Partnership honors ‘Unsung Heroes’


Staff Writer

Friday, April 12, 2019

Five adults and three young people recently were honored as Unsung Heroes by the Down East Partnership for Children. 

This is the first year this event has been held in honor of the memory of James Bellamy, a community outreach specialist who worked for the partnership for seven years until his death in 2015. Eight residents of the Twin Counties were honored last week at a reception held at Truth Tabernacle Ministries for their efforts on fulfilling Bellamy’s motto: “Doing good, getting better, on our way to greatness.”

Spencer Batchelor, a member of  First United Methodist Church, was honored for his efforts in coordinating a Monday Morning Breakfast at the church each week.

“Beginning at 6 a.m., Spencer begins to prepare a breakfast for 50 to 70 church and community members for the purpose of reaching out to all in need by showing kindness and ensuring that no matter the difference, everyone has a place at the table,” said Debra Lanham, research and development director for the partnership. “He coordinates all of the volunteers and makes sure that all are invited including those without a job, those who little money, even if they are not necessarily a member of the church.”

Leroy Deloach, a member of  St. Augusta Church, also was nominated as an unsung hero. Deloach serves as the chairman of the Trustee and Deacon boards at the church, and as a youth mentor and volunteer.

“He assists with anything in the church from helping with cooking to driving the church van for children’s activities,” Lanham said. “He has a passion for service to the church and community.”

Kevin Jones, the founder of The BAC Scholarship Fund, also was honored.

“Kevin serves as a youth advocate, educator, mentor and volunteer. He is an encourager, role model and contributes his time to enhance the lives of youth,” Lanham said. “Mr. Jones has consistently empowered the resources of parents through the numerous scholarships awarded to high school seniors. He has stimulated hope in those who were hopeless and has provided educational help to many who felt helpless. He is a driving force in the community.”

The Rev. Haywood Parker, senior pastor and founder of Truth Tabernacle Ministries, also received recognition for his work in the community.

“His positivity influences others in the community as either a pastor, a professor at Wesleyan College, a fitness instructor at the YMCA or a volunteer as a community leader,” Lanham said. “Dr. Parker’s leadership style helps move the community and work in a positive direction. He has also shown tremendous leadership helping the United Way organization navigate through positive changes and growth.”

Anne Williams was nominated because of her work with the Twin Counties Literacy Council 

“She is passionate about her work in the Twin Counties. She is candid, she speaks her mind and is committed to the needs of people,” Lanham said. “Ms. Williams has served as a mentor at D.S. Johnson Elementary, Williford Elementary and Parker Middle Schools. Anne is involved in numerous volunteer activities such as Holly Street Neighborhood Association, Summer Night Lights, Read Across America and much more.”

Three young people were also nominated for Unsung Hero awards.

Abraham Nube is a senior at Northern Nash High School who volunteers at the school media center and assists with school fund-raising efforts.

“Abraham demonstrates persistence, intrinsic motivation and being action-oriented in a willingness to plug loopholes of challenges while executing available resources to achieve desirable outcomes as he has done with sports,” Lanham said. “He has an innate ability to lead and inspires his peer as well as challenges them to do their very best.”

Victor Ward Jr., a senior at Rocky Mount High School, is a tutor through Dynamic Learning, a volunteer basketball and baseball coach for youth, a Summer Reading Kick-Off volunteer and provides donations to those in need during the holiday season.

“VJ volunteers and works with children through Parks and Recreation, building confidence in children who are academically challenged and ones who feel they are not athletic enough to fit in,” Lanham said. “With his love of sports, he shows passion by coaching and mentoring youth athletics.”

Emmy White, a fourth-grade student at Rocky Mount Academy, is the youngest recipient of the honor.

“Emmy helps to prepare the food at the Monday Morning Breakfast at First United Methodist Church. Her official assignment is to crack 100 eggs to be cooked,” Lanham said. “Emmy also organized a blanket drive where she ultimately collected and gave out over 400 blankets. She combines her sense of empathy, her call to share what she has, and her innocent worldview to organize fundraisers for Christmas gifts to give to Monday Morning Breakfast friends.”