Leila Aldrich and Janice Provost were honored Monday night at the fifth annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Program in Franklin. They were each presented with awards by reigning Miss Tennessee, Chandler Lawson.
According to state generated statistics, Tennessee has about 1.3 million volunteers. The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Program is an initiative by Volunteer Tennessee that seeks to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Each county mayor is asked to select their county’s most deserving adult volunteer and youth volunteer to receive this award. Ms. Aldrich and Ms. Provost were chosen from a wide pool of nominations submitted to County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s office and chosen by a committee of five.
Ms. Aldrich began volunteering at age of 14 at the Tennessee Aquarium in its summer camp program and has served more than 586 hours over the past four years. Her exceptional ability to work with young children with disabilities, has kept her in high demand. She also volunteers at her church and has spent many weekends helping with tornado clean up over the past two years. In addition, she helps care for her four younger siblings, two of whom have disabilities. This has been invaluable to her mother since her father was disabled by several strokes.
Ms. Provost has been a professional hair stylist for over 40 years. Though her services are in high demand at Town & Country Barbershop, she sets aside every Wednesday to visit the homes of Hospice patients and provide them free beauty services. Salon owners, Ron and Marti Brown, support her in her efforts by providing any products needed. Ms. Provost said, "I’m touched by the time spent with each individual. It is so satisfying knowing that I have helped someone in their time of need. I decided a long time ago to let people know that God loves them and so do I."
Mayor Coppinger said, “Those who benefit from volunteer service understand its value as a true gift from the heart. We’re very proud of our two award recipients.”