Ashe County Sharing Center Program Facilitator Michael Sexton is this year’s recipient of the Dennis G. Hatchell Community Leadership Award, presented by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.
“I was really overwhelmed and surprised,” Sexton said. “It is a very high honor.”
Sexton was named at the organization’s 11th annual Agency Conference in Winston-Salem. The event coincides with Hunger Action Month, which occurs throughout September.
The Sharing Center is supported by more than 120 volunteers that represent 12 multi-denominational churches.
“I just wanted to thank the board of directors of the Ashe County Sharing Center, and all of the many volunteers who make our mission possible each day for their support,” Sexton said.
The award is named for Hatchell, President and CEO of The Pantry and a former board chair for Second Harvest. It is given to those who show leadership through integrity, excellence, innovation, compassion and effectiveness.
“We are pleased and proud to recognize Michael Sexton for his exemplary leadership in service to the people of Ashe County and contagious passions for the mission of the Ashe County Sharing Center,” Clyde Fitzgerald, Executive Director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest N.C. said in a press release. “Michael is an inspiration to all of us who stand with him in the shared vision of an end to hunger in our communities.”
Kelly Vannoy, chairperson of the Board of Directors said she was ecstatic and surprised that Sexton won the award.
The Second Harvest Food Bank represents 18 counties in the Northwestern part of the state including Ashe and over 300 different agencies. Combined, the food bank serves more than 300,000 people in need of assistance every year.
A generous donation
The Ashe County Sharing Center is also looking at the possibility of relocating from its 3rd Ave location.
“A generous donor has made available to the Ashe County Sharing Center a gift of a brand new building that would be custom built,” Sexton said.
Sexton said the center is looking for landowners who can either donate the land for a tax write-off or land the Sharing Center can purchase for a cheap rate within the city limits of West Jefferson.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Sharing Center to have a solid foundation,” he said.
Those who are aware of land for a new building can call the Sharing Center at (336) 846-7019.