Riding The Strip has led to three local philanthropists being recognized as Humanitarians of the Year by the McMinnville Noon Exchange Club.
This year, the 2013-14 Humanitarian of the Year Award recognized Back to The Strip organizers Chris Terry, Mary Walker and Joey Clark. The event, which is held annually the first Saturday in May, attracts thousands of people who ride The Strip and sit and mingle.
Along with being a festive event and a trip down memory lane, Back to The Strip raises money to benefit the local Meals on Wheels program, which seeks to feed the elderly and shut-ins who might otherwise go hungry. The event has raised thousands in donations and tons of non-perishable food items.
“This is a wonderful thing they are doing for our community,” said Noon Exchange Club new president Ashley Wright in presenting the award. “They are providing something all of us look forward to every year while helping a worthy cause like Meals on Wheels. These are truly humanitarians in every sense of the word.”
The Humanitarian Award is an annual honor given by Noon Exchange to give recognition to a person or persons who give of themselves to help others without seeking any recognition.
Along with giving the honor, Wright received an honor herself during the Exchange Club banquet Tuesday. She was conferred the Exchangite of the Year Award for her work during the past year.
According to last year’s winner, Kelly Basham, Wright was part of almost every volunteer event carried out by Noon Exchange which included things like helping the local Children’s Advocacy Center and providing Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. She also organized the Day of Hope downtown this spring to raise awareness to the plague of child abuse.
The National Exchange Club’s mission is the prevention of child abuse as it funds numerous child abuse prevention centers across the nation.