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Joyce Ceci volunteer of the year

By Paul Huggins 340-2395

Joyce Ceci capped a lifelong career of community service by taking home the Volunteer Center of Morgan County's top award Tuesday.

The recently retired director of the Committee on Church Cooperation received the Emma Kate Gray-Odell Sheffield Volunteer of the Year Award, which recognizes a local citizen's volunteer efforts and how well they encouraged others to serve.

Ceci retired from the CCC in August after an 18-year career.

"Joyce balanced compassion with firmness in distributing the proceeds of CCC to needy families," said Mary K. Braddock, Volunteer Center director. "Even as executive director, Joyce was a volunteer at the CCC, working hours beyond those in her paycheck to accomplish and link the community together."

Last year, the non-denominational organization helped more than 4,000 families with food, school supplies, prescriptions, household items, Christmas gifts or other provisions. More than 2,500 families received clothing.

The volunteer of the year award is named for the two women who received it the first time.

In addition to honoring Ceci, the Volunteer Center recognized its most recent Points of Light recipient.

Home Depot received the national Points of Light award for Jan. 4. The organization, which honors an outstanding volunteer each day, lauded the do-it-yourself retailer for many projects, particularly at Nungester Elementary School.

Home Depot volunteers repaired, repainted and rebuilt the school playground and spent extra time encouraging the students. They have built and refurbished playgrounds across Decatur. The store also donated a truck to transport supplies that local school children collected for victims of Hurricane Ivan.

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