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North Carolina Community Hall Of Fame


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Angelena Kearney-Dunlap, Warrenton, North Carolina. Winning Citizen: Angelena is a tireless servant to the Warrenton, NC community. She serves the community, its youth, her church and the county in her position as Clerk to the Board of Commissioners. She has excelled in every endeavor and maintains a kind and pure spirit that is an example to all. Angelena was a child of integration, yet she bears no grudges; she has always loved traveling; she started a travel agency. She desired to work as a missionary; she is Chairperson of the Missionary Board and she makes an annual trip to serve in South America. She is the “go-to-girl.” By Charlotte Kelly

Chad Tucker. Stokes County, North Carolina. Winning Citizen/Benefactor: Award winning Fox 8 WGHP news anchor Chad Tucker does more than deliver the latest news. He is a champion for homeless animals.  After the adoption of his rescue dog Otis, whose Facebook page has helped increase the awareness of adoptable pets, this animal advocate continues to use his talents to spread the word about cruelty cases like that of Susie, an 8-week-old mixed breed dog that was found beaten and set on fire in a Guilford County park in 2009. Susie’s story helped strengthen North Carolina’s animal abuse law which now bears her name. By Ellen Richardson

Christopher W. Hellier and his dog Raleigh. Kemersville, North Carolina. Winning Samaritans: Christopher’s therapy do is a wonderful Golden Retriever named Raleigh. Raleigh and his master. Chris Hellier, have devoted much of their free time to visiting hospitals & nursing homes. Raleigh has gone through extensive training as a therapy dog and also is a member of a crisis response team. Together the two of them visit hospitals and nursing homes to help the patients and residents respond in a positive way.  Chris is retired and spends his time helping others.  He and his Golden Retrieve Raleigh are members of Hope Animal Assisted Crises Response Team and they have taken part in a number of organizations such as Special Olympics, Victor Junction and Fema. By Gail Gentry

Christy Broome-Hunt, Huntersville, North Carolina. Winner Against the Odds: As a child, her parents physically and emotionally abused Christy. At the young age of fourteen she was married and having her first child. By the time, she was eighteen she had two children, was divorced, and had only a seventh grade education. Although her life seemed too hard to bear at times, Christy is now 37, re-married, and working on her second bachelor’s degree. Christy is also the owner of Hunt’s Tax Service; and is opening a new Healing Facility that offers help to those that have experience emotional trauma and need help healing. By Toni Leanna Hunt.

Claire S., Canton NC. Winner Against the Odds: Claire has fought many grueling battles making her a winner and a survivor. Within two years, she had four traumatic health events change her life forever. Now she stays strong and lives a normal, healthy life with her daughters and son. By Harold Richard Sanford

Dino Gaudio, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, Winning Coach: The community just lost its head basketball coach, Skip Prosser at age 56 because of an unexpected heart attack. In the three weeks since the tragedy, the community has rallied around his former assistant, who has since been given the head coaches job. Gaudio, a cancer survivor, had been with Coach Prosser for over 25 years and felt a little hesitant about taking the job at first, but knows that the team and other members of the Wake Forest staff need his leadership and guidance to help them all overcome the loss of the much-revered Prosser. Gaudio’s presence and leadership should help a great deal in the grieving process. By Marc Pruitt

Doug Blevins, Asheville North Carolina. Winning Coach: Americas first handicapped NFL coach, made it and beat all odds despite what people said. Saw the SuperBowl and dreams came true. By Roman Blevins

Dustin Jones, Greensboro, North Carolina. Winning Citizen: This Greensboro firefighter was on vacation in Cherry Grove with child and wife who was a nurse, when their skills were put to the test. They found a three year old child lifeless at the beach and revived her. The girl had been under water for at least a minute. She survived because of their heroic effort. By John Smith

Emmanuel “Manny” Ohonme, Kannapolis, North Carolina. Winning Samaritan: Around 1980 this Nigerian boy got his first shoes. He excelled in sports. Offered a scholarship in the USA to play basketball, he attended University of North Carolina. After graduation, he got an executive position. But Manny couldn’t forget the shoeless kids back home. He founded Samaritan’s Feet which distributes free shoes around the world. By Arlene Showalter

Jennifer Pharr Davis, Asheville North Carolina. Winning Athlete: Men held the thru-hike record on the 2,168.1-mile Appalachian Trail for 40 years. Then came Jennifer Pharr Davis who hiked 16 hours a day to finish her journey in 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes. Davis beat the previous record by 26 hours. She was chosen as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2012. By Debra Maddox

Jock Brandis, Wilmington, North Carolina, Winning Benefactor: Founder of the Full Belly Project and one of the Universal Nut Sheller’s inventors, and his passion for helping others is evident. The Full Belly Project Ltd is a non-profit organization based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, which designs labor-saving devices to improve the lives of people in developing countries. At present one of their primary objectives is to increase the cost effectiveness of peanut agriculture as a means of sustainable development in those countries, through the development of affordable appropriate technology which they place in the public domain. There are an estimated half billion people across the globe in over 100 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions and particularly in Africa, dependent upon peanuts as a primary source of protein. By LJ Bottjer (aka Mona)

Joshua, Raleigh North Carolina. Winning Educator: As the child of a single mother, whose dad was in jail during most of his youth, Joshua knows first-hand some of the hardest challenges that kids face in the Boys & Girls Club he directs. He’s worked directly with gang kids, and cheated death by just one inch when a drive-by bullet smashed into his car and only grazed his cheek, next to his eye. That’s why, as he worked toward his master’s degree in recreation while growing the Club’s programs for at-risk youth, he was taken aback by one boy’s question. “One of the kids asked me, ‘Does this mean that you’re going to leave the Club?’ and I said, ‘Maybe, someday.’ And he said, ‘If you leave the Club, we’re probably going to quit school.’ “To hear a 12-year-old say that and be dead serious … you realize we are big brothers and uncles and in some cases, dads to these kids. We cannot make silly decisions about how we use our time.” By Carlene Byron

Katlyn, Mount Holly, North Carolina. Winner Against the Odds: Katlyn is a little girl who was born with legs that didn’t work, so she spent her early years either being carried or in a wheelchair. The tendons were too short, so she could not stand or straighten her legs. There were surgeries, physical therapists, positive moments, and setbacks. Her parents, unable to have more children, said their dream was that one day, Katlyn would walk in church. After one particular trip to Raleigh for surgery, Katlyn spent time in two casts, holding her legs straight. Then there were braces, and other devices. She was only in elementary school, but she was determined that one day, she would walk. During Sunday services, there is a moment when the children are asked to bring their offering up to a wooden box in front of the altar. One Sunday, with a walker instead of a wheelchair, Katlyn tried. The room was silent as she slid from the pew, took the walker in her little hands, and, very, very slowly, walked to put her dollar in the box. She had conquered and done what doctors had said she would not do. By Kathy Blake

Leigh Ellis, Hickory, North Carolina. Winning Teacher: Too many times a good teacher gets overlooked for all their hard work and support. Ms. Ellis is one of the best teachers at Blackburn Elementary School. She will even go out of her way to help any child feel special. She would be a great candidate for this honor because she not only lets the parents know when their child is bad but when they do good as well. She can teach anything to any child even the hard to reach ones. By Angie Coulter.

Luci McMillan, Durham North Carolina. Good Samaritan: From nursing heart  patients to giving advice to potential heart  patients, Luci McMillan has been involved with heart health most of her adult life.  Her dedication to this worthy cause has elevated her to the status of a winner within the Durham community. She worked 35 years as a cardiac nurse at Duke University Medical Center, and in retirement continues to make a profound difference as an advocate for heart disease prevention.  After attending a symposium at the Mayo Clinic where she received training as a heart advocate, she combined her skills and training and went on a mission to educate people on heart disease.  This devastating disease is  the number one killer of women and Luci’s platform is women hearts. A genuine person with a gentle spirit , accompany by a strong voice, Luci can be found speaking at health fairs, churches, support groups or wherever her voice is needed. Luci own battle with heart disease gives her additional fuel to take a crowd by storm.  She captures an audience by the sincerity and authenticity of her words. To stay current on health issues, she solicits information from various health organizations and state and national elected officials. She recently received  correspondence on health issues  from First Lady Michelle Obama. Luci is involved with several other causes in the community, yet, she finds a way to link heart health to each of them. The work is never finished for Durham’s Heart Lady as she strives to save one heart at a time.  In explaining her tireless efforts as a heart advocate, she said, “It all comes from the heart.” By Grace Graham

Venerable Dr. Pannavati. Ashland, North Carolina. Winning Samaritan: Ven. Dr. Pannavati, is co-founder of Embracing-Simplicity Hermitage in Hendersonville, NC. A black, female Buddhist monk. Ven. Pannavati founded My Place, Inc. in Hendersonville, which has housed more than 75 homeless youth between the ages of 17 and 23 over the past four years. That effort has evolved into the social enterprise, My Gluten Free Bread Company which has its own academic platform, jobs training program and residential program. By Wayne Porter

Pansy Wallace, Raleigh-Durham North Carolina, Winner against the Odds: She is a baby boomer whose high expectations for her life were thwarted by the reality of love members returning from the war with incurable diseases which caused her family to deal with never ending medical expenses. Added to this was an unpredictable economy that forced her to relocate and start anew. Despite her disappointments she pressed on, in a job without a lot of glory and stay true to what she believed to be the most important — loving people. She made a success out of her life. This past summer, she built a brand new brick home. She is the story of the every day person making a difference. By Daura Drumgoole

Ryan, Hendersonville, North Carolina. Winner Against the Odds: He began school with epilepsy. The cure was worse than the treatment. There was the phenobarbital which split his personality and caused episodes of violence, the Neurontin which made him sleep most of the time, and Valproic acid which caused hair loss and irritability. When the seizures again spiraled out of control, this time Ryan went for brain surgery. A slow, hard climb has brought him to where he is today—owner of his own business. By Jo Freeman

Scott Holmes, Durham, North Carolina. Winning Citizen: Attorney Scott Holmes is most known for his pro bono defense of “Moral Monday” protestors at the state capital. He recently started and now runs a law clinic at a local university… a humanitarian, human rights activist, peace-loving Quaker, father, singer in a band, actor and all around good guy with plans to launch a restorative justice program this year. By Stephen Raburn

Terrance Evins, Oxford, North Carolina, Winning Athlete/Educator: Owner and head instructor of King Tiger Academy of North Charlotte, he has taken the world of martial arts by storm. In a sport where African-American role models aren’t plentiful, Evins didn’t let that stop him from achieving and thriving. Educated at East Carolina University, Evins has a BS in Psychology/Child Development. The former collegiate, state and national champion in forms and sparring has received multiple honors since beginning in the world of Tae Kwon Do martial arts. Since that time Evin’s accomplishments continued: State Director for the Philippine Martial Arts Alliance, Hall of Fame Speaker Award through Amerinational Service 2007 and Action Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee for Excellence in Teaching 2007. In September 2007, Evins successfully completed the rigorous Ultimate Black Belt Challenge. Under Evins leadership, King Tiger Academy has received honors such as: Top 10 School Award for US and Canada through Amerinational Service 2006 and 2007 consecutively, produced several local, state, national and international champions. By John Burton, Jr.

Terry Rodwell, Raleigh, North Carolina. Winning Humanitarian: Terry Rodwell touches people’s lives everyday. This man works with developmentally disabled children and adolescents. These children have limited mobility, have limited functionality, and have limited lives. Terry does not get recognized for his work, no one has given him any awards or recognition. Terry Rodwell is an ordinary man living an ordinary life with struggles and hardships like any other. Yet, when he goes to work, he is someone’s hero and someone’s savior. By Lanya S. Savage

Tisha Caldwell Broome, Cornelius, North Carolina. Winner Against the Odds: Tisha is one of the strongest women I know. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 36 was a shock to our entire family. After winning the battle, in 2008 her doctor diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis. While taking the ongoing treatments for MS she developed a severe case of Crohn’s disease. Currently Tisha has weekly treatments for both MS and Crohn’s. Tisha works full-time and travels across the world helping women and men, she also assist her husband in running Garage Doors & More of the Piedmont in Cornelius NC. Being a wife, mother of two boys and working a full-time and part-time job is a big challenge, but adding the multiple illnesses truly makes her a winner. By Christi Broome.

Tony, Mooresville, North Carolina. Winner Against the Odds: Tony has been a racing car driver, master mechanic, then crew chief. But one day something gave way. He had a stroke. However, it took him only three months to regain his physical capability. Tony looked forward to therapy and considered it a challenge. He tried to do everything with his weak hand- picking up things, putting on clothes, working a wrench, etc. He also practiced standing in the doorway on his weak leg. Tony wanted to go down to Daytona at the end of January to test cars. His goal? Go there without a cane or brace. And so he did. By Bob Guns, PhD