- Cullman, Alabama

April 1, 2013

Unsung leaders

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — Some of Cullman County’s leading citizens may be unfamiliar names, at least where news headlines are concerned.

A few others are making news because of their positions in the public.

Each year, The Cullman Times reaches out to the community for what we like to call “Unsung Heroes.” Readers submit the names of individuals they believe are making a positive difference in the lives of others. The Times also selects a Distinguished Citizen of the Year. All of those individuals are represented in our publication today as part of the annual Profile section.

This year’s Unsung Heroes all shared a common trait, a strong faith in God and the desire to help other people.

Sisters Stella Bozeman and Melba Palys have volunteered countless hours for Welti Elementary School, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and for the welfare of friends and family.

Grover Reeves, a Lions Club member, has been the driving force for 20 years in organizing a Thanksgiving Day dinner for area residents who otherwise would miss the joy of fellowship.

Lummie Washington Speakman came from a large farming family and has spent his life ministering to others, even when his own health was in question.

Margot Tanner has long volunteered as a translator of old German documents and helped REHAU employees’ children who relocated here from Germany. She also gives her time to ministry work at her church.

Marie Godeke has given her time tirelessly to ministries and contributing to the Ronald McDonald House.

And finally, Billy Coleman, the elected superintendent of Cullman County schools, went on a campaign to convince residents of the need for a half-cent sales tax and convinced the state to turn over valuable land outright to the county school system. A lot of people said Coleman would never be successful in those efforts, but he saw what was right and enlisted others to move forward with him for the sake of the county’s children.

Coleman also carries a strong faith with him in every task.

These residents are just a few examples of why Cullman County is so widely recognized as a caring community. The example they provide in their everyday lives is worth everyone’s attention.