National Junior Auxiliary honors Wilbanks
by Courtney Stevens
Jun 13, 2013 | 2080 views | 0 0 comments | 200 200 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wilma Wilbanks (second from left) at NAJA convention after having the NAJA National Focus Award named in her honor — it will now be the Wilma J. Wilbanks National Focus Award. With her are (from left) husband Bob Wilbanks, her mother Ellen Ann Johnson and son Reed Gilbow.
Wilma Wilbanks (second from left) at NAJA convention after having the NAJA National Focus Award named in her honor — it will now be the Wilma J. Wilbanks National Focus Award. With her are (from left) husband Bob Wilbanks, her mother Ellen Ann Johnson and son Reed Gilbow.
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The Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland attended the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. Annual Education Conference in Memphis this past weekend.

Junior Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization that encourages members to render charitable services, which are beneficial to the general public, with particular emphasis on children.

The Junior Auxiliary chapter of Cleveland has been in existence since 1946.

The chapter received six different awards.

The awards won were the Betty W. Robbins Endowed Scholarship Platinum Crown, the NAJA Foundation Membership Award for achieving 100 percent active participation in the NAJA foundation, the Efficiency Award, the Public Relations Finance Award for the 2013 Children's Benefit Ball, Martha Wise Existing Project Award for the production of "A Child's Dream," and the Award of Excellence for excellence in all areas of Junior Auxiliary work.

Jamie Jacks was nominated by the chapter for the Region III Volunteer of the Year award, which she received during the conference.

"It was such an honor to be nominated and I am thrilled.

Junior Auxiliary is a great organization," Jacks said.

The star of the conference was Wilma Wilbanks, a local pharmacist at Walgreens, who was honored with a National Award being named in her honor for her many years of service to NAJA.

"I've been speechless very few times in my life and I still am speechless. I'm just stunned," said Wilbanks.

Wilbanks has served the NAJA for over 30 years in different roles such as president and her current position, parliamentarian.

"I was extremely humbled by the honor. I never dreamed they would do anything like this, much less so much," said Wilbanks.

This annual convention was in Wilbanks' honor and throughout the weekend Wilbanks received many different surprises.

"I can't believe they all kept it a secret," said Wilbanks.

This was Wilbanks' 30th consecutive convention to attend and she was given many surprises throughout the weekend.

Wilbanks was presented with a scrapbook encompassing 20 years with the NAJA and a detailed painting, both created by former president and close friend, Vickie Pentecost.

At the announcement of the award in her honor, her family and friends, including former president and close friend, Norma Delong, attended.

Wilbanks said, "I owe all of my commitment to community service to my mother and daddy. They instilled these values in me.

“Not everyone has a role model like I did and I try to be an example for those people."