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Sharon Thomas is a volunteeroholic. Whenever she’s asked to give her time to a community event or activity, she always finds it hard to turn it down.
“I made a resolution that in 2009 I was going to learn to say ‘no’. But after 12 days [in the New Year] I’m already volunteering to do things,” she said.
Last year Thomas’ desire to help out led her to spend countless hours on community projects and also helped her to receive the title of Citizen of the Year from a local civic group.
The Spencer County Chamber of Commerce bestowed the title on Thomas at a reception last Thursday.
Thomas said she was honored.
Jerry Davis, chamber president, said Thomas deserved “every bit” of the award.
“She’s a very hard worker. Whenever someone needs help, she’s the first to volunteer,” he said. “She tries to do it all.”
Several months ago, Davis sent out an email to all chamber members soliciting nominations for the annual Citizen of the Year award.
The Chamber of Commerce’s seven-member executive committee then took the nominations and discussed the community contributions of each of the candidates.
He said the committee looks for people in the community who have done a great deal to benefit and improve the community that year.
Davis said Thomas received three nominations because of her involvement in a litany of community events and activities this past year, including the Christmas on Main Street committee, Spencer County Homecoming committee, the Gourd Show, the Veterans Day Parade, Project Graduation, and Shop with a Cop.
When it came time to vote, Thomas cast her vote for someone else – but the rest of the committee did not follow suite.
Davis said the community has benefited from Thomas’ service.
“She has a deep love and concern for the community,” he said. “She’s fanatic about making sure everything is done well.”
Thomas, who is the office clerk for the Spencer County Sheriff’s department, said she sees a great many “negative things” in her position at the Sheriff’s office.
Because of all the bad, she said she wanted to try to do some good.
“If I could do something to help somebody out, I want to do it,” she said.
She said the key to being able to pull off community events is having strong organizational and people skill and having good help.
“There is so much more to preparing for these events than just the time put in on the day of the event,” she said. “There’s times that it gets crazy … but when it’s all finally over and done you know it was worth it.”
Thomas said volunteering is something that every community member should do.
“If we all took a step back and looked at our lives we could all find ways that we could help out more,” she said.
While Thomas encourages civic involvement, she prescribes volunteering in moderation.
“You do one thing and before you know it, you’re busy all the time,” she said.