2018 Harris Award winners in Hanover

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The Hanover Community Services Board has announced the winners of its 2018 Jean C. Harris Award for Excellence.

They are: Melodie Fearnow-Kenney, president of a volunteer-run non-profit named Raise, Inc.; Frances Hubbard of the Department of Community Resources; and New Song United Methodist Church of Mechanicsville.

Since starting Raise, Melodie Fearnow-Kenney has worked to establish school-based coffee businesses in special education classrooms, involving 36 students who delivered over 1,000 teacher coffee orders. The program enabled 54 IEP goals to be met and the students participated in four community events. Raise, Inc. recently received funding from the Hanover County Rotary clubs to purchase a coffee trailer so students can take their job skills ‘on the road’ to local events.

From working with those with development disabilities at Hanover Industries to providing enrichment activities at a local group home to volunteering with the ARC of Hanover in their new Book Club, Frances Hubbard has been “an empathetic and supportive source of wisdom to almost every sector of the population that she has encountered.”, according to Amy Gregory, co-chair of the Harris Award committee. She adds “Frances notices those in need and works to help in big and small ways; in who and what she is, Frances embodies what this award stands for.”

New Song Methodist Church partners with Hanover Community Services and Hanover Cares by hosting substance use prevention and suicide prevention programming.

New Song also created a buddy program to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities at their church and hosted a program given by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help community members understand why a person may die by suicide and how a community can recover after a loss. This program was created in response to the recent death of a high school student in Hanover.

Committee Co-chair Anne Geddy Cross notes, “This organization gives time and financial resources to support the implementation of programs that directly contribute to our community in regards to mental health. They also support dozens of programs each year that relate to the health of community members including CARITAS, Backpack Nutrition Programs, Food Pantry collection drives…New Song embodies a culture of service that supports the congregation and community’s mental health.”

The late Mrs. Jean C. Harris was a founding member of both the Community Services Board (on which she served for 20 years) and Hanover Community Support Services. The award named for her is presented annually to individuals who exemplify the many contributions that Mrs. Harris made to the mission, purpose and achievements of the CSB.

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