Volunteers from Across NC Awarded the Governor’s Medallion Award

Confetti thrown in a blue room.

Seventeen individuals and three organizations representing twenty counties received North Carolina’s highest award for volunteer service, the Governor’s Medallion Award.

The award is presented annually by the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service.

The Governor’s Medallion Award honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. Recipients are nominated by members of their community and then selected by the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service, known as VolunteerNC, and housed within the Office of the Governor.


“North Carolinians are known for their generosity and these award-winning volunteers are some of the most generous people you can imagine. They give their time, talents, and energy to strengthen their communities through volunteering,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “I’m so grateful for their compassion and dedication, and I encourage all North Carolinians to find ways to volunteer.”

Medallion recipients received their awards at a ceremony on May 6 at the North Carolina Museum of History. NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service Chair Dr. Joe Blosser was the ceremony’s emcee while VolunteerNC Executive Director Briles Johnson and Volunteerism Coordinator Kenneth McLellan presented the awards to the recipients. Recipients’ families and guests attended the event along with VolunteerNC Commissioners and staff, members of the NC General Assembly, County Award Coordinators and Governor’s Office staff.

“We were excited to honor these extraordinary volunteers from across North Carolina who work selflessly and tirelessly to make our state a better place,” said Briles Johnson, Executive Director of VolunteerNC. “Medallion award recipients serve their communities in so many ways, combating food insecurity, assisting the elderly, tutoring and mentoring youth, providing mental health services and more.”

The recipients of the 2024 Governor’s Medallion for Volunteer Service are:

  • Guy Graybeal, Jr. of Ashe County. Guy volunteers with Ashe Outreach Ministries where he cooks and delivers hot meals through their mobile meal program.
  • Sonya Reid of Burke County. Sonya volunteers at the American Red Cross where she leads the onboarding and placement program to mobilize disaster volunteers across North Carolina.
  • Librado Mendoza Sosa of Chatham County. Librado volunteers with Student Action with Farmworkers and mentors college students by facilitating a 10-week summer internship program.
  • Mercil Hurt of Cherokee County. Mercil has lived a life of service by volunteering for over 50 years by serving seniors and youth in her community.
  • Deborah Swick of Dare County. Deborah volunteers with numerous organizations including helping pick up roadside trash and protect sea turtle nests.
  • Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry of Gaston County. Volunteers with this organization offer nutritious food and support services to individuals in the Greater Gaston County area.
  • Laura and Sandy Gabel of Granville Count. Laura and Sandy volunteer with Area Congregations in Ministry, a nonprofit food pantry, where they assist in fundraising efforts to support the organization.
  • Susan Tolle of Iredell County. Susan started the first Out of Darkness Suicide Walk in Iredell County to raise awareness of suicide and support efforts to prevent it.
  • Dr. William and Cindy Hall of Lee County. William and Cindy provide free medical services through their twice a week mobile health clinic.
  • Vivian Poole of McDowell County. Vivian volunteers at the McDowell County Senior Center where she delivers meals to homebound seniors three days a week.
  • Bud Frank of Mecklenburg County. Bud demonstrates exceptional dedication by contributing one thousand volunteer hours a year with the American Red Cross, including providing leadership and mentoring other volunteers.
  • Daniel Kopchick of New Hanover County. Daniel volunteers at Lower Cape Fear Lifecare where he provides support to hospice and dementia patients and their families.
  • Pamela Tudryn of Orange County. Pamela volunteers at the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, where she turns food donations into heartwarming meals for patients and their families.
  • Safe Haven of Pender Inc. of Pender County. Volunteers with Safe Haven and its thrift store support and provide resources to domestic violence victims in Pender County and surrounding area.
  • David Post volunteers with many organizations where he is a supporter committed to youth services and arts. Rowan County
  • Carmon West of Transylvania County. Carmon volunteers with the Lake Toxaway Fire Rescue, Inc. where he has volunteered for over 40 years on the on-call team of first responders.
  • Dr. Drew Polly of Union County. Drew volunteers at the Union County Schools where he provides workshops for elementary school faculty and staff.
  • NAMI NC Helpline Responder Team of Wake County. Volunteers with this team provide mental health advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families can build better lives.
  • Donna Phillips of Wayne County. Donna volunteers across multiple organizations where she teaches others how to tackle their fears and weaknesses to meet their goals, while also being a resource to the community.
  • Claudia Juarez Reyes of Wilson County. Claudia volunteers at Seeds of Hope and Amexcan where she helps support of increasing access to higher education to Latino youth.

The 2025 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award nomination form will be available this fall. Nominations are submitted to the County Award Coordinator in the county of volunteer service. Please visit volunteernc.org for more information.

Written by the North Carolina Office of the Governor.