Thursday, August 12, 2004

Volunteers In Action - LaBelle

FAITH IN ACTION in LaBelle> -- Heart Beats & Hands - Volunteer Profile
We only have to mention the name, Millard Wagnon, and people nod their
heads in recognition, usually with a big smile. Millard is a man of action,
and an extraordinary example of how an individual can make a difference if
they have the desire to do so.
Millard was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He met his wife, Marigene, better
known to others as Micki, in church where he was the altar boy. The happy
couple has been married for fifty-two years. They've raised three children
and are the proud grandparents of one grandchild, Mary Elizabeth.
Mr. Wagnon has had his share of exciting jobs. The one he's proudest of was
working for the space program. In 1969, Millard was the person in charge of
placing the monkey inside the spaceship which orbited the earth for eight
days. He stated that it was a big event. Barbara Eden of "I Dream of
Jeannie" was on location and was escorted from place to place by the
astronauts. He retired in 1989 from the Einstein Medical Center in
Philadelphia, where he was the Supervisor of Research Surgery.
Upon retirement, he and Micki decided to sail to Florida to be near his
mother. However, their sailing expedition was short lived thanks to
Hurricane Hugo. He added, "The hurricane actually saved our lives. The
alternator went out and we had to pull into port for repairs on Thursday,
and the hurricane hit on Tuesday. We took shelter ashore, otherwise we
would have been in it." After arriving in LaBelle, he became an active
volunteer for Senior Connections of Southwest Florida. "The agency was
doing wonderful things for my mother, and I wanted to help them," he added.
Millard has had some good role models in life, such as his mother who was
one of ten women in the Navy in 1918. He also is an excellent role model
for others. He provides over ninety hours of volunteer service each month
providing transportation, sponsoring SHARE food packages and performing
various other duties for veterans or their families. He is a member of the
American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Greater Labelle Chamber of
Commerce, and Kiwanis of LaBelle. He has served on the coalition of FAITH
IN ACTION in Labelle, is the immediate past president of the board of
Senior Connections of Southwest Florida, and is the vice chairperson of
Local Coordinating Board of Transportation for the Disadvantaged. He says
his reason for becoming a FIA volunteer is simply because he was asked by
one person and recommended by another. He said "I was already doing all the
things a FAITH IN ACTION in LaBelle volunteer is known for, and decided I
would become a FIA volunteer too."
If you would like learn more about FAITH IN ACTION in LaBelle, become a
volunteer or if you or someone you know needs the assistance of a
volunteer, please call Barbara Marshall at (863) 675-1446. FAITH IN ACTION
in LaBelle is a program with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, Senior Connections of Southwest Florida, Inc., a United Way
partner agency, grants and donations from other individuals and groups in
our community.

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