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News Details LMH News

November News - 2015 Recipient of the Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award

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 M. Niswonger.


Doug Cogburn was named the 2015 recipient of the Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award in festive activities at the General Morgan Inn on November 12.

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 fundraisers.

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.