Photo by Dan Andrews.
Home Federal Bank Executive Vice President Debra Smith (from left) and President Dale Keasling name Gregory Walters a Hometown Hero and the program’s overall 2013 winner at a ceremony at the bank’s Fountain City branch May 2. Walters designated his $5,000 award to Friends of Literacy, and Executive Director Melissa Nance accepted the funds on the organization’s behalf.

Home Federal Bank named Gregory E. Walters a Hometown Hero and also the program’s 2013 overall winner and presented a check for $5,000 in his name to Friends of Literacy at a ceremony at Home Federal Bank’s Fountain City branch on Thursday, May 2.

Now in its third year, the Hometown Heroes program spotlights ordinary people who do extraordinary things for others and their community. The public submitted dozens of nominations and ten winners were selected for their extraordinary volunteer work in the community.

A $2,500 donation is made in each honoree’s name to the nonprofit of his or her choice, and the overall winner of the ten finalists has an additional $2,500 donation made in his or her name.

“There are so many great people that selflessly do an incredible amount of good for our community and never get the credit they deserve,” said Home Federal Bank President Dale Keasling. “People like Gregory Walters, whose volunteer efforts help improve the quality of life for adults in our community every day, exemplify what it means to be a Hometown Hero.”

Logging more than 1,000 volunteer hours over the past six years with Friends of Literacy and Knox County Schools Adult Education, Walters has helped countless adults learn to read or earn a GED and taught non-native speakers to read and write English, improving lives throughout our community. He has been described as a positive, can-do volunteer, helping with everything from tutoring, fundraising and mailings to assisting at GED graduations, judging essay contests and organizing textbooks and materials. With a passion for his work, Walters draws inspiration from the success of the students he has helped.

Executive Director Melissa Nance accepted the donation on behalf of Friends of Literacy.

In addition to Walters, the following have been named 2013 Home Federal Bank Hometown Heroes:

• Evelyn Crawford, benefiting Ronald McDonald House

• Dr. D. Carter Davis, benefiting Volunteer Ministry Center

• Carol Devenski, benefiting Knoxville Museum of Art

• Sandra Fugate, benefiting Light Mission Pentecostal Church

• Barbara Hatcher, benefiting the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians

• Benjamin Thomas Jr., benefiting Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church

• Edie Volk, benefiting Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

• Stephanie Wallace, benefiting SOAR Youth Ministries

• Tami Wyatt, benefiting Smoky Mountain Service Dogs

“We are happy to honor these Hometown Heroes,” said Keasling. “And we are pleased to support these programs that do such great things for our neighbors throughout the year.”