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Ministry honors community leaders

By Staff, 06/15/20 10:01 AM

PRESCOTT – Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

The Curry Outreach Ministry, formed three years ago, had planned to hold an awards dinner on May 23 at the Prescott Junior High School cafeteria to honor those who do good work in the community. Because of the coronavirus those plans had to be scrapped. However, the recipients wouldn’t be forgotten or ignored as Ivory Curry modified his plans and held a modest awards ceremony Saturday, June 13, at the ministry building on Greenlawn. The building once was the Busy Bee convenience store.

Five people were honored for their work in the community over the years. Curtis Lee Johnson received the Lifetime Award; while Ronnie Nolen, Sr. was named Citizen of the Year; Julie Oliver was tabbed as Public Servant of the Year; while Kay Curry was honored as the Outstanding Ministry; with Rashalla Young earning the Rising Star award.

Curry said these people set good examples in the community and deserve to be recognized. The ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook.

Curry said Prescott is a diverse community and should be proud of its diversity, but added it can be improved, but improvement begins with people investing their time and/or money back into the community and raising their voices. “We need positive action,” he said, lauding Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver for “seeing people as people and not color.”

“He represents the community proudly, is open-minded and fair-thinking. We need to make the decision to elevate the community in this season of trial, and it starts with people like these.

Johnson was the first to be recognized. Johnson has been a member of the Prescott Lions Club more than 50 years, where he’s famous for flipping burgers at club events, and typically donates $500 to the club’s Christmas Auction. He’s also been a member of the Nevada County Quorum Court for around 45 years, working to improve the county.

Johnson talked about his early years and how his family was helped out in times of need. He said when he got to where he could, it was time to give back and help others. “I’ve always liked helping people.”

Curry said Johnson has been an encouragement to people.

Young was the next to be recognized. Young is the daughter of Emma Tidwell and Willie Young. She’s a senior at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Her major is in Elementary Education and has plan on graduating in 2021. Rashalla is a member of Gamma Beta Phi. Young attends Carrie Street Church of God in Gurdon. She has been working with Curry’s Community Outreach Ministry for three years. In the ministry she over the technology and youth department.

Nevada County Clerk Julie Oliver followed. Curry said no matter where he goes, she’s there helping someone, adding, she could have been named public servant of the decade. He said she drove people to the food distribution event to make sure those who didn’t have transportation weren’t left out, has been in office for 28 years and also mows lawns.

Oliver said she tries to pump Prescott up as she loves the community. She said there are others more deserving of the honor than her. She’s active in the community and is known statewide and in North Texas because of the County Clerk’s Association and her bowling league. She’s been to the National Bowling Tournament across the nation more than 20 times, is on the hospitality committee at Central Baptist Church, where she’s also the leader of the AWANA program. Oliver bakes cookies and other treats for her neighbors and loves carpentry. She built her own cabin at the Reader Sportsman Club where she’s the hunting lease manager. She and Pam Box, Nevada County Assessor, flip houses. She also decorates the courthouse and her home for Christmas.

Kay Curry was next up. She said she started in this building 25-years-ago working as a cashier and this is where she met a lot of young people. “This is like home,” she said of the building. “It’s a blessing to get the building back.”

Curry is also the co-founder of the outreach ministry, helps serve 150-200 people a month during the community feeds, was an employee at Firestone for 25 years, is the co-owner of Curry Enterprises, LLC; Curry Cleaners and Laundromat. She is the first lady of Carry Street Church of God in Gurdon, has four children and seven grandchildren. She is also the wife of Ivory Curry.

Nolen was with Firestone for 38 years, Curry said, and cares a lot about Prescott. He has six children and 16 grandchildren, who he follows with the Curley Wolves. He was a member of the 72-73 championship teams and makes sure the ministry is sanitized before services.

“I appreciate this award,” Nolen said. He pointed out Johnson helped him avoid being kicked out of the National Guard, adding Curry is a spiritual leader. Nolen said he sees how the mayor works with children and does a great job.

“A man told me, a long time ago, some people are talkers, some are doers. I want to be a doer.”

Nolen is the second vice president of the ministry, delivers 30-40 meals during the community feeds, is a leader to his family and works to make sure the ministry has what it needs.

“These people need to be emulated,” Curry said. “They love the community and want to be pillars of positive things.” These awards, he added, will be held annually and nominations are needed for next year’s recipients. “It’s important to recognize people who are doing things in Prescott.”

If possible, he said, next year’s recipients will be honored at a dinner. In addition, when things are opened up safely, he plans to hold a fundraising dinner.