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Gaston County Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers

June 21, 2022

Gaston Business Association

Kevin Ellis

The Gaston Gazette

Three Gaston County residents have been awarded Governor Volunteer Service awards.

Eleanor Crank, 85, received the award for her service to the American Red Cross. During her 16 years of service Crank became nationally recognized as a feeding supervisor, organizing and running complex kitchens and meal service at some of the biggest crisis situations in our recent history including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires.

Amelia Lenke, manager for American Red Cross Disaster Services, stated “While it was safe and she was able, Eleanor would be ready to go, bags packed, eager to accept an assignment to help disaster victims anywhere in the Country. Eleanor established such a positive reputation for her work, she would be requested by name to help the most overtasked response teams.”

Kay and John Blough received the award for service to Crisis Assistance Ministry.  For 15 years, the Bloughs have been food bank shoppers, meaning they go to Second Harvest Food Bank weekly to purchase discounted food for Crisis Assistance Ministry.

Together they logged more than 700 volunteer hours purchasing, organizing and packing food, increasing their volunteer hours during the pandemic, and helping distribute more than 1,500 food orders last year.

“Without Kay and John, CAM’s food pantry shelves would have far less food and be far less organized,” said CAM’s volunteer coordinator Jenny Moran.

As senior citizens, the Bloughs have been an inspiration to younger volunteer groups who have assisted CAM.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, which has been around since 1979, honors people who have shown concern and compassion for their neighbors by making a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service.

The United Way of Gaston County coordinates award nominee applications and makes recommendations to the state of North Carolina.

A reception was held to honor the recipients on June 14, 2022, followed by presentation of the awards by Barbara Yarbrough, local awards coordinator, at a meeting of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners.  The Commissioners also issued a proclamation recognizing the award recipients.



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