Frank Hamblen works nights in sanitation at ConAgra Foods, a job that earned him more than a paycheck Friday.
Hamblen, a former cooperative workshop employee, was among the honorees at the Center for Human Services recognition luncheon Friday.
Hamblen, of Marshall, received a personal growth award from the community rehabilitation program division. He called the honor outstanding.
“Never in my lifetime did I think I would get an award like this,” he said. “I never expected it.”
He thanked his wife, Anna, and said she has helped keep him motivated during their 26-year marriage.
At the event attended by more than 100 people, outstanding personal growth awards were also given to Debra Wilson, Charles Boslaugh and Eddie Alvarez.
Boslaugh received an award from the employment services division for his work with lawn care and landscaping.
He was nominated by Herb Mackesty, production manager of the Cooperative Workshop Inc.
Mackesty said he designated Boslaugh because, “he wanted to expand his knowledge and his ability to do different things.”
Boslaugh also works as part of the snow and housekeeping crews and plans to start his own business.
Wilson received her award from the community living division. Wilson, a resident of Walnut Street Group Home in Sedalia, was introduced by Debra Johnson, an employee at the home.
She lauded Wilson’s compassion and said she is doing household chores and has taken great strides in her work.
Wilson takes pride in her accomplishments and is a true inspiration, Johnson said.
Eddie, 2, received the award from the family and child development division. His mother, Melissa Hunter, accepted it.
Carol McCandless, a teacher at Early Head Start, said Eddie was born healthy, weighing more than 8 pounds, but he soon began to lose weight due to a condition called failure to thrive. This can lead to long-term disabilities, but McCandless said Eddie is growing and learning the skills he needs.
Also recognized Friday was volunteer Barbara R. Schulz, who received the lifetime achievement award.
She is treasurer of the Children’s Therapy Center board, a member of a fundraising committee and acts as liaison between the board and the Early Head Start Policy Council.
She said she enjoys all aspects of her role, even the meetings.
“I get to work with some of the greatest people,” she said. “The accomplishments recognized here today are awesome. It’s a life changing experience.”
Schulz said she enjoys knowing she’s making a difference, and that her efforts affect people she will never know. She called it an honor to be added to the list of award winners that dates back 51 years.