Chamber’s ABC Award to Dianne Blackmer

Chamber mtg Blackmer WiseDianne Blackmer, volunteer on-site director for the Greene County Christian Action Resource Center food pantry, was honored with the Above and Beyond the Call (ABC) Award at the Greene County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting Monday at the Elks lodge in Jefferson.

Diane Wise (right), recipient of last year’s award, presented the award to Blackmer (left), saying that Blackmer “exemplifies a volunteer.” She was described in one of the nominations as a “behind the scenes miracle worker and advocate to persons of various abilities.”

Blackmer spends time on an almost daily basis ordering or sorting supplies, filing, or working with clients.

Food distributed at the ARC food pantry comes from the Food Bank of Iowa in Des Moines, and it’s Blackmer who does the ordering and then, with help from a small number of volunteers, picks it up, brings it back to Jefferson, and unloads it at the ARC. She shops at several different stores in Jefferson and other communities to purchase bulk foods at the lowest cost so the ARC can serve the most people with its resources.

Blackmer was instrumental in filling a shed full of donated furniture that can be given to families with emergency needs. She arranges the pick-up of the furniture from donors and the delivery to those who receive it.

According to one nomination paper, “Civic groups, youth groups, women’s groups and individuals are indispensable volunteers and donors to the ARC… Dianne works kindly, patiently and graciously with all who come to the ARC seeking help or making donations or volunteering…. Her organizational skills, her diplomacy, and her grace are felt by all and are tremendously appreciated.”

“All of these things wouldn’t happen without a lot of other people,” Blackmer said in accepting the award. She said there are 30 volunteers who work at the food pantry on a regular basis, as well as many others who give of their time and money. “I’m overwhelmed and very pleased to accept this, but I’m really doing it on behalf of all the other people who make these things happen,” she said.

The ABC Award has since 1977 been given annually by the Chamber to a member of the community who, through personal involvement, leadership and unselfish giving of time and talent, has impacted activities or accomplishments beneficial to the community at large. Recipients are recognized for activities that are not an extension of their business activity or paid employment.

Anyone can nominate someone to receive the ABC Award. A committee of past recipients selects the winner each year.


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