By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Two of Trousdale County’s own are being recognized for their volunteer work in making their community a better place.

Baylee Huffines and Mark Beeler are the county’s initial recipients of the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards. Now in its 10th year, the Volunteer Stars Awards seeks to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Baylee Huffines, center, and Mark Beeler, right, will be Trousdale County’s first recipients of the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award. Also shown is Carroll Carman, who serves on the committee that selected the winners.

Nominations were taken and a four-person committee chose Huffines and Beeler to be the 2017 winners from Trousdale County. The committee consisted of Vidette editor Chris Gregory, Trousdale County High School Principal Teresa Dickerson, UT Extension Agent Jason Evitts and County Mayor Carroll Carman.

“On behalf of our committee, I’m pleased that we are able to recognize these two outstanding members of the Trousdale County community,” Gregory said. “Both Miss Huffines and Mr. Beeler exemplify the meaning of service to others.”

Huffines, a senior at TCHS, has volunteered with Haley’s Hearts Foundation, the Trousdale County Senior Center, the Hartsville Christmas Parade, the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Thanksgiving Meal and other events. She is a member of the TCHS Student Council and in that capacity has helped organize a number of events at the school, including ‘Adopt a Grandparent,’ ’12 Days of Christmas,’ and ‘Valentine’s Day with CDC Class.’

“In searching for our first applicant to the Volunteer Stars Award, I spoke with a few teachers and staff and asked ‘Who is the first person that pops in your mind as being a student volunteer and leader for our school?’ ” Dickerson said.

“Baylee Huffines’ name was unanimous in being a person that is seen volunteering at most all school events and a willing participant to help in any way possible. She is a senior this year and will be greatly missed.”

Beeler, who currently chairs the County Commission, was recognized for his 35 years of service with the Volunteer Fire Department, where he holds the rank of captain. He has also partaken in a number of mission trips, including one to Haiti.

Beeler also serves on a number of boards, including the board of directors of HOPE Family Clinic, the Industrial Development Board, the State Division of Small Business Loans and the Tennessee County Commissioners Association.

“Mark was a very easy selection,” Carman said. “Trousdale County is pleased to recognize him. He sees a need and meets the need.”

Both Huffines and Beeler were recognized during Monday’s meeting of the County Commission. They will also be honored at the Volunteer Stars state banquet, which will be held March 11 in Franklin.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.