“Kathleen O’Donohue’s background in community building spans decades in diverse organizations and settings,” said Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) President Lynn Stubblefield at the April 19 meeting lauding O’Donohue as the recipient of the 34th annual Community Service Award. High praise also went out to Summa Cum Laude Award recipient Carol Ingle who has served as the Community Chest treasurer for 37 years.
O’Donohue’s 25-year career as a licensed Physician’s Assistant made her particularly well suited to assume the role in 2009 as founding director of Folks At Home, a unique Sewanee nonprofit dedicated to assisting elderly community members to continue to live safely and comfortably in their own homes. But O’Donohue’s care-giving roots go much deeper. O’Donohue is a longtime board member of the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust whose stated purpose is to preserve area forest lands. And more recently, O’Donohue signed on to serve as a founding board member of Arcadia, the Sewanee senior living facility initiative. Others know “Kat” as their Tai Chi instructor or through her work on the boards of the Sewanee Community Center and the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace.
The SCA has only twice before honored community members with the Summa Cum Laude Award, applauding dedicated and longstanding service. In presenting the award to Ingle, Stubblefield said, “Carol Ingle is the unsung hero of this organization. She keeps up with all Community Chest checks, pledges, payroll deductions, stock sales, and PayPal donations. The Community Chest awards on average $100,000 annually to more than 25 organizations. Carol knows to whom every one of the $3.7 million dollars has been allocated and who donated the money.”
In the business portion of the meeting, Community Chest steward Susan Holmes said the fundraiser was $2,200 short of reaching its ambitious $116,850 goal, which will fund 26 community organizations this year. “This is the largest Community Chest goal ever,” Holmes said urging those who hadn’t yet donated to do so by sending a check to PO Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375 or visiting . All donations are tax deductible. The projects earmarked for basic needs funding include elder care, food, books, housing, scholarships, Sewanee Elementary School, recreational spaces, and spay/neuter programs for animals.
Reporting on the SCA Parks Program, Director Stephen Burnett said Joseph Sumter would take over from Rob Matlock, conducting the required periodic inspections of Elliott Park, a recent SCA project.
The SCA Parks Program is developing a business plan and mission statement to coordinate rehabilitation of the Sewanee Ballpark, Burnett said. In the most recent crisis, the roofs blew off the dugouts. Burnett speculated the University would offer assistance, but “they’d like to see an entity coordinating the effort.”
Stubblefield expressed “heartfelt gratitude” to Doug Myers and Kiki Beavers who were retiring from the board. Myers volunteered in the capacity of Sewanee Classifieds director, coordinating the SCA’s online community messaging service. Praising past president Beavers, Stubblefield said, “We would not be where we are today without her leadership, wisdom and persistence.”
The SCA elected the following slate of officers to serve in the coming year: Lynn Stubblefield, president; David Michaels, vice-president; Megan Roberts, secretary; Diane Fielding, treasurer; and Aaron Welch, member at large.
The SCA does not meet during the summer.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer