Every two years since 1996, the United Way of Chatham County has recognized individuals who selflessly give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the residents of Chatham County. Three couples from Galloway Ridge are among the ten volunteers to be named this year: Kay and John Combest, Ruth and Dick Flannelly and Edith and Joe Hammond. These individuals were also selected to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award certificate from the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

Kay and John Combest have volunteered at Galloway Ridge for many years. Kay’s most active role is as the Residents Welcoming Coordinator. In addition, she spends 18 hours a month as the assistant manager of the Turnaround Resale Shop, and, as a member of a group called Coups for Troops, she cuts coupons for troops in Guam, Germany and Japan.

John Combest was a member of the first Residents Council, which was charged with drafting and writing bylaws and procedures, and he started the original Volunteer Service Committee at Galloway Ridge. John also maintains the Men’s Bible Study group that meets weekly, and he helps his fellow residents solve technical problems with televisions and computers.

Ruth and Dick Flannelly contribute to their community in many ways, so it’s no surprise that they, too, were selected for this honor. As a gifted pianist, Ruth accompanies the Galloway Chorus at their weekly practices and semi-annual concerts, and she selects the music for all chorus events. Ruth, an avid pet-lover, often takes care of her neighbors’ animals when needed, and she sponsors several programs that enhance the lives of residents at the health center.

Ruth and Dick travel extensively, and Dick records their travels together. On a weekly basis, he shares his travel experiences and videos with other residents in the health center. The couple also provides transportation to Galloway Ridge residents. When someone needs a ride to a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic, they’re always there to help.

Edith and Joe Hammond are another couple that epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism. Edith invests an average of six to eight hours per month as a part of the Residents Council. She’s also the primary organizer and leader of the “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” program, which assists residents with various needs, including transportation and reading. After helping to establish a permanent Volunteer Service Committee (VSC) in 2012, Edith secured volunteers and identified projects within and beyond the Galloway Ridge community. She continues to be active with the VSC.

Having taught engineering at Georgia Tech and Clemson Universities, Joe Hammond puts his background to good use at Galloway Ridge. He leads two popular groups: a men’s nonfiction book club and a “Contemporary Religious Thought” discussion group. Joe also uses his engineering skills by volunteering with the Galloway Ridge Woodworkers Group. The woodworkers accomplish an incredible number of repair jobs for residents and staff. They also build birdhouses and speaker lecterns.

The United Way of Chatham County recognized these individuals for their time and dedication during the 2018 Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards ceremony. The awards reception was held on May 3 at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. Diana Hales, Chair of the Chatham County Commissioners, presented the awards, and former Chatham County Commissioner Betty Wilson was the keynote speaker. Sheriff Mike Roberson served as the Master of Ceremonies.

About United Way of Chatham County
The mission of the United Way of Chatham County is to increase the financial and human resources available for providing human care services to county residents. To learn more, please visit http://unitedwayofchathamcounty.org/ or call Alane Coore at 919-542-1110.