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Coalition for the Homeless honors volunteers

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- When Bob Hansen retired from Prestera Center four months ago and took on his new job heading the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, he knew there were good things going on to help the homeless.

"But it was much more than I even imagined — the amount of people giving of themselves to help people who are homeless and in need," he said Thursday, following the coalition's 5th Annual Hometown Breakfast fundraiser.

Some of those helpers were honored Thursday at the event, which featured presentations by Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Marshall University basketball coach Tom Herrion.

The honorees included the following:

Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine was presented the Heart for the Homeless Award for the school's Homeless Medical Outreach Project. Dr. Chuck Clements, a faculty volunteer, accepted the award on behalf of the med school.

Since 2011, volunteers among the school's students and faculty have offered free health care services to the homeless on the last Saturday of each month at Harris Riverfront Park. More than 300 people have been served.

"It was really an easy choice because that's a great volunteer outreach effort in the community, and they've been doing it two years next month," Hansen said.

Debbie Shockley, Brenda Perry and Mary Newlon, employees of the regional Veterans Affairs office on 4th Avenue, were presented the newly established Volunteer of the Year Award. They work across the street from the coalition and for about eight months they have been bringing food they made at their homes and feeding people on Wednesdays, Hansen said.

"We have 20 to 60 people here, and they started bringing food over and serving people," he said. "They asked to do it, and we said yes. People look forward to it. They prepare stuff at home and bring it over in crockpots. It's all extra work because they have jobs."

Goodwin Family Foods, LLC, which owns Little Caesars in South Point, Ohio, received the newly established Business of the Year Award for donating pizza on a regular basis. Lots of it.

"Twice a week, they donate pizza for us. We're talking, 10, 15 or sometimes 20 pizzas at a time," Hansen said. "They've been doing that for two years. Again, people here look forward to it, and they've been doing it for a long time."

Sponsors for the coalition's Hometown Breakfast included Betty Barrett; Drs. Joseph and Omayma Touma; Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; Dr. Stanley and Ann Tao; State Electric Supply Company; First Sentry Bank; Cabell Huntington Hospital; Scott Orthopedics; People's Bank; River Park Hospital; Realtor Nancy Sullivan; Sullivan Webb, PLLC; Natural Resource Partners; Valley Health Systems; Medical Practice Management Solutions; St. Mary's Medical Center; Huntington Federal Savings Bank; Farrell, White and Legg; Prestera Center; Jenkins Fenstermaker; First State Bank; and Legacy Planning Group of Huddleston Bolen.

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