“Margaret is everywhere,” said Lions Club member Don Judy. “I’ll go to the library and Margaret is straightening out the books. Then I’ll drop a load of clothes off at MESA and Margaret is there. I’ll go to a rescue squad brunch and she is there cooking or serving food. She does so much for so many organizations.”
By all accounts, Margaret Gilley, the winner of the 2019 Madison Award, has been a vital part of the Madison community for over 40 years. While not a native of Madison County, Gilley and her family moved here in the early 1970s, she has fully embraced the community and has volunteered for many different organizations.
The Madison Award was established in 1991 and is presented annually by the Madison Lions Club to an outstanding individual in Madison County to honor their contribution to the community. The Madison Award is intended to recognize and encourage outstanding voluntary service performed in Madison County.
The scheduled speakersat last week’s award presentation, Gilley’s son Chris and Cathy Jenkins spoke of the many organizations Gilley has been involved with in Madison County. Both emphasized how serving the community and helping others isn’t just something Margaret does, but is a vital part of who she is.
Gilley joined the Madison County Rescue Squad shortly after moving to the area. She served as an active member and continued to run calls until 1998. During that time, Gilley became an EMT in order to fill in during daytime shifts when the squad was short of help. After 1998, she continued to serve as treasurer of the organization and became a life member in 2003. Gilley also became involved with the rescue squad’s auxiliary and continues her service assisting at brunches, dinners and the concession stand at Pete’s Auction House.
Gilley also volunteers at the Madison County Library helping organize books, helps transport people for the Rappahannock-Rapidan Services Authority, assists at the MESA food pantry, volunteers at the senior center and has served as treasurer of the Burnt Tree Grange for more than 20 years.
This year, in addition to the scheduled speakers, members of the audience were invited to speak.
Bonnie Utz spoke about how Margaret was invaluable to the library.
“Margaret spends six hours every week straightening books on the shelf,” said Utz. “Some volunteers will finish up early, not Margaret; she works the whole shift looking for more things that need to be done.”
Robin Corum told the audience how Gilley is an asset to the MESA food pantry, helping every Tuesday with restocking and volunteering to deliver if clients can’t make it in.
Don Gerhart spoke about Gilley’s contributions to Burnt Tree Grange and Judy Butler recalled how Margaret was always working while they were on church missions.
After the speakers finished, Lions Club President Bill Harvill presented Gilley with a plaque and a $200 check for the non-profit organization of her choice. Gilley presented the check to Bonnie Utz for the Madison County Library.
Gilley’s contributions to the community were summed up well by senior center director Shirley Workman.
“Margaret is not just a mother and friend, she is a valuable asset to our community,” said Workman. “She’s willing to do anything, very task-oriented and always gets it done.”