Volunteer Biggers awarded for special work

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Nancy Biggers addresses Exchange Club members and guests Monday after receiving the “Book of Golden Deeds Award” for her volunteer work with Special Olympics. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[03/27/01] What started off as a college homework assignment for Nancy Biggers nearly 30 years ago has turned into her life’s work and passion.

On Monday, Biggers’ work with Special Olympics was recognized by the Vicksburg Exchange Club with the “Book of Golden Deeds Award,” the organization’s most prestigious honor.

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The award is given annually to a person who makes a significant contribution to the community, award chairman Kathy Jennings said.

“It’s quite an honor,” Biggers said. “I’m just the type of person that would rather be in the background than be up front. I can look at it as a way to get more of our athletes, more attention on them and on the program.”

Biggers, a special education teacher at Beechwood Elementary, has been involved with Special Olympics since she volunteered at one of the organization’s events while she was a student at the University of Southern Mississippi in the early 1970s.

“It was sort of one of those mandatory volunteer things,” Biggers said.

Pretty soon, she was volunteering on her own, and when she got her first teaching job in 1974, at Clinton Junior High, she became the city coordinator for the Special Olympics there.

Biggers and husband, Mike, moved to Vicksburg in 1978, and her work with the program continued.

She has been the director of Area 10 Special Olympics, which includes Warren, Claiborne and Yazoo counties, since 1988, and she has received several other honors for her work, including being named Volunteer of the Year on the state level.

During her involvement, she has also helped inspire numerous people to become involved in Special Olympics. More than 600 volunteers and athletes were to participate in today’s Area 10 track and field meet at Vicksburg High.

“Nancy is the one that inspired me to become involved with Special Olympics. She’s inspired me and so many others to get involved,” said Warren Central softball coach Lucy Young, a Special Olympics volunteer for 15 years. “She is a tremendous individual who is so unselfish with her time and herself … Of all the people that I work with and deal with personally, she is one that I admire.”

South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb, who nominated Biggers for the Exchange Club honor, said Biggers’ passion for Special Olympics helps draw in volunteers.

“You can tell very, very quickly when you meet her that she really loves what she does, and she really puts her heart into it,” Habeeb said. “It’s just hard to say no to somebody like that. You know she’s not doing it for attention or just to be the boss. It’s just out of her heart, and that is very inspiring.”