April 24, 1996

Raleigh -The 1995 Volunteer of the Year award for the N.C. Department of Correction was presented to William Bill Tiszai of Apex April 24.

"Mr. Tiszai has done an outstanding job reaching out to help inmates at Polk Youth Institution through its drama program," Correction Secretary Franklin Freeman said at a Wednesday luncheon honoring volunteers.

Tiszai has helped some inmates act more responsibly through communication and teaching skills in the acting class.

Tiszai has directed several biblical plays at Polk Youth Institution including And There Was Mary, The Sorrowful Star, He Has Risen Indeed, and Angels on High. He has also directed several comedies. As a result, Tiszai has earned the respect of both inmates and staff.

Tiszai has helped to create a positive relationship between Polk Youth Institution and the Raleigh community. He is an avid recruiter of other volunteers. He has worked hard to solicit funds and resources from the community for use in the volunteer programs at Polk. Tiszai was able to get his church, Highlands United Methodist to sponsor a drama guild at Polk Youth Institution.

Tiszai was one of 20 volunteers nominated for Volunteer of the Year in the Division of Prisons.

Others recognized in the ceremony included Eunice Berry, Lumberton Correctional Institution. According to Superintendent Pat Chavis, if Berry were a correctional officer, she would be a superintendent in a few years because of her dedication and commitment. Berry was the first volunteer at Lumberton when it opened two years ago. She leads Christian worship services and Bible study classes. Berry has also donated a piano to the prison.

Winfred E. Everhart, Blanch Youth Institution. Upon his arrival at Blanche, Everhart immediately begins his ministry to the inmates by walking from cell to cell, talking, singing, reading the Bible, and praying with inmates for three to four hours. Sometimes his wife accompanies him.

Rev. Eleanor (Ellie) Jean Foley, Neuse Correctional Institution. Rev. Foley has faithfully and diligently brought 18 volunteers to the prison each month to present powerful social and religious skits. The volunteers use puppets and dramatic interpretive dance in their skits. Rev. Foley's dedication is evident by her four hour travel time to and from the prison.

Savannah P. Johnson, Forsyth Correctional Center. Johnson was instrumental in the development of a reading tutorial class at Forsyth. She has given many inmates new hope for a brighter future through learning and a commitment to make positive changes.

Nina M. Price, Brown Creek Correctional Institution. Price is the Prison Fellowship coordinator and plays a major role in assisting the chaplain with religious educational programs. She has also coordinated Christmas programs and recruited other volunteers.

Grayson Ward, Sandy Ridge Correctional Center. Ward began volunteering five years ago with the Alcoholics Anonymous program. He's currently the program's coordinator and conducts meetings twice a week. Ward has served as a community leave sponsor, escorting inmates to approved events away from the prison.

Lucy M. Lucas, Nash Correctional Institution. Lucas has organized numerous gospel concerts, recruited many volunteers, and initiated several special activities for the entire inmate population during the year. Her jovial and congenial personality has been a positive influence on inmates and staff.

Carlene Damron, Iredell Correctional Center. Damron contacted more than 25 churches and arranged for food to be donated for the inmate's Thanksgiving meal. She is the pianist for Sunday worship services and offers support to many other religious activities. For the last five years, Damron has organized the Little Dove project. Because of this project, Christmas gifts are given to inmates' children who might not otherwise receive gifts.

Charles R. Harris, Martin Correctional Center. When called upon to provide assistance, Harris is always willing to donate his time. As an ex-offender who is now a successful businessman and productive citizen, Harris has proven to be an excellent role model for inmates.

James Hudson, Stanly Correctional Center. Hudson is the prison's chaplain and a member of the Community Resource Council. He coordinates all religious programs and has been very effective in soliciting funds from churches and local businesses.

Rev. David Rose, Avery Correctional Center. Rev. Rose spends time with inmates who never get involved in church activities. He does this by running with them, playing basketball, or just taking a walk around the ball field. His church participates in many prison activities and financially supports the prison ministry.

John Clark, Franklin Correctional Center. During his eight years as a volunteer, Clark has recruited other volunteers to assist him with teaching the 12-Step Recovery Program. He has shown patience in working with inmates and on special occasions, provided his own funds to purchase books and other materials.

Rev. Leslie George Wood, Hoke Correctional Institution. Rev. Wood has conducted monthly interdenominational worship services for the inmates. He shares his personal testimony and faith with any inmate who will listen. He encourages inmates to change their ways and lead successful and productive lives.

Ariel Latham, Southern Correctional Institution. A charter member of the Yokefellow Prison Ministry at Southern, Latham rarely misses a Yokefellow meeting, even in inclement weather. He assists with all Christmas parties and provides Bibles and other religious materials to inmates.

Sheriff James 'Red' Lyons, Watauga Correctional Center. When Sheriff Lyons attends any type of activity at the prison, he always speaks to all staff and inmates. He lets inmates know that he cares, no matter what they've done. He assists with providing food for several inmate programs. He also participates in religious activities by performing with his family quartet.

Harold C. York, Sanford Correctional Center. For 17 years, York has given his time and energy to promote the development and continuation of important programs at Sanford. He is also chairman of the Community Resource Council. As a community leave sponsor, he has escorted inmates to church, plays, and concerts.

Dorothy H. King, N.C. Correctional Institution for Women. King has been actively involved in Prison Fellowship, Yokefellow Prison Ministry, the Community Resource Council, and providing weekly Bible studies for death row inmates. She provides excellent support to chaplaincy and social work areas.

Rev. Jacqueline Ellis, Goldsboro Correctional Center. Rev. Ellis conducts spiritual services twice a week, coordinates an annual revival and provides baptism services when requested. She even provided a home for an ex-convict until he could find a place to live.

Jack H. Evans, Orange Correctional Center. Evans has presented himself as an excellent role model for inmates with his punctuality, integrity, and caring attitude. He has been active in Bible study, the Community Resource Council and is a community leave sponsor.