ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Dozens of Triangle leaders and trailblazers were honored in the Bull City with a lifetime achievement award from President Joe Biden.
At a ceremony at NCCU's campus in Durham, 40 community leaders were given the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award which honors leadership and volunteer work.
Among those getting the prestigious honor -- former Durham Mayor William Bell, longtime state legislator Mickey Michaux, and Frankie Perry, a longtime banking executive at Wells Fargo and member of ABC11's Minority Advisory Committee.
"To know that I was being recognized by the president, that's awesome," Perry said.
Another familiar face from ABC11 was also honored. Shauna Singletary Williams was among the first Black reporters at WTVD when she was hired in the 1970s.
Bell said it was a full circle moment receiving the honor at home.
"You see a lot of people, you go back and think about things that we've done together; nobody does this by themselves, and I've been fortunate to have the support of the community," Bell said.
The awards also shine a light on volunteers not always in the spotlight. Bishop Samuel Jones and Mother Regina Jones have run a mission helping those in need in rural Beaufort County for decades. They were over the moon when they found out they were nominated.
"Never thought in a million years that anyone was even paying attention, but we thank God that we were given the opportunity," Regina Jones said.
Samuel Jones added: "What it does is open up a door for our children to have a desire to start giving and not always receiving."
It's that spirit of helping others that shines brighter than any medal.
"Volunteerism is a wonderful thing and you get a lot of pleasure in volunteering, and that's what I've tried to do all of my life," Perry said.