5 April, 2018
The Gadsden State Community College Cardinal Foundation is hosting the second annual Everyday Heroes Breakfast at 9 a.m. April 11 at the One Stop Center on the East Broad Street Campus. All media is invited to attend.
A committee was formed to select five honorees from among the nominations submitted. Nominations came from the three counties where Gadsden State educational sites are located – Etowah, Cherokee and Calhoun counties.
The honorees will be introduced by those who nominated them for the Everyday Hero Award. Honorees include:
Casey was nominated by Dr. Sara Wheeler, a math instructor at Gadsden State’s Ayers Campus, because of her ability to persevere. Casey has triumphed through personal tragedies, including a difficult childhood, many miscarriages and academic hardships. Her son, Fisher, was born with Down Syndrome as well as holes in his heart that required surgery. He inspired Casey to write the children’s story, “Huggie Dougie.” Now a Gadsden State student, she has earned the Outstanding Math Student Award and will graduate this fall with a degree in Paralegal Studies.
Donald was nominated by Heather Brothers New, the president of The Chamber of Gadsden/Etowah. He is the owner of WMGJ, the area’s only African-American-owned radio station. He served as the chairperson for the local NAACP chapter for decades. Floyd organizes the longest and oldest-standing Juneteenth Celebration in Alabama as well as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day city-wide program. A well-known Gadsden historian, he has been involved for many years on community revitalization projects.
Larry and Sue Guffey
The Guffeys were nominated by two people: Luanne Hayes, campus director of Gadsden State Cherokee, and Thereasa Hulgan, director of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. The Guffeys, who live in Cherokee County, have advocated for the mentally ill for well over 25 years. They established the Centre chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization for which Sue also served as state chairperson. The Guffeys have implemented crisis intervention team training to assist with law enforcement challenges, and they spearhead NAMI WALKS Alabama, an annual statewide fundraiser.
Hilton was nominated by Melissa Davis, director of Gadsden State’s Student Support Services. Hilton is the founder of the Eagle Rock Boys Ministries, a nonprofit organization with a purpose to meet the enormous needs of young men who had to experience abuse, neglect and poverty. He has opened two thrift stores to help fund the expansion of the ranch, which was opened in 1994. Eagle Rock Ministries now employs 20 people and has helped over 300 boys.
Rowan was nominated by Charlotte Kiger, an English instructor at Gadsden State. Rowan is a special education teacher for Gadsden City Schools and is the founder of Beautiful Rainbow Café, which trains special needs students to eventually enter the mainstream workforce. His teaching practices guide students to more successful interactions with the world around them. He also gives hope and solitude to the parents and grandparents who once worried about the future of their special needs children.