On April 12, Extended Family Executive Director Laure Clemons was awarded the 2018 W.A. “Dub” Ellis Community Service Award.
Presented by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, this Award is given annually to an individual who demonstrates dedication of time and money to support activities promoting Cherokee County. It was named in honor of Dub Ellis, a Cherokee County business owner who was very instrumental in many projects that moved Cherokee County forward. He donated his time and advocated volunteerism in the Community.
Executive Director Thereasa Hulgan surprised Clemons during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting by naming her the winner of the Ellis Community Service Award.
"This year’s recipient has gone above and beyond advocating volunteerism for Cherokee County," Hulgan began, as she introduced the Award presentation. "Not only that, but has dedicated their life to helping those who need a helping hand and understanding of what their life is all about. Experiencing first hand, trials and tribulations in life, this person created a way to move forward from life’s sometimes, hard lessons."
Hulgan continued by saying, "What began some 15 years ago, they have been teaching families of prisoners how to successfully adjust to a new way of life by offering a free, solution-based approach to the prison experience. They developed a program for kids, a curriculum-based program for small groups of children who have a loved one incarcerated. It includes fun, flexible lessons that build self-esteem and communication skills, decrease stress, address anger issues, and increase a student's ability to make good choices."
Clemons was then called to the stage where Hulgan presented her with an engraved glass paperweight Award, handmade by Orbix Hot Glass.
"This year’s Dub Ellis Community Spirit Award is being presented to Laure Clemons for her dedication and commitment to the kids," Hulgan said.
Clemons was so surprised by the honor she burst into tears.
"I remember how Extended Family started 15 years ago," Clemons later said. "To be honored in this way by the community I love is a gift and a blessing. We will keep doing all we can for children of the incarcerated here and across the country. Thank you so much for recognizing how special this work is. I am so touched."