Sharon Balentine and Nancy Hubbs were recognized by Pine-Strawberry’s Take Pride group as Volunteers of the Year.

Merry Christmas to all of our readers. Thank you for your continued feedback on the Pine-Strawberry column.

I’d like to end this year on the most positive note I can: Thanking those who volunteer for the multitude of organizations we have here in Pine-Strawberry.

Every so often a few individuals stand out and Take Pride recognizes them.

On the last Saturday in November, as his last act as president of the Take Pride organization, Ira Gibel awarded Sharon Balentine and Nancy Hubbs with the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Balentine has been an active member of the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank since 1992, and even after losing her husband Don, she continues to play an active and dedicated role, said Hubbs.

She also has been a member of Pine Library Friends since the 1990s, said Barbara Huber. She has been active with the Pine library book sales that the Library Friends do over Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

“She always has the 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. shift on Sunday,” Hubbs said. “She is just that type of person, she is always there for what she commits to doing.”

“I shouldn’t be volunteer of the year,” Balentine said upon receiving her award. “It is all of the people around me that make me the volunteer I am.”

Hubbs shared this quote.

“I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t surrounded by good people,” said Hubbs.

Hubbs, who is a member of Take Pride, said the group strove to choose a person from Take Pride and another volunteer from out in the community.

Hubbs was recognized not just for her part in Take Pride, but her commitment to the Pine-Strawberry Fuel Reduction fundraising, her active role in the Pine library, the P-S Food Bank and other activities, said Barbara Huber in her nomination letter. Notably, Hubbs helped grow the Fire on the Rim bike race from $5,500 in donations to $9,500 in just a few years.

“We are not a city, we are a community and volunteers keep our community organizations going,” Hubbs said.

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to Pine-Strawberry. And thank you again to all of you who volunteered an hour to donate blood, or hundreds of hours collecting and distributing food. Thank you for the Meals on Wheels, the toys for kids and the beautification of our town. Thank you to the volunteers elected to serve on our water, fire and school boards.

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