Troutman Council recognizes community groups, students for service
Joyce Clodfelter, Leigh Payne, Kirsten Cash, Reagan Warlick, Gay Shafer and Jimmy Gentry accept recognition for Troutman Grange.
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council honored several local organizations and South Iredell High School students for their important contributions to their community during their meeting last week.
The council commended Troutman’s Grange organization on its 150th anniversary for its dedicated service to the community by retroactively declaring December 4 as “Troutman Grange Day.” Officially known as the Order of Patrons of the Husbandry, the N.C. Grange was founded on that date in 1875.
The organization is an active force in communities across the nation and advocates for rural America. The group’s members also help farmers implement cutting-edge farming practices, make crop improvements, and assist in effective marketing of farmers’ crops.
The Troutman Grange projects include conducting art contests and donating dictionaries to elementary students, sponsoring a community blood drive, holding food drives, serving meals at the Fifth Street Shelter, and delivering Meals on Wheels. The group also provides hot chocolate and cookies for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Dale Beatty accepts plaque honoring Purple Heart Homes.
PURPLE HEART HOMES
Dale Beatty accepted a commemorative plaque honoring Purple Heart Homes for its “Mission Complete” in helping local veteran Robert Stokes to make his home handicap accessible. The group landscaped the front yard and porch and refitted the bathrooms to aid Stokes to comfortably age in place. Stokes is a U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam and in the reserves.
Purple Heart Homes was founded in 2008 by John Gallina and Beatty, two combat wounded veterans. After being injured in Iraq in 2004 and returning home, the pair started the organization to ensure that other injured veterans got the same strong support and assistance that they received.
The group’s mission is to provide quality housing for disabled veterans that is functional and well-designed.
Beatty thanked the council for the honor and lauded the “great people” in Troutman. He noted the organization, with has chapters in eight states, started locally. “Getting injured in Iraq opened my eyes to the needs of veterans of all ages. We were honored and proud to help Mr. Stokes out,” he said.
Brenda Lopez-Torres, Victoria Jackson, Julia Hogan, Ruth ChanSui, Trinity Dutra, Taylor Kastor, and Alicia Brandon.
SOUTH IREDELL HIGH SCHOOL
SIHS teacher Judy Britton introduced a number of students and praised them for their service, character and positive attitudes and memorialized a nominated student who passed away in November.
Sixteen year-old James Sanders was posthumously honored for his “optimism, forgiving heart, and ongoing positive attitude.” Britton recounted his helpfulness and contributions to fellow students.
Sanders' help was particularly invaluable to Ms. Bostic, a new science teacher starting in January. Sanders helped to get settled and later gave her autistic son, who loved science, three home science kits he had outgrown. “He was a giving and selfless soul who touched so many lives,” said Britton.
Britton recognized Ruth Chan-Sui for the respect and positive attitude that she shows others, making them feel “welcome, valued, and important.”
Julia Hogan was honored for her compassion and heart for serving others. She has collected food donations to assist needy students and is in the process of setting up a formally approved food pantry at SIHS to help her classmates.
Taylor Kastor, vice president of Interact, has been an active community servant. She helped with the recent Team Milton fundraiser, assisted with the Rotary Santa Breakfast, and participated in the Relay for Life event. At the Balloon Rally, she was part of the Interact team that raised $18,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Britton also recognized four students, Trinity Dutra, Alicia Brandon, Brenda Lopez-Torres and Victoria Jackson, for their help in raising money to help Sander’s family with James’ medical experiences.
The ladies created camo ribbon pins and sold them to classmates, raising $600 in one week.