For immediate release
Stephen honored as outstanding volunteer by MRPC
ST. JAMES—Wilma Stephen of Maries County was honored by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) for her outstanding volunteer contributions to Maries County. Due to Covid, MRPC was unable to have its annual volunteer awards banquet, and at the request of Maries County Presiding Commission Vic Stratman, the board is honoring Stephen with her award at this time.
Stephen was nominated by Stratman, who is also an MRPC board member. Stephen has been on the Maries-Osage Ambulance Board since the mid 1970s and has served as the board secretary for the majority of those years. Additionally, she is an invaluable election poll worker during elections going to whatever polling location requires help that year. Stephen has worked the polls in Maries County for three years. Aside from working with the Maries-Osage Ambulance Board and the Maries County elections, Stephen works with homebound senior citizens to fill out their taxes at no charge.
Stephen is a mother of five children and has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She worked over 30 years at the Missouri Ozark Community Action doing Back to School fairs and youth life skills programs. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years at Sheppard Baptist Church and a member of the VFW Post 4238 where she helped with many veteran organizations such as Buddy Poppy sales. Stephen has been a pillar in the community, and Stratman said the award was well deserved and overdue.
“I have lived and worked in Maries County all of my life, and I have witnessed Wilma doing all sorts of civic activities for decades,” said Stratman. “Wilma has been particularly active in the Maries-Osage Ambulance District since its start about 40 years ago, and each year Wilma helps seniors to fill out their taxes at no charge.”
MRPC hopes to be able to honor the other outstanding volunteers and youth volunteers at a rescheduled banquet in the spring or at the 2021 banquet in the fall.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 34 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
Photo Cutline: Maries County Presiding Commissioner Vic Stratman (right) presents Wilma Stephen with an outstanding volunteer award at her home on April 16, 2021.
Photo Credit: Laura Schiermeier, Maries County Advocate