Radio reading service celebrates volunteers

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ROCKY MOUNT — The Down East Radio Reading Service, which reads local news from newspapers including The Wilson Times for residents of Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties who are blind or print-impaired, held its Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on the evening of April 10.

Joe Warner, chairman of the board, opened the evening by welcoming volunteers, board members and special guests. Stephanie Brown, director of volunteer services, thanked each of the volunteers for their service.

The evening began with a meal catered by Hunter Hill Café, followed later in the evening by musical selections and a few comical quips from volunteers Joe Womack and Paul Hines. Special guest Kateaka McGee, who is the dedicated social worker for the blind for both Nash and Edgecombe counties, gave a warm introduction of the evening’s guest speaker, Brenda Lyons.

The recognition of the volunteers then followed, with Brown presenting each volunteer with a certificate of appreciation and an “almost famous” coffee mug with this year’s theme of “Riding the Airwaves to You.”

David Edwards, board member and one of the organization’s founders, announced a special recognition to honor Kitty Pultz for her efforts on behalf of DERRS. As the finale to the evening’s events, Brown presented the Volunteer of the Year award to June Thorpe. Brown recognized Thorpe as a dedicated on-air reader who has also been instrumental in introducing several volunteers to the service over the years.

Down East Radio Reading Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Rocky Mount and broadcasts local news twice daily on Mondays through Saturdays. Broadcasts from DERRS are available over the internet at downeastradioreading.org/listen. Visually impaired residents can apply for a special radio through the social worker for the blind in their county.

For more information, call 252-443-7551 or email info@downeastreading.org.