Thumbs of the Week: Local volunteers selected for awards

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Thumbs up to Mt. Juliet High School principal Mel Brown for his years of service in education. Mt. Juliet High School principal Mel Brown is set to retire June 30, and he reflected Tuesday on his path through education and his plans for retirement. Brown’s 45-year career features numerous roles, resulting in several personal and school awards and recognition. “I’ve always said, ‘if I could get to my back porch.’ That’s kind of my enjoyable place. They ask if I’m going to travel, what I’ll do and so on. I don’t know, but I know one thing, if I get all my ‘honey do’ jobs done, and I get to the back porch, I’m going to have a good day. I’m really just waiting for what the Lord’s got for me out there,” Brown said. 

 Thumbs up to our local Governor’s Volunteer Stars, Felicia Wharton and Marti Taylor. The awards will celebrate the efforts of 101 volunteers statewide who have strived to improve their communities through service. Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis will present the awards, and NewsChannel5 weekend anchor Jennifer Kraus will serve as emcee for the event. Felecia Wharton is Wilson County’s adult honoree for 2017. For the past 15 or so years, Wharton has spent her Thanksgivings organizing and working with members of her church, Market Street Church of Christ, to serve meals to families and members of the community who didn’t have meals or family with which to eat. Marti Taylor, 17, a student at Friendship Christian School is Wilson County’s 2017 youth honoree. Her teacher, Greg Armstrong, who is also a past Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award winner in Wilson County, nominated Taylor. The Wilson County committee selected Taylor for the honor for her work with special needs children, food drives, Thanksgiving meals for people in Hancock County and a local homeless ministry. Taylor works with Run4Water by volunteering her time both locally and globally helping to solve the water crisis in the world and was instrumental in beginning ‘84 days,’ a women’s ministry that provides feminine hygiene products to women in need. Because of Taylor’s initiative, 84 Days provided feminine hygiene products to women and girls in Uganda, Kenya, Nicaragua and in the U.S. The 84 Days program provides hygiene products, teaches self-defense and health and sanitation when applicable. It also strives to provide micro business opportunities for women.  

Thumbs up to Anthony Vaught who was moved out of intensive care last week at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after a train hit the tractor he was driving Jan. 4. According to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore, Vaught was significantly injured after he apparently didn’t see or hear the train coming. Paramedics took Vaught by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The train conductor wasn’t charged. The Vaught family hopes he will be able to return home next week.

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