Randolph Lodge No. 116 and Delphia Rebekah Lodge No. 62 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows will host its annual Awards Dinner today at the lodge hall on the Beverly Five-lane.
The Humanitarian of the Year was established to honor one individual a year who goes above and beyond the call of duty in local communities. The recipient cannot be a member of the Order. Former recipients include Dr. Farukh Khan, Dr. Gloria Payne, the late U.S. District Judge Robert Maxwell, Margaret Gutshall, Jack Basil, Steve Shepler, T. Richard "Dick" Harvey, G.T. "Buck" Smith, Ray LaMora, Jeanne Gardner Hart and Belinda Toms.
During the evening, the Odd Fellow of the Year award will be given to a member who has demonstrated the principles of Odd Fellowship through his or her daily walk of life. The award is to thank the member for the years of service and devotion to helping not only fellow members of the lodge but the community at large.
Another highlight of the evening will be the awarding of the Good Samaritan of the Year. The award goes to an individual who helped anyone in distress and for the good of mankind. Former recipients include former Delegate and state Sen. Mike Ross, Wayne Huffman, Stanley Teets, Elloise Hollen and Robert and Elizabeth Bowers of Scottie's Restaurant.
Representatives from the international governing bodies include Lady Roseann Turner, secretary of the International Association of Ladies Auxiliaries Patriarchs Militant; Maj. Gen. Emil Suder, executive officer of the General Military Council; Vivian Pursell, secretary of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies; and Dr. Charles Worrell, Sr., past sovereign grand master of The Sovereign Grand Lodge and current international membership chairman.
Turner, from Glenville, was initiated into Normantown Rebekah Lodge No. 69 in January 1961 and later transferred to Glenville Rebekah Lodge No. 104 where she is still an active member and held the office of noble grand, secretary and treasurer.
She and her husband, Harless, the current sovereign grand treasurer, travel across the nation and Canada promoting the principles of Odd Fellowship while making and rekindling friendships along the way.
Suder is a member of Randolph Lodge No. 116 and currently serves as secretary. He served as grand master of West Virginia in 2011-2012 and department commander of the IOOF military in 2010-2012. He currently serves as the executive officer of the General Military Council of the world. Suder is also a member of William Ewing Encampment No. 55, Delphia Rebekah Lodge No. 62 and Canton Tucker No. 8.
Suder is a 2005 and 2006 graduate of Davis & Elkins College, a 2007 graduate from the University of Phoenix, and a 2009 graduate of Capella University. He received an honorary doctorate degree in divinity in 2013. He currently is the director of resource development and marketing coordinator for The Good Samaritan Society Barbour County.
Pursell, of Winston-Salem, N.C., was installed as secretary of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies in Wichita, Kan., in August 2002. Prior to her move to Winston-Salem, she retired as a civil engineer technician form the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, in September 2002 with 36 years of federal service.
She was initiated in the Rebekahs in October 1968 and served the jurisdiction of Florida as treasurer from 1982 to 1984; secretary from 1984-1995, receiving secretary emeritus in 1995; and assembly president from 1999-2000. She was initiated into Salem Odd Fellows Lodge No. 36 in January 2006 and Salem Encampment No. 20 in February 2008. She is currently serving as chief matriarch of Salem Encampment.
Her husband, Bill, whom she married in November 1970, has been a member of the Odd Fellows Order since July 1975.
He is a past grand conductor of the Grand Lodge of Florida, and past chief patriarch of Salem Encampment No. 20. They are both active in the Jurisdiction of North Carolina.
Worrell joined the Junior Odd Fellows lodge at the age of 12 and has been a member of the Order for over 55 years. He is a licensed funeral director for Nashville and an ordained minister and has served the organization in Tennessee as its grand master in 1982-1983 and sovereign grand master in 1993-1994. Worrell is also a three-time chairperson of the international membership committee. "The key to membership revolves around education," stated Worrell. "For too long we have kept our good works quiet. Hence, many have never heard of the IOOF."
Worrell is also a member of the Masonic Order, Knights of Pythias and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
"We anticipate an evening of excitement and worthy recognition as we announce the recipients of the awards," said Patricia Chewning, noble grand of Randolph Lodge. "We want the residents of Elkins to be proud of the accomplishments of the honorees and know that we are actively involved in the community."
IOOF is a worldwide united fraternal group that reaches out and elevates the character of mankind.
For more information about the organization go online and visit www.wvioof.org.