Adult Services Expo recognizes community members
A celebration of seniors and adults with disabilities was held at the Boone Mall Tuesday, drawing a diverse cross-section of Watauga County residents.
The eighth annual Adult Services Expo was organized through a partnership of local agencies, highlighting caregivers and the contributions of various community members. The event featured nearly 20 area agencies, businesses and service organizations.
Juanita Wilson, a resident of Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation of Boone, was recognized as "Facility Resident of the Year" Tuesday.
Other award winners recognized at the event were Carolyn Owens, Caregiver of the Year; Hubert Ward, Individual with Disabilities Citizen of the Year; Annie Bell Grimes, Centenarian of the Year; and Shirley Overbay, Volunteer of the Year.
Overbay encouraged others to volunteer in local facilities, saying she was inspired after helping a neighbor move into an assisted-living facility.
"I got to know the people there, and when you visit, you just fall in love with the people," she said. "You become family and you miss them when you can't be there."
Overbay said volunteering brought a feeling of fulfillment and said she'd had a wonderful year serving at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living in Boone.
"When you volunteer, you get back more than you give," she said. "Find something you really enjoy doing and get involved. It's a different world."
During her emotional speech, she said, "I don't feel like I deserve this. I know there are lots of others out there doing more than me. I'm accepting this on behalf of them."
Joey Souder with the Watauga County Project on Aging introduced Ward, who still works on cars despite impaired vision. He is also active in his church and serves on the North Carolina Council of the Blind. "He is disabled by sight, but not by will or by faith," Souder said.
Ellen Harrell, co-chairwoman of the event for Appalachian Home Care, said the event was an opportunity to educate the community about the different services performed in the county.