Their Work Speaks For Them By Robin Carter

Thirty Six Individuals Honored with President’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The Presidential Volunteer Achievement Award (PVSA) ceremony was held on April 23, 2017 at the Church of The Living God Temple #130. Ambassador Dr. Pauline Key from Atlanta, Georgia, CEO of Kingdom Awards presented the honors on behalf of the 44th President of the United States of America, President Barak Obama. The PVSA is a civil award and was established by Executive Order by President George W. Bush in 2003. The award was put into place to honor volunteers that give hundreds of hours per year helping others through the President’s Council on Service and Civic participation.

One of the key points stated by Dr. Key was, “Many of the community leaders selected to be honored do their work because they know it’s God’s will for them to serve others. These honorees have inspired Americans to make a commitment in servicing the community as well as the nation.” The PVSA Award program is managed in partnership with “Points of Light,” an international non-profit organization with the mission to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action to change the world.

There were a total of thirty six individuals who received the award. They have taken upon themselves to draw on their experiences, talents and passions to find opportunity in their community that best helps them to enrich their own lives through the service that they provide to others.

Among those Peorians honored were Vice Chief Bishop Leroy Smith Jr., Pastor, Church of The Living God #130; Diane Hines, a children’s advocate in the Community; Sharon Samuels Reed, Director of the Heritage Ensemble; Deacon Charles Hines; State Representative Jehan Gordon- Booth; Mayor Jim Ardis; Senator Dave Koehler; WEEK News Anchor Garry Moore; Councilwoman Denise Moore; Pastor Deveraux Hubbard; Loraine E. Bryson; Melody Irby Hulett, Preston Jackson; Pam Adams; and Daniel Duncan. Evangelist Albertine Hines, who received this distinguished award last year, was instrumental in recognizing and nominating some of the people in our community that continue to make a difference in the lives of those who are in need. Mrs. Hines stated, “I strongly believe that those unsung heroes should receive recognition, no matter their walk of life.” She added that, “It was awesome that the mayor made the proclamation that we celebrate this event every year as this will give the organization the opportunity to honor more citizens that volunteer their time toward positive change.”

There were many other notables honored at the ceremony, including, Dr. M. Tina Dupree, AKA, “The Chicken Lady.” Tina is the Founder of the Motivational Training Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her volunteer service and work ethic enabled her to become an entrepreneur. She stated that she previously worked in the Corporate Office of Church’s Chicken, but one day decided to visit one of the restaurants to help out and to get a feel for how the employees enjoyed their jobs. A child recognized her outside of her workplace and said, “Mom—that’s the “Chicken Lady.” From that point on, her company was able to incorporate this title into their business. Ms. Dupree has written five books, records audio books and DVD’s and currently conducts seminars entitled, “It’s Time to Invest in Yourself.”

In 2008, our local newspaper, The Traveler Weekly, Peoria’s Oldest Black Newspaper, as well as its Founder Mrs. Elise F. Allen, had the honor of receiving a PVSA through Christian Ambassadors, another certifying organization. The Traveler shared this honor with all past and future contributing writers and everyone involved in helping this historic newspaper, to be what it is today.