Tammy Powell receives ‘Golden Deeds’ award

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tammy Powell was awarded the 2012 Troy Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds for her extensive contributions to the community over the years.

The Book of Golden Deeds is awarded annually to individuals who have contributed to the quality of life in the Troy area, but have not received any public recognition for their efforts.

Dr. Ed Merkel, chair of the Golden Deeds Committee for the Troy Exchange Club, said Powell has been active in the Pike County 4-H Clubs, the Pike County Cattlewomen’s Association, cemetery preservation and other community projects and programs.

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“She has played an intricate role in the success of these endeavors over the years, always in a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective,” Merkel said. “Tammy continues to be active in these organizations despite her being ill with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy over the past year. Her attitude on working in these functions and on life in general is of a sterling, positive nature which is truly admirable in itself.”

Powell, of Brundidge, said that she is honored and humbled to receive the award.

“There are so many others who are highly deserving of this recognition, so it is very humbling to be selected,” she said.

Powell and her husband, Eddie Powell, moved to Brundidge in 1985 and she joined the Pike County Extension Service as its only 4-H agent.

“After I graduated from the University of Montevallo, we moved to Jackson County in Northeast Alabama and I loved the people and place,” Powell said. “We were there seven years but my parents were getting older and I was an only child so I needed to get closer home. The position at the Pike County Extension Office was open and it was the perfect job for me.”

Powell was born into a family of teachers – her mom, aunts, great-aunts and grandmother – and it seemed that teaching was her destiny.

“I wanted to teach, but not in the classroom,” she said. “So, being the 4-H agent gave me the opportunity to teach, but not in the classroom.”

When Powell arrived in Pike County, not all schools had 4-H clubs.

“There were 618 members of 4-H clubs in the county,” she said. “My challenge was to grow 4-H.”

Powell began expanding the 4-H program by working with administrators to include 4-H clubs in their schools.

“The school officials were very opening and welcoming,” she said. “They wanted 4-H and so did many of the parents.”

When Powell retired after 27 years, she did so with the satisfaction that 4-H had grown under her leadership. The number of 4-H’ers in Pike County was nearly 1,800.

Not only has Powell been a leader in the schools of Pike County, she has also been a community servant.

As a member of the Beulah Cemetery Foundation, she took that opportunity to involve 4-H’ers in cemetery clean-ups at Beulah Cemetery and other historic cemeteries in the county.

“Not only were they doing community service projects, they were also learning about the history of our communities,” Powell said.

Powell is also involved with the United Way.

“The 17 agencies that receive support from the United Way are so vital to the betterment of our community,” she said.

Powell is a member of several boards that play important roles in the community, including the Pike Farmers Market and the Farm City Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

She continues to work with the Pike County Steer and Heifer Show and with invitational calf shows.

“I’m not on the Relay for Life board but I’m involved in Relay activities and work to raise awareness of cancer issues,” she said. “I’m actively involved in my church, Brundidge United Methodist.”

Powell is also active in two Extension professional organizations and will be working with those organizations when they bring national meetings to Mobile, one in October and the other in July 2014.

“These meetings will bring several thousand Extension people from all across the country to Alabama, so it’s exciting to be a part of that,” she said.

Powell has not let chemotherapy or radiation keep her from doing what she enjoys most – working for the betterment of her community and in various ways.

“For these and many other reasons, the Troy Exchange Club was particularly pleased to nominate and select Tammy Powell as the 2012 recipient,” Merkel said. “We are proud to honor her.”