Volunteers define our community

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anyone familiar with the sport of hot-air ballooning knows it’s not for individualists.

Ballooning takes a team effort. Unloading, setting up and inflating takes more than one person, and fittingly, organizing Natchez’s biggest single weekend takes a team, too.

Last weekend, dozens of hot-air balloons lifted into the sky, but none of it would be possible were it not for the dozens of behind-the-scenes volunteers who work hard for months to make the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race ascend without a hitch.

Email newsletter signup

That very group of volunteers comes together each year to recognize the most faithful among a great group of volunteers.

Named for long-time Natchez physician and perennial community volunteer the late Dr. David Steckler, the top award for volunteerism went to two people who are always ready, willing and able to give back to the community they love.

The husband and wife team John and Sharon Goodrich earned the Spirit of Steckler Award this year, and it’s much deserved.

Not unlike Dr. Steckler, the Goodriches sought to give credit elsewhere by recognizing the pilots in the audience.

“I don’t think that you realize the importance that you create when you fly your balloons,” John said.

The Natchez we all know and love would not exist if it were not for the kind hearts of the community’s volunteers.

And God love each one of them for making the community a better place to live.