Sharon Runion Rowland, executive director of the state Cooperative Extension Service Foundation, received the Gordon P. Allen Award for Public Service for her role in creating Camp Challenge, a summer camp for high-achieving, low-resource students from across the state.
This summer, Camp Challenge at Sertoma 4-H Center in Stokes County will welcome rising sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Campers study financial education, enhance their reading, writing and speaking skills, and concentrate on citizenship, character development, conflict resolution and entrepreneurship. Last summer, 400 students attended the camp at no charge. Since its inception 18 years ago, the camp has reached more than 8,500 students.
Rowland shared the vision for the camp and made certain that the program was initiated and conducted with accountability and successful results.
The award, presented by North Carolina bankers, recognizes outstanding service to those in need and ongoing support of the community. It is named for the late Gordon P. Allen of Roxboro, a former state senator. Here are some of the past recipients:
- Actress Andie McDowell
- Former State Chamber Chairman Barry Eveland
- Eddie Williams of North Carolina Baptist Men for spearheading the building of homes in New Orleans ravaged by Hurricane Katrina
- Kyle and Pattie Petty of Victory Junction Gang Camp for children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses
- Moses Mathis, the “Bicycle Man,” who has repaired used bicycles for low-income children in Cumberland County for 20 years