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LAWRENCEBURG, Ind., November 19, 2012 – The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc. (DCF) recently honored five community volunteers as 2012 recipients of the “Heart of Gold Award.”

The Heart of Gold recipients were recognized for touching the hearts of others through their volunteerism and other acts of kindness. “These honorees deserve this recognition for making a difference in our community in their own unique ways,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of the Dearborn Community Foundation. “They are all role models for how all of us can make a difference in our community.”

Each of the five Heart of Gold honorees, nominated by others in the community and then chosen as Heart of Gold recipients by a Foundation committee, were given the privilege to serve on the “Heart of Gold Committee” to award a total of $2,500 in proactive grants to charitable organizations that serve Dearborn County residents.

In recent years, Heart of Gold recipients have been recognized for helping senior citizens or disadvantaged persons, working to improve the quality of education, expanding recreational or cultural opportunities, working with children, protecting the environment, promoting public safety and other acts of kindness.

This year’s honorees are: Allen “Mooch” Callaway, Cheryl Shuman, Sara Cornelius Chipman, Patricia Hartwell,  and Steve Stenger.

Heart of Gold Honorees’ Stories

Allen “Mooch” Callaway, Lawrenceburg: He is described by his nominator, Everett “Ray” Beatty, as a great family man, who has served his community well as a volunteer without hesitation. Some of Callaway’s handy work: He is a former Lawrenceburg Fire Department volunteer for 11 years; a very active member and trustee of Lawrenceburg and Aurora Eagles; and he’s volunteered at events for organizations such as Relay for Life, Indiana ALS Association, and Lawrenceburg Schools Athletics Boosters Tiger Pride. For the past 11 years, Callaway has stepped up to take the lead on making sure that the Callaway Family Memorial Scholarship remains a huge success. The scholarship program was started in memory of the recipient’s brother, who passed away in January of 2001 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Callaway Memorial Golf Outing raises money to support six scholarships per year for graduates of Harrison, East Central, Lawrenceburg, Milan, Rising Sun and South Dearborn high schools. The success and results of his tireless efforts and hard work are the result of an endless number of hours it takes to accomplish these tasks. Callaway’s efforts also have inspired others to volunteer! 

Cheryl Shuman, Dillsboro: Gary Townsend, who nominated Shuman, says she has touched hearts in southeast Indiana for over 17 years through Special Olympics Indiana by volunteering in many ways. Shuman is the Financial Secretary/Fundraising Coordinator of Special Olympics Indiana—Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Counties. Like all volunteers she does not ask for or receive anything in return for her many hours helping the athletes.  She is a member of the 10 person Management Team responsible for making it possible for the athletes to practice and compete.  Shuman can be seen participating in everything from Winter Games, Polar Plunge, Swim Qualifier, Spring Games, Athlete Achievement Awards, and Summer Games to selling Walking Tacos at the Fall Fest in Lawrenceburg.  She is an important member of a volunteer Management Team that touches the hearts of persons with intellectual disabilities. Through her unusual acts of kindness, 160 athletes have been given opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts.

Sara Cornelius Chipman, Aurora: She is described by her nominator, Laura Rolf, as an exceptional young woman and citizen, who after college immediately reached out to help others upon her return to her home county of Dearborn. Since 2006, she has been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati (BBBS). When for reasons in the child’s family, her first match ended after a few months, she was willing to try again. Chipman was open to being matched with a child with special needs. For six years, she has found a way to be there to support and encourage her Little Sister Catherine. Building social skills and self-confidence have been key for her Little’s development. Chipman is one of the founding members on the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Advisory Board, which recruits volunteers and helps to raise operating funds! For five years, she chaired the Halloween Fundraiser, helping to raise more than $20,000. She takes giving back to her community very seriously. Chipman and her friends even organized a 5K run the morning of her wedding and donated the money to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Instead of table favors at the wedding reception, Chipman and her husband had table tents with pictures of her and her Little Sister with a note explaining the amount that would have been spent on favors was being donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Chipman has a full-time job, but that doesn’t stop her from volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters and other charities in our community! Our community has been able to depend on Chipman and her efforts to make a difference.

Patricia Hartwell, Moores Hill: She gives of herself and her time has made and continues to make a difference in many lives, according to her nominator, Linda Ritchie. When this special lady sees a need and an opportunity to help, she never hesitates — often putting aside her own personal time for others.  Late last year during the holidays, Hartwell was worried about an elderly lady earlier had not called her for the usual ride to church. This recipient just was so concerned, she left her family’s holiday dinner to drive to Aurora to check on her elderly friend. When her friend didn’t come to the front door, she summoned the authorities and her friend was taken to the hospital for care. The woman was eventually well enough to return home, thanks to Hartwell’s willingness to put her only family aside to help another in her time of need. This honoree is also known for caring for God’s little creatures. It’s not unusual for her to stop her car to get an abandoned puppy out of the roadway. Hartwell’s compassion for others also shows through helping children that may need extra tutoring. Even with a full personal schedule, she manages to find time for others in need. “Never once have I heard her complain,” said Ritchie. “Her commitment to others in need is priceless.”

Steve Stenger, St. Leon: He has a passion for youth and their lifelong success and it’s exhibited in the time that he devotes in his role as the Shooting Sports Coordinator for the Dearborn County 4-H SAFE Club. The positive role model that he is for others in the program inspires them to give of themselves in order to make this an outstanding place for youth to grow. Michelle Deddens, who nominated Stenger, says the shooting sports program under his direction allows youth to explore archery, hunting and wildlife, muzzle loading, pistol, rifle and shotgun in a positive and supportive environment. Youth learn marksmanship, safe and responsible use of firearms, hunting and archery principles and develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics.  As the Shooting Sports Coordinator, Stenger has spent numerous volunteer hours with others to develop the program and facilities, become a certified instructor, obtained advanced training at the State Shooting Sports workshops and educates others in the importance of firearm safety.  He truly embodies “selflessness” in his commitment to youth.  He is a husband, father and grandfather, who currently has no family member in the program, but continues to cultivate a program that positively educates, develops life skills and self-confidence, sportsmanship, and most importantly teaches shooting sports safety. Stenger lives up to the 4-H Shooting Sports slogan of “pointing kids in the right direction,” said Deddens.