Generosity honored at Browning Awards
by Rebecca Johnston
April 22, 2014 09:33 PM | 2244 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jim and Peggy Hubbard are among those who are being honored Thursday night at the fifth annual Carter and Elizabeth Browning Awards ceremony. <br> Special to the Tribune
Jim and Peggy Hubbard are among those who are being honored Thursday night at the fifth annual Carter and Elizabeth Browning Awards ceremony.
Special to the Tribune
Elizabeth Browning and her late husband, Carter Browning, are the namesakes of community service awards for those who give back to the Hickory Flat community.
Elizabeth Browning and her late husband, Carter Browning, are the namesakes of community service awards for those who give back to the Hickory Flat community.
HICKORY FLAT — Five residents of Hickory Flat will be honored Thursday for their contributions to their community in the presentation of the fifth annual Carter and Elizabeth Browning Awards.

Recipients this year are Julie Darnell, Jim and Peggy Hubbard and Eldred and Jennie Vaughn, all nominated and chosen for significant community service, said Linda Statham, who helped establish the awards.

The award ceremony is at 7 p.m. at Antioch Christian Church.

“This award has been established to honor the dedication of these two individuals who devoted themselves to students and adults in the Hickory Flat community,” Statham said. “The late Carter Browning served as the principal at Hickory Flat Elementary for 24 years while his wife served that same length of time as the school media specialist.”

The Brownings resided in a home next to the school and unselfishly dedicated themselves to Hickory Flat Elementary as well as to the entire Hickory Flat community, she said.

“They were a team that exemplified the highest unselfish qualities of service, dedication, care and compassion to those they served.

Darnell is being recognized for her generous spirit, Statham said.

“She is one of those who ‘works behind the scenes’ to assist people in need of which apparently there have been hundreds,” Statham said.

Hickory Flat Elementary had a custodian for many years, Jimmy Davis or Mr. Jimmy as the community knew him.

“He was mentally challenged and had his specific daily jobs at the school. He was loved by all. Julie kind of adopted him and made sure his medical and physical needs were met. Nobody will ever know of the many kind deeds she has performed for many individuals and groups,” she said of the recipient.

Wayne Sims, a former recipient along with wife Ann, said Darnell does a lot for underprivileged children and those in need of a boost.

“She is described as a person who lights up room with her friendliness and her spirit,” Sims said.” She buys toys for underprivileged kids, takes nursing home patients to lunch, and does a lot for others.”

Like Darnell, Elrod Vaughn and his late wife Jennie have a reputation for helping others.

Neighbor Barbara Soules, one of about 20 people in the community to nominate Vaughn and his wife, who died in 2012, said the quiet service they always did and he continues to do has spoken volume to others.

“Community service,” she said, when asked why she nominated the couple. “He is going to be 91 years old this year and he still helps others every day.”

The couple were active as volunteers at Cherokee-Northside Hospital, formerly R.T. Jones.

“He has been traveling to the nursing homes and assisted living centers on Thursdays for more than 20 years and with each trip he takes all those that can have a small treat a pack of peanut butter crackers at his own expense, usually the count is 40 plus,” Soules said.

“He grows an awesome garden, and gives away as much as he keeps. He is in church every Sunday handing out mints to all the kids at church. Eldred is also an active member of Hickory Flat Lodge,” she said.

The couple was extensively involved as Shriners as well, holding most offices and helping to raise funds.

“When I first moved next door, he told me to strive to do a good deed for someone every day, he calls widows, widowers, and does so much for others,” Soules said.

The Hubbards have always been strong contributors to Hickory Flat and the surrounding communities, Statham said.

“He was a volunteer fireman for many, many years and I’ve forgotten how many times he was the first responder to various needs. It seems it was hundreds and hundreds. He served as county commissioner for the area for a number of years. Peggy was active in the PTA, their church and many other activities,” she said.

Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Chief Larry Berry was one of several who nominated the Hubbards.

“I first met Jim and Peggy Hubbard in September 1975 when a group of men in the Hickory Flat community decided to start a volunteer fire department,” Berry said.

Hubbard was instrumental in the organizing and getting the department started up and running and has served in almost every position in the department since that time, including fire officer, trustee, president and treasurer and unofficial chaplain, he said.

“Whenever we had a difficult call with loss of life or serious injury, Jim is the one we looked to for helping comfort the family and loved ones. He has a unique gift for that ministry,” he said.

Peggy played an important part in it also, Berry said.

“She not only helped with the fundraising but also with the dispatching of the volunteers when a fire call was

received. She has remained as a helpmate to Jim in his activities as a fireman, community advocate, and county commissioner,” he said.

As county commissioner he made many contributions to the community, Berry said.

“During his many years as a resident in the community, Jim has been active on the political side also, attending the many commission meetings and promoting the low density land use that we have enjoyed in Hickory Flat,” he said.

Hubbard was also honored by the Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow in 1959 and continues to be involved as a “Member at Large” of the Cherokee Pickens District. He is also a Viet Nam Veteran and represented his country and the Hickory Flat community well during his tour of duty, Berry said.

Past recipients have included: W.O. and Mattie Rhodes, Ty and Betty Adams, Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department, George Lingefelt, William Garrett, Horace and Florence Clark, Fred and Louise Haley, Ronnie Holbert, Wayne and Ann Sims, John and Bunky Bowden, Ronald and Betty Page and the Thomas/Pinyan families.

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