NEWS RELEASE - November 23, 2015 - Contact: Betty Weemes, 787-5117
Photo: Standing left to right: Doug
Cogburn, 2015 recipient of the Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award; representing
the Niswonger Family, benefactors of the Award: Carla Niswonger Gentry and her father, Scott
Doug Cogburn was named the 2015 recipient of the Blanche W.
Grady Community Service Award in festive activities at the General Morgan Inn on
Doug has been the chairperson of the Thanksgiving Outreach
meal, served at Cedar Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church and other sites, for
more than eight years. This
community-wide outreach event will celebrate its 22nd year at
Thanksgiving. It is expected that 3500
individuals will receive food-support through the efforts of Cogburn and
hundreds of volunteers across the community, representing a multitude of churches
and other organizations.
One of the comments made by Scott Niswonger, benefactor of
the Grady Award, in introducing Doug at the event, was this: “Can you imagine waking up on Thanksgiving
morning and thinking, ‘I’m responsible for serving 3500 meals, today.’”
But, of course, it doesn’t just happen on Thanksgiving
Day. There are weeks and weeks of
committee meetings, planning for all the food in the varied menu, and
computerizing the routes so that no volunteer needs to make more than ten stops
in their delivery to homes.
In the nomination narrative, it was explained that Doug is
the driving force behind the community Thanksgiving Outreach meal. The only Thanksgiving Doug and his family have
ever known is preparing meals for others less fortunate.
In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, Doug has been involved
with Remote Area Medial, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, and
the local Food Bank. He also assists in
preparing meals and serving them at the Greeneville Soup Kitchen. He worked
with a BBQ meal to raise funds for the Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church
and for the Baileyton Baptist Church.
Doug is a member of the Hardin’s Chapel United Methodist
Church, where he serves as pianist, is a Sunday school teacher, serves on the
worship committee, the evangelism committee, and is chairperson of the adult
family and fun committee.
He is a member of the Hardin’s Chapel Ruritan Club, where he
is the backbone of organization and prepares meals for their events and
Doug has worked at Frontier Health for 22 years, serving as
a case manager and, presently, is the site director at Church Street Pavilion.
Congratulations, Doug Cogburn….well-deserving to be named
the recipient of The Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award.
The Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award honors the late
Blanche Grady and recognizes others like her who work diligently, without a lot
of recognition, to make our community a better place in which to live. The
Scott M. Niswonger Family created the award with the Laughlin Health Care
Foundation to show appreciation for Mrs. Grady and her volunteer spirit and to honor
Mr. Niswonger’s mother, the late Sharon Niswonger.