About 80 people attended the annual Center for Human Services' award luncheon at the Sedalia Country Club on Friday.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Receiving the CHS's Volunteer of the Year award was Betty Hopkins for her outstanding generosity.

CHS Executive Director Ann Graff read aloud a couple of comments from former Sedalia Mary "Punky" McLaughlin and Dr. Marsha Drennon reference Hopkins' ample humanitarian influences around the world.

McLaughlin described herself as a member of the Betty Hopkins Fan Club while residing in Chicago. "When I think about you, Betty, I think about a how generously and unselfishly you've given of yourself to children and young people all over the world. Your presence is felt in Africa, Asia, Europe and Sedalia, Missouri ... we appreciate you Betty and we salute you," the message read in part.

"You Betty, are an extraordinary individual who sees the very best in everyone," added Dr. Drennon.

"I do love Sedalia and I thank you," Hopkins said with tears in her eyes. "I love all of you. Keep on being good. I really do appreciate Sedalia, thank you."

The Marines' Toys for Tots program also received and Outstanding Generosity award from CHS.

Anthony Hubbleston, a department manager at the Sedalia Wal-Mart, and Jorge Guevara with GUESA USA, LLC, both received the CHS' Outstanding Employment Opportunities award.

Hubbleston did not attend the event, but Jorge and his wife Meagan did, and was thankful to receive the award.

"Something I've learned throughout the years is that we have to learn how to learn ... and by giving that opportunity to understand how older folks learn, we can give the opportunity to a lot of people to become someday in middle life without limitations, and that's what I love about this program," Guevara said.

Community Involvement awards were presented to Garnetta Sullivan of Sullivan Creative and to Ciara Pennock with Pettis County health Center.

According to Dr. Mark Register, administration and intake manager of the employment services division at CHS, "Sullivan has established herself as a stanch supporter of the individuals for whom we advocate," he said.

"This is a wonderful organization. What you do for people is beyond compare to change lives endlessly. And I am so pleased to be just a little part of that, so thank you for all you do,' Sullivan said in her brief acceptance speech.

Pennock said working with the staff at Early Head Start makes her job easy. "It's amazing, I get to spend most of my days going around educating children, teaching them life lessons and then learning from them as well, so thank you very much," she said.

Annette Owens and Sara Zimmerschied were named CHS employees of the year. The winners were chosen from the past year's employees of the month based on the best scores. Part of the criteria in being named top employees was not only ability to do their job well as lead others, but to embody the mission of CHS. Zimmerschied was recently promoted to program supervisor at Tradewinds, Inc. And Owens helps hire the excellent staff at CHS, according to Graff.

Ray Haley received the CHS Lifetime Achievement Award. Haley retired from Alcan Cable and also served on the CHS board from 1992 to 2015, as treasurer for the Cooperative Workshop, Inc., for five years and as secretary for five years. He was honored for his financial and volunteer support over the past 25 years.

Five individuals were cited for achieving outstanding personal growth in the past year, including "John Boy" Gill (community living), Jessica Todd (service coordination), Quinn Cooper (employment services), Karen Tow (employment services) and Cristian Estrada (family & child development).

The stated mission of CHS is "Overcoming barriers to achieve a fulfilled life" while the CHS vision is "Life without limitations."

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