Wesson’s volunteer work earns Governor’s Medallion Award

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

RALEIGH – Volunteers work hard to make a difference in their communities. Ron Wesson is one such volunteer who has spent many years helping to meet the needs of Bertie County residents and others in the surrounding areas.

As a result of that work, Wesson was honored as one of this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service during a virtual ceremony broadcast held recently on YouTube.

The award was first established in 2006, and is given to the top 20 to 25 volunteers throughout the state. For 2022, a total of 22 recipients were honored in 13 different categories. Wesson was one of three people honored in the Senior Volunteer category.

“Ron has had a significant impact on the quality of life within his community and across the region through his volunteer service efforts,” said Tim Pulliam, ABC11 news anchor who served as the MC for the award ceremony.

“One of the most notable aspects of Ron’s volunteer work is that he has integrated community engagement into every project he worked on as a part of a community initiative,” Pulliam continued. “He is a volunteer for many organizations including Partnership for Bertie County Schools, Youth Bertie, Mid-East Commission, Martin Community College Board of Trustees, Carolina Rebuilders Ministry Inc, and even more.”

In a prerecorded video, Wesson expressed his gratitude for the honor.

“First, let me say that I’m truly humbled by my selection, but I’m also very pleased,” he stated. “Pleased because I get an opportunity to thank this entire community for always supporting and rallying behind our efforts to improve the quality of life here in beautiful Bertie County.

“I’ve always been that guy who comes to folks with ideas that are often thought of as impossible,” Wesson continued, before adding with a laugh, “sometimes I think that folks say yes to me just to get rid of me. But they always jump in and give a hand.”

He noted one example of that ‘impossible’ idea is an apartment complex currently in the works which will help provide housing for teachers and essential workers. Wesson recorded his video on the site where those apartments will be constructed.

“You know, a wise man once said, service to others is the rent we pay for our home in Glory. Thank you so much for this wonderful recognition,” he concluded.

In addition to his volunteer work, Wesson has also served on the Bertie County Board of Commissioners since 2012, to include two stints as chairman.

The Medallion Award honorees from across the state were recognized for work in various volunteer categories including lifetime achievement, health and human services, veteran/military, youth, disaster relief, faith-based, and more.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Briles Johnson, Executive Director of the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, welcomed attendees and spoke of the importance of volunteering.

“These recipients have spent countless hours and energy in their communities, serving those in need,” Johnson said. “This is the true spirit of volunteerism, and your contributions will have a lasting impact.”

Dr. Joe Blosser and Yvonne Kinston, both members of the Volunteerism and Community Service Commission, made remarks during the ceremony as well.

“I’m especially thankful for the honorees tonight because they’re the ones leading this charge,” said Blosser. “They are our ‘North Star,’ guiding the rest of us into deeper lives of service, of citizenship, and of humanity. Thank you for what you do.”

Blosser also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement at High Point University, and he said these volunteers help set an example for his students.

“Every day, I show up to work to educate, lead, and inspire young people to become strong citizens,” he said. “And the best way I know how to do that work is to connect students to servant leaders throughout our community. It’s these individuals, like the ones we’re honoring tonight, who come alongside the young people in our state and help them develop their lives of service.”

Blosser continued, “Through these relationships of mentoring, guiding, and leading, we build the next generation of servant leaders. We build a movement for service, for caring, for empathy that is so deeply needed in our hurting and divided world. We’re a stronger state when we serve, when we mentor, when we come together to help one another.”

Kinston, who serves as the Chair of the Commission’s Award Committee, congratulated this year’s recipients, saying, “We thank you because you are filling in the gaps. You are reaching our communities. And you are dedicating your time and making sacrifices. This does not go unnoticed.”

Gov. Roy Cooper also spoke during the presentation to share his personal congratulations.

“I’m grateful for your service, and I know that your community shares my gratitude,” Cooper said. “You’re a shining example of what it means to be a North Carolinian, and thanks to your dedication, our state is an even stronger place for people to live, work, and play. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor. Keep up the great work.”