Calvert Volunteer Named Jefferson Award Recipient

By: John Gilbert Email
By: John Gilbert Email

For 9 years KBTX has been honoring local people for their outstanding impact on this community through service and many hours of volunteer work.

And this year Bea Cephas of Calvert is one of those being honored. It's not hard to see how this dynamo of a woman has made a huge impact on those around her.

The music is uplifting at the Calvert Senior Citizen Center, and so is Bea Cephas who blends a lot of direction, care, and love for senior citizens. "Ladies, do you all want to have lunch with us today?"

They come here every day for lunch, socializing, card playing, dominoes, even a stitch in time from some expert quilt makers.

"That is beautiful!", Bea says to some award-winning quilt-makers who are taking part in center activities.

This former school secretary, former day care owner, and former Calvert City Council member, is now a current volunteer caregiver as Coordinator of the Senior Citizen Center, with a lot of help from other volunteers like Lena and Fran.

"Clara Mae, hey, hmmm (kisses her)."

Bea says there's a reason for her giving nature. "Well, I guess I grew up from a family, my father and my mother was a family that lived in the country, of Hearne, Texas, Robertson County. My mother was a giver. He was a giver. So I grew up helping others at all times, even at church in the community of, we called it Red Hill. So it's just a part of me."

And it becomes part of everyone who makes the Senior Citizens Center a regular stop, as Bea makes the rounds.
"Roseanne, thank you so much for coming over with us, today. You're welcome. Sheila, you need any, we have seconds, would you like seconds? No? O-K. Ladies did everyone over here get a plate. No, I didn't. You didn't?"

"Amazing person", says Calvert City Superintendant Kevin O'Carroll who helped spur the movement to nominate Bea for a Jefferson Award. "It's like an angel. I mean I've never come across it in all my life, and I've been around the world and when you meet somebody like Miss Bea, you know she is very, very special."

Only about 4 or 5 senior citizens used to come to the center for lunch and other activities to keep them vibrant. Now more than 35 make it a daily visit.

Retired teacher Donna Jordan says, "She goes and gets them (laughs). She literally gets in her van and goes and picks them up. She takes them to doctor appointments. She picks them up. If they don't show up for lunch she calls to find out or goes over there. She cares."

Calvert Mayor Marcus Greaves is also a fan. He says, "Like I've known her since '72, and she's a good person, always helping people."

The same goes for volunteer Shreeka Walden. "Well she's absolutely a light by far. Just the amazing personality that she has reaches so many people community-wide."

And Bea says she gets something in return. "It's a big armful of love (smiles). uh yeah. I want to shine while I'm here on earth, while I can see and feel and make the people happy."

And she leads the Calvert Community Center in a song that reflects that happiness.
"Shine, shine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. (clapping) Thank you, Betty."

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