Eloise Thwing receives award from Church Women United

Published 12:44 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

ommunity Day at the Columbus United Methodist Church on November 8. Eloise Thwing was awarded the Valiant Woman Award at this meeting. This is a nationally recognized award in CWU for a woman who has given generously to her community in time and service. Her friend and colleague, Marjorie Westphal gave this tribute to Eloise: &bsp;

&dquo;Soon after I moved to Tryon, a fellow church member invited me to come with her to a meeting of Church Women United, where I would meet a group of dedicated Christian ladies who represented several churches in and around Tryon. I had never heard of CWU in Springfield, Illinois, where I had spent my adult life&ellip; not to say that such an organization didn&squo;t exist there, but I had not heard of it. It was with joyful expectation to meet and make acquaintance with new friends that I attended that first meeting.

&dquo;In those earlier years we held monthly meetings with special focuses, and it seemed every member willingly joined in the activities. Eloise&squo;s guiding hand was always unobtrusively available to assure that our meetings were evidencing the purposes and goals of CWU.

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&dquo;Then from National CWU headquarters came the word that for some years they had been determining areas in the U.S. where poverty and a sense of hopelessness and despair prevailed. One of these areas of significance, could it possibly be?..was our own Western North Carolina. Our unit was presented with the challenge to investigate such conditions over a period of the next five years, periodically coming up with suggestions for solutions and implementing those observations.

&dquo;Those of us who were here at that time can recall how immediately Eloise responded to these challenges. Not just to respond to the mandate from National, but much more importantly to organize and investigate the many facets of the poverty chain which we knew did exist, and ready ourselves to improve conditions for our fellow citizens. Love for God and his universal family was the utmost of Eloise&squo;s compassionate motives, and she pursued it untiringly throughout those five years, and we all finally witnessed the birth of the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. We have continually witnessed the growth and expanse of this infant organization into what it is today.

&dquo;The names &squo;Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry&squo; and Eloise Thwing are synonymous. Ask yourself, without TBOM what would life in Polk County be like today? Ask any of the thousands&ellip; yes, thousands, of people who have felt its love and assistance and embracing arms, and they would surely acknowledge that life for them has been blessed. And this is because one citizen refused to accept the grim picture of hopelessness some 20 years ago, and, with the willing help of many like-minded citizens, effectively has, and continues to do, what is necessary to eliminate poverty in our county.

&dquo;That one citizen, of course, is the lady I am privileged to call my friend, Eloise Thwing, who is being presented with the ValiantWoman award.&dquo;

-article submitted