Members of Sunbury’s Col. Benson W. Hough American Legion Post 457 awarded the post’s annual community service awards during a dinner meeting on May 26.

Each year for the past five years, an individual and a business in the local community have been selected by Post 457 members to receive recognition for going above and beyond the normal expectations of service to their community.

The 2016 recipient of the Post 457 individual community service award is Tina Sycks. Tina and her husband, Harry, operate an auto service and repair shop on State Route 37 east of Sunbury.

“For over 10 years Tina and Harry have provided care packages for our deployed service men and women all over the world,” said Post 457 Adjutant Gene Fuller. “Much of the cost of these packages is paid for by the Sycks family.”

Fuller said the packages contain items that deployed troops need for their daily lives.

“Many times they don’t have access to a base exchange or store to purchase items such as soap, toothpaste, warm socks, candy, jerky, and other non-perishable products,” Fuller said. “The care packages are a huge morale booster to these soldiers who are serving in remote outposts in Iraq, Afghanistan or some other area of the world.”

This year’s Post 457 local business community service award was presented to Big Walnut Friends who Share.

“Big Walnut Friends Who Share has been providing food, clothing, furniture and other necessities of life to the Big Walnut community for over 25 years,” Fuller said. “They have over 80 volunteers who donate several hours each week to maintain this much-needed service.”

Fuller said Friends Who Share has volunteers from every church in the Big Walnut area working to keep the shelves stocked and ready for the area residents the agency serves.

“None of their officials or workers are paid for their efforts,” Fuller said. “In fact, many of them are regular donors of cash and materials to help keep services available.”

Friends Who Share had over 30 members of their group on hand to accept the award. One of the original founders, Barb Hancock, was recognized, as well as Doris and Gene Wampler and other officers of their organization.

Friends Who Share President Larry Tornes accepted the award certificate. He thanked their volunteers, and said that without the support of the Big Walnut community Friends Who Share could not perform its mission.

Additional information about Big Walnut Friends Who Share can be found at

For additional information about Sunbury’s Col. Benson W. Hough American Legion Post 457, go to

By Lenny C. Lepola

For The Gazette

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: [email protected].