Recent Sequatchie County High School graduate Paige Narramore has been tagging along with her grandfather, Cecil Nunley, for most of her life. Nunley, a long-time member of the Sequatchie County Rescue Squad, who has served as Captain of the local squad, an officer in the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads and as a community volunteer, is Narramore’s role model.
“The way I grew up was with my grandfather. If he was involved in something, I was there to help,” said Narramore. “I have been with him every year since I was about 7, helping with the annual Christmas toy drive and food delivery projects sponsored by the Sequatchie County Lions Club and Rescue Squad. I noticed in 2018 that they didn’t have as many toys to distribute, and I wanted to do something to raise donations. I love passing out the toys. It makes my day to see how something as small as a toy can bring so much happiness to a child.
“Since I am a runner and have competed in several charity 5-K runs, I know that people in Dunlap really turn out to participate in them. That gave me the idea of having a ‘Christmas in July’ 5K to support the toy drive. The registration fee was a new toy and a $25 donation to help purchase toys for the drive. We had great participation. Some people donated more than the registration fee, and people who were not even participating in the run dropped off toys and donations.”
With nine years of Travel Select softball and two years of high school softball experience behind her and as a current member of a coed softball team, Narramore’s next fund-raising project was a coed softball tournament held at Griswold Recreation Park in Dunlap last fall. The tournament also proved to be very successful. The two events brought in a total of about $3,500 worth of cash and new toys for the annual community toy drive. Although Narramore has graduated and will be enrolled in college this fall, the events she initiated will still be held. She and the Lions Club, plan to pass the responsibility and learning opportunity on to another Sequatchie County High School senior each year.
“Paige grew up in the Rescue Squad, so volunteering was nothing new for her,” says Kim Smith, Captain of the Sequatchie County Rescue Squad. “She has helped with the Christmas food baskets, toy runs, and the Fourth of July festivities for years and has also completed numerous hours of community service at the Rescue Squad building.”
Narramore’s community service doesn’t end there. As a member of the Sequatchie County Youth Leadership program and the SCHS Future Business Leaders of America, Narramore has put in many volunteer hours. She has served as a Peer Tutor at school; assisted with the Sequatchie County Food Bank, the American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels; and had just completed training to assist the McKamey animal shelter, MARC and the Humane Society in caring for sick and injured animals when COVID-19 shut everything down.
“If Paige is passionate about a cause, she puts her all into it,” says Amy Layne, Narramore’s teacher for both junior and senior English. “She is a great person to put in charge of something as she will see that it gets done.”
When asked how many hours she spent volunteering, Narramore said, “Oh, LOTS! I quit keeping track after I logged in enough for the Tennessee Promise scholarship.”
Her mother, Tina Narramore added, “In the hundreds. Probably 200 or more.”
In recognition of her volunteer spirit and commitment to improving her community, Narramore was recently awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Certificate of Excellence and the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House.
What has she learned from her years of volunteering and conducting community events? “Don’t take anything for granted. Be happy with what you’ve got. And appreciate the people who help,” says Narramore.
The enterprising young volunteer plans to attend Chattanooga State for the first two years of her college education then transfer to Tennessee Tech to complete a degree in Business.
SVEC is proud to honor this young community leader.