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Local Humanitarians by Noreen Turyn

Bill Gorman

Well here it is May again and time for another dinner to honor local men and women who make significant contributions to{}their communities, the country, the world even.

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities has chosen five more deserving individuals this year, who work tirelessly and passionately for their causes.{} I can tell you a little bit about them, but can't possibly give you the full picture of who they really are.

Patty Worsham:{} She is an English teacher at EC Glass, and has taught for 35 years.{} But{}aside from English, Patty has spent a great deal of time teaching her students very important life lessons.{} She has formed a sister school status with a school in Nairobi, Kenya, The Mercy Care Center, and taken students there on several trips, to help pull up hundreds of children living in slums.{} She is also a member of the Holocaust Foundation, and has brought survivors to Lynchburg on a number of occasions.{}

Robert Roberts:{} He has a PhD in Electrical engineering, and regularly puts his skills to work on volunteer projects in Malawi, Africa, to build hospitals and schools, and build safe drinking water systems.{} Here at home, he uses his skills for local Habitat for Humanity projects.{} He has also been involved with Boy Scouts since he was one, and has been a dedicated scout leader.{}

Jim Wright: Dr. Wright helped start the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, where he has seen diabetes patients for the last 18 years.{} He also founded the Meds Help program for those who see regular doctors, but cannot afford their prescriptions.{} He is firmly dedicated to helping those in need.{} Jim worked as an innkeeper at the Gateway House in downtown Lynchburg, and serves on its board.

Bill Gorman: Bill's passion is helping children, and specifically those with special needs.{} He came to Lynchburg in 1987 to establish Centra Health's Bridges Treatment Center for Children and Adolescents.{}{}He worked tirelessly to give the children a leg up in life.{} He has{}about 50 years of volunteerism with YMCAs.{}He serves on the board of CASA, an organization that holds children's hands through the court system.{} And he volunteers for the Daily Bread, the United Way, and Parents Anonymous.{}

Lorenza Davis: Lorenza's main drive is education.{} He is a firm believer that children should have the opportunity to learn and grow.{} Lorenza spent 9 years on the Bedford County School Board, 5 of those as Chairman.{} He also serves on CVCC's Education Foundation board.{} But he has also worked for the United Way, the Revelers Club, he's president of the Boonsboro{}Volunteer Fire and Rescue board. He's also very active in his church, the Alta Grove Baptist Church.

Please understand, that's just a snapshot of these deserving honorees-- it{}really doesn't do justice to all they really do.{} I've said it before and I'll say it again.{} It's humbling to see how much volunteerism goes on in this community.{} I don't think enough people realize just how many millions of volunteer hours people offer to{}ensure that{}non profits, churches and other causes continue to function{}and help people in need.{} They should not be taken for granted, and this annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner gives some much deserved gratitude for the huge hearts the Lynchburg region is so lucky to have.

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