• 64°

Community Mission Outreach gathers for special anniversary

Area residents gathered at the Chesapeake Community Center as the CMO celebrated 30 years with the food pantry bank.

Area residents gathered at the Chesapeake Community Center as the CMO celebrated 30 years with the food pantry bank.

CHESAPEAKE — Community Mission Outreach members and volunteers gathered at the Chesapeake Community Center Saturday afternoon, as 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the CMO.

“We didn’t have as big of a turnout as I thought,” Don Moore, CMO chairman said. “We were trying to get people that haven’t come in a while a chance to come in and see what’s going on nowadays.”

The churches and volunteers make up the CMO that services those in need in the eastern end.

“My wife and I have been coming down here and volunteering off and on for 20 years,” Tom Sullivan, volunteer from St. Ann Church in Chesapeake, said. “When our kids were in high school, we used to come a lot and now we come with our grandkids around the holidays to help out. I know that means a lot to them.”

Tom’s wife, Karen Sullivan, really enjoys being able to help with the CMO.

“Our church volunteers once a month,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing. I do love volunteering. It’s so worthwhile.”

Don Moore, his wife Alice, CMO treasurer Donna Plybon and long-time volunteer Bill Booth are considered the backbone of the CMO.

Booth, a member of the Burlington Wesley Independent Church, said he is the gofer of the CMO, meaning that he goes out and does whatever is needed to be done.

“I go to the Huntington Food Bank and pick up salvage bread and meat and anything else that we can get,” he said. “I also go to Save-A-Lot once a month and buy food that we can’t buy from the food bank. If there’s food to be picked up, I’m willing to go get it.”

Booth will take on a larger role coming up, as he was recently elected a co-director by the CMO board.

“Thirty years is a milestone as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It goes to show that God works in mysterious ways. Without him, we’d be nothing.”

Plybon addressed the group toward the conclusion of the gathering.

“We’ve seen so many good changes here over 30 years,” she said. “We really appreciate all that you have done for us for 30 years.”