Nominations sought for annual Caregiver Award at Chamber banquet
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan 4, 2006 - Pilot Club of Sulphur Springs will be accepting nominations through Jan. 26 for its annual Caregiver of the Year award, which will be presented at the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet in February.

Nominees are dedicated individual who provide voluntary caregiver service for individuals with no monetary compensation for their efforts. Also, in order to be recommended for the award, the person must either be a Hopkins County resident or provide care to one or more Hopkins County residents.

Those providing care for people with brain-related disorders or diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's and Huntington's will be given special consideration. Nominees also are restricted from being members of either the Pilot Club or Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in the year of nomination.

Last year's Caregiver of the Year was Pat Higginbotham, who is very active in the Terrific Tuesdays program at First United Methodist Church and dedicates her spare time to educate others about Alzheimer's Disease. Her husband was diagnosed two years prior to receiving the award, and Higginbotham retired early to take care of him.

The first Caregiver of the Year Award was presented in 2004 to Johnny Dobson. During the 12 years he had cared for his wife, who suffered from Alzheimer's, Dobson also battled two serious ailments of his own. He underwent heart surgery that involved five bypasses, then a few years later underwent surgery for cancer. At the time he was presented the award, he was receiving chemotherapy and radiation for another bout with cancer.

In 2005, Shirley Baxter was honored by Pilot Club as the Caregiver of the Year for providing total, around the clock care for her husband, make sure he kept in touch with friends through weekly visits and donated time in the community.

In order to be nominated, recommendations may be mailed to Pilot Club, 345 Highland Drive, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483. Nominations must include a personal narrative describing the type of care the nominee provides, how long the care has been given, who the care is provided to, how they meet the criteria, and why they are deserving to be considered for the award. Nominations must be received at the above address no later than Jan. 26.

The fourth annual Caregiver of the Award will be presented during the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.

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