By Nick Mariano
MT. VERNON — —
The 2012 inductees to the Senior Saints Hall of Fame, selected for quietly devoting their lives to help others, had their voices heard Saturday at an induction banquet honoring this year’s class.
“While countless numbers benefited from their dedication and efforts, few knew those directly responsible for their programs and benefits they enjoyed. The Senior Saints program recognizes these individuals who’ve shied away from the public spotlight choosing to serve quietly and unnoticed,” Masters of Ceremonies Mike Beard told the several hundred people attending the banquet.
Senior Saints of 2012 are Bill Armstrong, Jimmie Bradford, Elbert Cain, Jimmie Fitzjerrells, Richard “Dick” Keegan, Doris Minor, LaVonne Oestreich, William “Stan” Partridge, Irvin “Wayne” Quance, Larry Smith, Jack Stults and Marilyn Williams.
Each were presented a plaque and proclamations from the city, county and several federal and state legislators in recognition of the inductees’ time and service. Each was also introduced with a reading of their biography and a video of still photographs depicting their lives from childhood, family and other telling moments.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to the city to have you come and volunteer your time and efforts. I would like to call you the magnificent 12 ... for making Mt. Vernon the quality community that it is,” Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said.
The Senior Saints Hall of Fame was started 14 years ago by the city, county and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Since then, more than 100 “heroes” have been inducted, Beard said.
Inductees are first nominated, followed by judges from outside the Jefferson County who reviewed and scored the nominations. The top 12 scores are selected for the honor.
Sponsors of this year banquet were the city, Crossroads Community Hospital, Green Tree Assisted Living, the Jefferson County Board and the Senior Law Center.
Each inductee will serve as Grand Marshals of the Mt. Vernon Fall Fest parade.
True to form, the inductees expressed their gratitude and left the attendees with inspirational messages about the importance of volunteerism and striving to help others. Giving is living was a common theme.
“I have volunteered in many things and I feel that volunteerism is something that is very important and has allowed Mt. Vernon to be what it is today,” Armstrong said.