Submitted Ben Bray (center) is named Macon County's adult honoree at the 11th Annual Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards for his work as a charity auctioneer and memberships in various local organizations. Also pictured: Tennessee State Rep. Kelly Keisling and Miss Tennessee 2018 Christine Williamson.

Submitted

Ben Bray (center) is named Macon County's adult honoree at the 11th Annual Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards for his work as a charity auctioneer and memberships in various local organizations. Also pictured: Tennessee State Rep. Kelly Keisling and Miss Tennessee 2018 Christine Williamson.

Two Macon County residents, Ben Bray and Ana Hix, were honored at the 11th annual Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony on Feb. 10.

One youth and one adult volunteer were selected from participating counties to receive the award.

Nominees were submitted based on the volunteer service performed, initiative taken to perform the service, creativity used to help solve a problem and impact of the volunteer service.

For 22 years, Bray has served as an auctioneer for many charities, nonprofit organizations and fundraising events. He has also raised more than $300,000 during the last 10 years through a charity auction in Lafayette that benefits St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis.

Bray is a member of the Lafayette Rotary Club, the Macon County Education Foundation and the Macon County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he serves on Macon Bank & Trust's board of directors, is a member of the Macon County Arts Council and conducts its annual arts auction.

Hix, a sixth-grader at Macon County Junior High School, was born with a heart rate of 275 beats per minute. Her condition is being controlled through medication until surgery can be scheduled.

She has raised $4,000 for the American Heart Association by sharing her story and volunteers for the annual arts auction. In addition, she has worked with her church group to build wheelchair ramps, wash houses and offer landscaping services.

Hix also takes part in her church's Soup for Souls program, helping to make and deliver soup to homebound widowed and elderly.

The Hix family as a whole takes on two annual philanthropic efforts -- a Christmas dinner to serve city and county employees and first responders -- and an Independence Day block party to benefit the community.

"Each year, 1.6 million Tennessee volunteers give more than 137 million hours of service, contributing the equivalent of $3.3 billion to Tennessee's economy," Volunteer Tennessee Executive Director Jim Snell said. "They are the backbone of our great state, and by giving of their time and talents to fulfill needs that would otherwise go unmet, they truly embody the spirit of giving."

Volunteer Tennessee, a 25-member board appointed by the governor, coordinates the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards at the state level.

Brenda Hiett of the Macon County Chamber of Commerce serves as the coordinator of the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards in Macon County.