia to Puerto Rico to Mexico, and to where ever he can offer assistance in helping others. Is that all he does? No. He is a 32nd degree Mason and past president of the Fairfield Glade Rotary. As a former Boy Scout Leader Wennemark has helped the young men in his area become all that they could be. He may be retired, but his passion to help others is stronger than ever.
Lisa and Andy O’Connor, for “Community Spirit”: A dedicated couple who make a big difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cumberland County. They serve as coordinators for The Arc Cumberland County Structured Athletics (SACC) program. Always being the ones to facilitate and organizing sporting events throughout the year, they help people from the age of four to greater than 80 years of age. The O’Connors believe “the more you give the more you reap.” Raising two children diagnosed with autism doesn’t hold them back, as they can always be seen working with SACC and the special needs people of Cumberland County. Come hear the heart wrenching story of how they got involved and what it means to the people of Cumberland County.
Barbara Thornhill the “Straight Shooter”: For more than 30 years Thornhill has worked in Cumberland County in the area of Public Relations, mostly behind the scenes. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, she has worked hard to benefit all who she has come in contact with and tells it like it is. Starting at CMC, she eventually became the public relations director. Moving ever forward, her talents were needed at the Crossville Vocational School, now known as Tennessee Technology Center of Crossville. Her proudest moments were when she could help others decide what to do with their lives. As she says, she is passionate about untraditional people. Advancing the conception and promoting Tennessee Technology Center has always been one of her main concerns. She has traveled constantly to other Counties surrounding Cumberland County promoting TTC of Crossville. Thornhill has a sincere interest in genealogy and during retirement plans on pursuing and initiating Scottish events in our community. Her story needs to be heard.
Dr. Harold and Diana Lowe the “Gumption Award”: Dr. Lowe, a retired cardiologist, moved to Crossville in 2002. He soon saw there was a need for a source of health care for the underinsured and noninsured people of Cumberland County and surrounding areas. He and Lowe worked hard to find people who would help and eventually opened the “Rural Clinic” now located on Sparta Hwy. Opening in June of 2007 they now see 50-60 patients per week, offering general x-rays, low cost lab work, and Rx Assistance. Dr. Lowe, at a spry 82 years of age, now has help from a nurse practitioner and several volunteers. Lowe serves as executive director and works hard in raising sufficient funds to keep the clinic open. Both are fearful that the National Health Care Act might close the clinic. In dedicating over 30 hours per week to the clinic they put their patient’s needs above their own. Caring about their fellow man and working hard throughout their lives shows a great deal of gumption.
Of course, we can’t forget our high school honorees who will impress you and give you hope for the future.
Destinee Dowdy, Stone Memorial High School: A talented young lady who devotes the majority of her time in helping others. Besides holding down two jobs, she is president of the Teen Advisory Group of the Art Circle Public Library, tutors elementary students, serves as student council vice president, and is the SMHS school board student representative. Dowdy has won the City of Crossville’s Christmas card contest with her art work and the VEC short essay contest with her composition entitled, “Electricity Cooperatives: iPower the Future.” Her plans following high school are to attend the University of Tennessee and work toward a degree in mass communications.
Robert Uebelacker III, Cumberland County High School: While in high school, you can accomplish nothing or you can accomplish a lot. Robert has accomplished it all. A student with a 4.0 GPA, captain of the CCHS Baseball Team, nominated to attend the Air Force Academy, already accepted into the Honors College at Mississippi State University on scholarship, CCHS Student Representative to the school board, student leader in Attic (a youth group at the Cumberland Fellowship Church), working at TAD (Teens Against Drugs) and, upon attending Tennessee Boys State in 2012, was elected supreme court justice. These are only a sampling from his already long resume. A great example of what you can do with your life at such a young age.
There you have it. The Dimple Globe Award Committee will “Shine a light on these neighbors who make a difference.” You have heard only a small part of their stories. Please call the United Fund office at 484-4082 and make your reservations for the April 6 banquet and learn the rest of the story.