The Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross will honor Norma Turnage at the annual Heroes Banquet on March 26 at Rose Hill Conference Center. This is an annual part of the chapter’s Heroes Campaign held during the month of March, in honor of presidentially declared National Red Cross Month.
Each year, the Red Cross honors local heroes in the community as part of the Heroes Campaign. Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots fundraising and awareness campaign that gives community members the chance to make a big, lasting difference by raising vital funds to help those in need.
“Norma Turnage is a hero to the Nash and Edgecombe counties and Rocky Mount communities and to the entire state of North Carolina for all the work she has done in education and community and charity development,” said Lynwood Roberson, CEO of the Frederick E. Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross. “The Turnage family has a long history of involvement and support of the American Red Cross so it is truly fitting that our first female recipient of our Community Hero Award is Norma Turnage.
“Norma has given so much to our community through her leadership yet she would never call herself a Hero. It’s indeed our honor and privilege to honor Norma at our Banquet this year,” said Roberson.
For more information about the Heroes Campaign and to purchase tickets, please call 252-977-1720.
After graduation from Rocky Mount Senior High, Turnage attended University of North Carolina-Greensboro where she received a degree in education. This began her lifelong path of supporting education in Rocky Mount and the state of North Carolina.
Using her degree in education, Norma taught in the Winston-Salem and Rocky Mount City School systems. From her time in the classroom she developed a commitment to supporting the growth and development of education and that would play a large role in her future civic and community endeavors.
Turnage’s leadership has helped shape Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties. She has just recently completed her term as the chairwoman of the Nash Health Care System Foundation board. In addition, she twice co-chaired a Day for Wesleyan, raising a record amount of money in spite of the 2009 recession. Mrs. Turnage served as chairwoman during the consolidation of YWCA & YMCA which was quite a task at that time she also previously served on RBC Bank’s Local Advisory.
Catching the eye and ear of former Gov. Jim Hunt, Turnage was appointed to a number of boards and commissions, including 10 years on the State Board of Education and the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges, as well as the Board of Trustees of UNC-Greensboro. Other Boards and Commissions she has served on include: N.C. Juvenile Code Revision Commission, N.C. Commission to establish an Independent Board for North Carolina Community College System, N.C. Task Force on Rural Prosperity, N.C. Rural Economic Development Corporation, and the N.C. State Board of Community College.
Being honored is nothing new to Turnage as she has received many awards and recognitions for her leadership and community involvement. She has been awarded the Who’s Who in Education, N.C. Association of Educators Award of Distinction, Boy Scouts of American Distinguished Citizens Award, and the Order of Long Leaf Pine Recipient presented by Gov. James B. Hunt. On March 26, she will add the American Red Cross Frederick E. Turnage Chapter Community Hero Award to this long distinguished list of accolades.
Turnage has been a member of Lakeside Baptist Church for more than 50 years. During that time she has served her church on the Board of Deacons, Chair Board Member on the Finance, Personnel, & Music Committee, and the Pastoral Search Committee.
Of all her accomplishments and accolades, Turnage is mostly proud of her family. She was married to former Mayor, Fred Turnage of Rocky Mount, for 53 years. Together, Fred and Norma were and in many respects, still are, the First Family of Rocky Mount.
Fred and Norma had two children John and Trevor, and five grandchildren (Elizabeth, Olivia, Charlie, Rob, and John Graham).
In March 2007, the local Red Cross Chapter renamed itself in honor and recognition of Fred Turnage. On March 26, the chapter bearing the name of her late husband will honor Norma Turnage for her years of leadership and selfless support of the local community.