The Salvation Army honors standout volunteer, raises needed funds with “An Army of Hope” Gala in Charleston
By: Patricia Tilley
On August 26, 2022, The Salvation Army’s Charleston, West Virginia Area Command held its fifth annual “An Army of Hope” gala. The event was held at the Embassy Suites in Charleston and included a guest speaker, silent auction, awards presentation, and dinner, with the overall eye toward fundraising and the support of Salvation Army services and programs across Central West Virginia.
Vicky Bullett, a former professional basketball player, served as the guest speaker. Bullett set records during her collegiate career at the University of Maryland and played for the Charlotte Sting and Washington Mystics in the WNBA. In addition, she was selected to the 1988 and 1992 United States Olympic Teams, winning a gold medal. She currently works for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Eastern Panhandle in West Virginia.
The gala was attended by donors, volunteers, board members, and staff. In addition, Lt. Colonels Allen and Fiona Hofer, divisional commanders of The Salvation Army’s Potomac Division, were in attendance alongside Majors Joseph and Jayne May, area commanders, and Captain Kathy Palladino, corps officer for the Charleston Citadel Corps.
During the evening, the Volunteer of the Year award, chosen by the area command staff, was presented to Mrs. Phoebe Whidby, and she is an ever-present force for The Salvation Army. She has taken Christmas applications, answered phones in social services, passed out donuts on National Donut Day, stuffed envelopes for events, acted as receptionist for the Boys & Girls Club, and dressed cuts and scrapes for club members, dispensing hugs while wiping little tears. Whidby is also a member of the Charleston Citadel Corps and gives even more time for her church. When asked, staff members said that Phoebe is always willing to jump in where she is needed, and she truly reflects what it means to love others as Jesus commanded.