There was a surprise waiting for Ted Mosteller and Sheryl
Clouse at the offices of the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce on April 22,
and it wasnt additional work being asked of them.
Although thats what they thought it likely could be.
Ted, I need you at the office at 9:45 a.m. Chamber Director
John Solomon had asked, and Mosteller had quickly said OK.
Givers of their time and energy to volunteering, the two
were honored for their contributions, Mosteller, now 79, over the course of a
lifetime, and Clouse as the Volunteer of the Year.
We have a huge unrecognized volunteer force in Franklin County,
said Solomon, following a brief ceremony at the chamber offices.
But these two were the ones recognized, just as Mike Cates,
Bonnie Kellogg and Val Webb, who attended the ceremony, had been in
For your life and history and because of all youve done, we
thank you for everything you do for the community, said Donna Duncan, chair of
the chamber board, in announcing the new lifetime achievement award that will
soon be given annually to a deserving person.
In Mostellers case, that service included 56 years with the
Florida Seafood Festival, including two as president in the early years, and a
year in, year out commitment both to it, as well as a host of other passions,
from repairing fixtures at ballfields to providing help at the airport.
Thank you so much Im humbled. I dont know what to say. I didnt
expect this, he said after being given the award from Duncan.
I just do what I do, he said.
In addition to a gift certificate from Tamaras Café he
received from the chamber, Cates presented Mosteller, who lives in
Apalachicola, with a set of tools from the staff at Cates Electric, the plastic
case marked with Thanks for all you do to make where we live a better place.
Clouse, accompanied by her dog Otis Redding III, so-named because
he sits on the dock of the bay, was handed a bouquet of flowers by Solomon
after Duncans announcement she was Volunteer of the Year.
Everything you have done has not gone unnoticed, said
Duncan. The pulling together the auction for the fire department, everything
you did behind the scenes, we saw it, and we thank you.
Solomon, who has championed volunteerism all the way up to
encouraging Gov. DeSantis to issue a proclamation for Volunteer Week, said volunteers
are very important to Franklin County, we thank you for everything you do.
There are so many other people who do so much, he said. Thats
what these are for, to recognize people.
Theres so many we could give that to.
Im just a small cog in a much larger machine, Solomon
said. Without these cogs the machine wont work.
While Clouse has lent a hand in a variety of places, the St.
George Island residents primary volunteer devotions are to the Chile Cookoff, Brewfest
and Pink Out.
A native of Iowa, she also served on the board of directors
of the all-volunteer Greyhound Pets of America – Wisconsin, as adoption
coordinator, and was active with the LaCrosse (Wisconsin) Community Theatre,
before moving to Tallahassee, and four years ago, full-time to the island.
She holds a doctorate in English literature from the University
of North Carolina at Greensboro.
I was raised in Iowa, and thats what you do, if someone
needs something you help out, she said, recalling how after storms, people on
the island were quick to go door to door in golf carts, making sure people
could get in and out of their homes, and had what they needed to get by.
It felt like home again, its a real community, where
everyone looks out for each other and helps each other, she said. We are a
family and when someones in trouble we help them.
You have that here and thats huge and I think thats sadly
rare, Clouse said. Thats what really unique and special about this place.