Nominations sought for annual Human Relations awards

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Human Relations Commission is seeking nominations for the 43rd Human Relations Awards. This year’s  theme, “Simply Amazing”, embraces the awe and wonder we often experience as we witness how Wilson residents give back to help their fellow neighbors.

“We are aware that many people dedicate hours to community projects and most of them do so without expecting an ounce of recognition,” said Renee Smith, Human Relations Director. “We are hoping people will take time to consider the folks they know in the community that deserve a pat on the back and then tell us their story.”

The prestigious Paul Lee Stevens Humanitarian Award is the highest honor the Commission bestows. Mr. Stevens was a well-known humanitarian in the Wilson community for nearly a quarter of a century. The recipients are those that have given unselfishly to help those of the neediest in our community.  Past winners have included community heroes such as June Sessoms, Kay Bunch, Daryl Woodard, Candy Taylor, Bishop Joseph Perry, Jr. and Otis Sherrod.

Several years ago, the Human Relations Commission expanded the awards to include a category called “Treasures of the Community”. These are a variety of awards including the Youth on the Move Award for a young citizen (k-12) for community involvement; the Inspirational Volunteer Award recognizing a volunteer that inspires other to participate;  the Community Initiative Award given to an individual or group that initiated a new program that helped or improved the Wilson Community; the Good Neighbor Award bestowed upon an individual for their contributions to society and the Community Spirit Award for a civic group or club that give back to the community.

“These additional categories allow us to recognize even more members of the community that give back,” said Smith. “There are so many that volunteer in our community. This is a chance to say thank you.”

The Commission asks nominators to step forward, complete the simple nomination form and attach a letter of recognition.

“The letter is the key to telling the story,” said Dave Allgood, the current longest serving member of the Commission. “The recommendation letter provides the details, paints the picture of the community need and how individuals are helping each other. The letters are inspirational and heartwarming. We look forward to receiving them each year.”

To celebrate with the nominees, and award the winners, the Human Relations Commission will hold its annual banquet on Friday, February 28, 2014 in the Darden Alumni Center, 1600 Lipscomb Road. Tickets are on sale in the Human Relations Office, located at 104 Goldsboro Street, for $15 per person. This event has sold out several years in a row.

The 2013-14 Human Relations Commissioners are Lori Hines-Jones, Chair, Larnell Thoms, Vice Chair; Myra Artis, Historian, Dave Allgood, Secretary, Tom Curran, Cynthia Jones, Peggy Carr, Alma-Perry Battle, Darnell Thoms and Wendy Ferguson-Whitehead.

For more information regarding the nominations, awards or banquet, contact the Human Relations Office by calling 399-2308.  Nomination forms are available in the office and on the City of Wilson website,, under the Human Relations department.