Nonprofit leader Priscilla Morello wins Service to Mankind Award

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Even before Seeds of Hope was created, Executive Director Priscilla Morello was volunteering her time helping students at Vick Elementary School. And on Thursday, the Sertoma Club of Wilson recognized Morello’s tireless efforts with the Service to Mankind Award.

“She has spent her life caring about and helping others in numerous ways,” said club President Rae Flowers. “Her everyday demeanor is in thought of others and what she can do for them.”

The retired cataloguer for the Wilson County Public Library was stunned when Flowers called her name for the award, especially knowing her husband, Mike, had kept the honor a secret.

“With all of the illustrious people in this room, I thought it couldn’t be little ‘ol me,” she said. “I felt unworthy because there are so many people in Wilson that give from the heart.”

Mike Morello said it wasn’t easy as Priscilla is busy with Seeds of Hope meetings and programs nearly every night of the week. Flowers said Priscilla Morello’s devotion to helping others puts her in great company among winners previously selected for the award such as Bill Meyers, Barry Page, Gary Farmer, Nancy Sallenger and former Gov. Jim Hunt.

“She is such a deserving person,” he said. “She is wholesome and has a lot of concern for others. She loves to help people.”

Priscilla Morello said she’s proud of all the programs Seeds of Hope has established, especially partnerships with other organizations, to help 50 families and all of the students at Vick Elementary School. To learn more about Seeds of Hope or to donate, visit www.seedsofhopewilson.org/.

The event also served as the opportunity to recognize the top sixth graders in the club’s annual essay contest about the meaning of freedom. Out of 27 entries, Caroline Adkins of Elm City Middle School placed third, while Samantha Cotton at Springfield Middle School placed second and Marianna Garnica of Forest Hills Middle School won the grand prize. Her winning essay will be published in Monday’s edition of The Wilson Times.

The Sertoma Club of Wilson also provided donations to seven area organizations totaling about $7,000, and named Steve Whitt the Sertoman of the Year. Flowers, a charter member of the club, said Sertoma International provided a group of philanthropic Wilsonians will a focus on helping deaf and hard-of-hearing residents.

“We felt it was an opportunity to serve an area of our community that wasn’t being served,” Flowers said.

To learn more about the organization, visit https://sertoma.org/.