CAP Center honors volunteer Wilkerson

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 26, 2002

[04/26/02]Described as “a blessing” to the Vicksburg Child Abuse Prevention Center, the president of the Exchange Club board of directors was named the Child Abuse Prevention Center’s Volunteer of the Year Thursday night.

During the annual volunteer appreciation banquet, James Wilkerson was presented a plaque for his service to the center. He has been a board member since 1983, two years before the center was opened.

“He was one of the founding fathers of the center here in Vicksburg,” said Shaheena Haque, director of the CAP Center’s advisory and board volunteers. “He’s here whenever we need him,” she said, adding that Wilkerson, who commutes 50 miles each day to his job at a Madison County bank, has been involved with everything from distributing Christmas gifts to helping out with repairs at the office.

“He’s been a blessing for the center,” she said.

The CAP Center is the main beneficiary of work by Vicksburg’s Exchange Club.

Wilkerson, a former president of the Exchange Club, currently is president of The Initiative Inc., a local private and public housing program that supports residents who are seeking an education to become self-sufficient. He is also involved with the Boy Scouts and is a member of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation.

Haque said Wilkerson and other award recipients were chosen by the number of hours applied to the center from April to March.

“I think it’s great,” Wilkerson said of receiving the award. “There were probably other people more deserving of it but I’m happy about it.

“I’ve been really proud to be associated with the center since it started,” he said.

Other award recipients Thursday night were:

Alma Smith Parent Aide Volunteer of the Year

Susan Morang Drug and Violence Prevention Volunteer of the Year, and

Bill McCleese Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer of the Year.