Rev. Miller honored by local United Way

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

Up until the last minute, money was being raised to go towards the 2018 United Way of West Central Mississippi campaign.

Thursday, during the group’s annual meeting and awards luncheon that was held at the holiday Inn, 2017 Agency Director of the Year Phillip Doiron challenged attendees to meet a $1,000 goal set for the event.

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“I have a deal to make with you guys,” Doiron said. “You have been seeing this little thermometer with a $1,000 goal, and we are at $845 right now. If you want me to shut up, we will get to $1,000. If we don’t, then I’ve got a lot of stories to tell.”

Fortunately, the goal was swiftly met and exceeded, and Doiron then proceeded to announce the recipient of the 2018 Agency Director of the Year award, which was presented to the Rev. Tommy Miller.

Miller has served as the executive director of the Good Shepherd Community Center for 21 years and will retire later this year.

“It’s always a humbling experience to be honored in such a wonderful way,” Miller said. “It’s been a wonderful 21 years at Good Shepherd.”

Although Miller said he has not yet mapped out the next chapter of his life, he felt confident the Lord has.

Even though he’s retiring from Good Shepherd, Miller vowed he would continue to be part of the United Way as a volunteer and to also be active in the community.

This year, funds raised by the United Way included a $367,200 investment into the programs of their 19 partner agencies, $17,500 in Community Investment Grants in the community and $2,500 in the community through emergency utility and rent assistance with support from local churches.

“The generosity of this community is amazing,” executive director of the United Way of West Central Mississippi Michele Connelly said.

Lynn Foley, who served as this year’s campaign chairman and will serve in the same capacity with Josie Mayfield-Hudson next year said, “We had a phenomenal campaign year for 2018, and I believe we achieved many of our goals established over a year ago.”

Foley said goals had been to revamp the face of the campaign, put the fun back into fundraising, educate the community about the United Way and raise more money than last year. This year more than 90 percent of the $718,000 goal was met.

“While we did not get that final ending to our goal this year, we did get the conversation started; we did put the right people together and conversations are going on to better those programs in our community,” 2018 United Way board chairman Tim Reeves said.

During the luncheon, in addition to the Agency Director of the Year Award, awards were also presented to Blake Teller, Leadership Award; Josie Mayfield-Hudson, Volunteer of the Year Award; Herman Smith, Spirit of Vicksburg Award; Ginger Donahue, Campaign Coordinator of the Year Award and Greg Honeycutt, Community Investment Committee Volunteer of the Year Award. The Bruce Alan Ebersole, Jr. Scholarship Award was presented to Elise Piazza and Sarah Jane Pierce.

Thursday’s meeting also served as the introduction of the United Way for 2019. Sheila McKinnis will serve as board president replacing Reeves.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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