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FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007
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Meals on Wheels honors 7 volunteers

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

Meals on Wheels of Morgan County is in the best shape of its life, the organization's director declared, and she credited the achievement to its devoted volunteers.

Those community servants gathered Thursday night as part of National Volunteer Week for a Meals recognition banquet that honored its longest-serving people.

Seven volunteers have delivered meals for more than 30 years. They include Lou Underwood, Battle Hamilton, Sally Strehle, Ann Chandler, Jean Rankin, Joyce Giles and JoAnn Christopher.

"Is that not just amazing," said Sue Stancil, general services director for Community Action, who oversees Meals. "That we have people volunteering longer than most people stay at a job."

Meals also recognized longtime volunteer Bill Perry for assisting in the kitchen every day.

A couple of years ago, the program that delivers a warm meal five days a week to 385 disabled and elderly shut-ins was in financial trouble. Donations were down, expenses were up and the board of directors was considering cutting back the number of days it delivered.

The community responded with one of its best February campaigns, raising more than $42,000, more than twice the amount contributed in 2006.

In addition, Meals received $30,000 in grants and special gifts that allowed it to buy two new vans. A Hartselle industry that wanted to remain anonymous gave $15,000, the Daniel Foundation of Alabama gave $5,000 and the estate of former Meals volunteer Marty Knudsen gave $10,000 in her memory.

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