Sophomore Kendale James of Tracy City, Tennessee in Grundy County, has been named a 2017-2018 Governor's Volunteer Star. The 2017 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony will be held March 11, 2018.
The Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards recognizes the outstanding service of those who volunteer in various ways throughout their local Tennessee communities. "In an effort to encourage more Grundy County citizens to help improve our community through volunteerism, Volunteer Tennessee has instituted this statewide volunteer recognition program, the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards," stated Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady. This year two award recipients in Grundy County, one youth and one adult in each county will be recognized by Governor Bill Haslam. This celebration will illustrate the importance of civic participation and service to improve overall community norms.
Kendale, the daughter of Dale and Lisa James, is an honors student at SAS. She is a member of the varsity volleyball team, clock operator for both the middle school and high school basketball teams, and an asset to the musical and technical theatre programs. She has aspirations of becoming a marine biologist and recently applied to the Teen Volunteer Program at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.
Kendale is being recognized for initiating and implementing a county-wide program to provide "Buddy Bears" for children who have experienced, or are experiencing, a traumatic event. The program collects new or very gently used small stuffed animals for officers to carry in their patrol cars. The stuffed animals are distributed to children after car accidents, house fires, being removed from the home, or just being a witness to an event that scares them. Kendale set up collection boxes around the county and encouraged donations through flyers and Facebook posts. In the first three months, over 500 animals were collected. The bears are distributed by officers of the Grundy County Sheriff's Office and the Monteagle Police Department.
"Ms. James has exhibited, at a very early age the wonderful traits of giving back to the community and a heart of wanting to make a difference," said Mayor Brady.
St. Andrew's-Sewanee School students in grades 9-12 are expected to complete a minimum 15 hours of volunteer service each year.