Betty Lou Jones named Citizen of the Year, Unsung Heroes honored
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR' Betty Lou Jones, heralded as a community volunteer and organizer whose work strengthens the fabric of America, receives the "Citizen of the Year" award from Paul Barrett, publisher of The Meridian Star. Jones and 11 Unsung Heroes were honored at a reception Wednesday night as the newspaper's 2002 Profile edition was unveiled. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 28, 2002
Betty Lou Jones has been named the 2002 Citizen of the Year by The Meridian Star, an honor for her that publisher Paul Barrett said was long overdue.
Jones was honored at a reception hosted by the newspaper Wednesday night at the Queen City Inn, where the Profile 2002: Fabric of America special edition was unveiled. Eleven "Unsung Heroes," nominated by readers of The Star for outstanding contributions to the area's quality of life, also were recognized.
Citing Jones' volunteer efforts, including organization of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Meridian's largest annual fund-raising event Barrett said Jones' works illustrates what a community can accomplish when it pursues common goals.
Jones said a friend once told her that a mother is only as happy as her least happiest child.
Buddy Bynum, editor of The Meridian Star, presented plaques to the unsung heroes after sharing some of what their nominators had written about them.
Dr. Bob Simmons, a pastor and professor, was touched by the words his daughter, Ann Brown, wrote. She called him the wisest man she knows.
Ruth Vinson Irwin was another unsung hero honored for her volunteer work.
Other unsung heroes honored were Joyce Boone, Ben Cornish, Billie Luke East, Roy D. Higdon III, Stephanie Birdsong Jordon, Lowell Martin, Annette Palmer, Buddy Scott and Sandy Vaughn.
Their stories appear in The Meridian Star's Profile 2002 section published today.
After the reception, Jones commended the newspaper and those who nominated unsung heroes for recognizing the "fabric of the community."