Allen receives national fraternalism award
by Emily McLain
SYLACAUGA – When Faye Allen retired 13 years ago, she made the decision to get involved rather than stay at home. In the years since, she has consistently volunteered for numerous organizations in the area, and now she is being recognized for her generosity on a grand scale.

Allen was recently named national and state Fraternalist of the Year by the fraternal benefit organization Woodmen of the World, an affiliate of Omaha Woodmen Life Insurance Society. The group annually selects a member that best exemplifies its commitment to family, community and country. Allen, secretary of the local Lodge 1137, is the first Alabama member since 1995 to be awarded both state and national Fraternalist of the Year.

“I am grateful for every opportunity that I am given, and I am humbled to receive this honor,” Allen said. “It is a blessing. I want to thank everyone for their faith in me and for choosing me for this award.”

Retired from a 29-year career in banking, Allen volunteers at least five days a week in various capacities. Among other activities, she serves as financial advisor for the Weogufka Center for Arts, Entertainment and Education; is choir director at Weogufka First Baptist Church; delivers more than 80 meals daily for the nutrition program at Maxye Veazey Senior Center; is a member of the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, Coosa County Cattlewoman’s Association, Silver Line Dancers, Friendship Quilting Group and Daughters of the American Revolution; and routinely volunteers with Relay for Life, B.B. Comer Library, J. Craig Smith Community Center, Magic of Marble Festival and Parks and Recreation.

“She performs a lot of outstanding duties to help the community through Woodmen,” said Debbie Pearce, Woodmen of the World area field representative. “She is one of those people that never stops and is always totally giving. She is the hardest working woman, and she never asks for anything in return, and there are so few people out there like that. It’s nice for the Woodmen (to recognize) her at this level, and she deserves it.”

Woodmen of the World, a nonprofit insurance company, has roughly 800,000 members nationwide with a system of local member lodges that support their communities with volunteerism, patriotic flag projects, disaster relief and other efforts.

A 47-year member, Allen has donated American flags to several groups through the organization, and has also spearheaded Woodmen’s “Join Hands Day” improvement projects benefiting the Weogufka Center and B.B. Comer Library and coordinated for the “Bridges” after-school youth program.

To recognize Allen’s achievements, the local Woodmen lodge and B.B. Comer Library are hosting a reception July 30 at 11 a.m. at the library. Refreshments will be provided by Hickory Street Café with an awards presentation to follow.

“Faye has really been a blessing to B.B. Comer Library,” library director Shirley Spears said. “She and her team have participated in several projects here and have just been a presence in the library that has helped us provide better quality programs and a better facility, and helped us be more patriotic through the donation of an American flag and a 9/11 flag. We’re just honored to be a part of this recognition for her."

Allen said she is thankful for the attention she has received, though she feels undeserving.

“It touches me; I don’t deserve all this,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to me to volunteer and help the community.”

For information about the reception, contact B.B. Comer Library at 256-249-0961.

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© 2013