We Can program holds annual Children’s Memorial Flag Ceremony, honors local helpers

Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

April 27, 2014

On Friday, April 25, the Children’s Home Society’s We Can program held it’s annual Children’s Memorial Flag Ceremony at the Logan Co. Courthouse.

This year’s ceremony began with Justice Grade Pre-K parading in to the Star Spangled Banner, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing God Bless America.

During the ceremony, Ellen Browning, We Can Coordinator, recognized workers from Logan Co. who have made a difference in the children’s lives. Those recognized were workers of Children’s Protective Services, Youth Services and Adult Services.

There were also special awards for businesses and individuals of the community who have worked/volunteered above and beyond to make a difference with We Can. The award recipients were nominated by the board and then voted on.

Awards were given in three categories: community service, social services and volunteer.

Josh Dingess of Gilbert won the award for Volunteer of the Year.

Dingess, who is a full time student at Marshall University, a lifeguard for both the Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Gilbert and the YMCA in Huntington and a volunteer with We Can and Big Brother was surprised to be honored with such a prestigious award.

“This is crazy,” says Dingess. “It is such an honor to be named volunteer of the year.”

Rebecca Farmer, a We Can board member said Dingess was the clear pick for the award.

“This award is voted on by the We Can board members, and Josh was the unanimous choice. We’re all so thankful for what he does with the children.”

But Dingess doesn’t see what he does as heroic, he simply loves spending time with the kids.

“Aaron [my brother] and I are hired to be lifeguards at the camp, but we like to help out in any way possible. From helping set up to supervising the kids to making sure they can all swim, we just do whatever needs to be done. And we refuse to be paid. We don’t need money that they can use to help make these kids’ lives better.”

Other recipients were Man Clothing and Jewelry Co. for Community Service and New Beginnings for Social Services.

Judge Kelly Codispoti says she is thankful that Logan has so many people who are willing to risk their lives to make the lives of Logan’s children better.