By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
MOUNT PLEASANT — Alecia and Ron Clouse, members of St. Alphonsus Parish, received the Mount Pleasant Citizen Couple of the Year award this year. Community members nominated the couple for the designation, which is presented annually by the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance.
It’s the second year in a row that St. Alphonsus parishioners have received the award; last year, Dave and Carmen Heaton won the Couple of the Year award.
Lois Roth, one of the people who nominated the Clouses, knows them from church and other community organizations. In her nomination letter, she explained how Alecia and Ron were a huge comfort during her husband Brian Roth’s cancer battle. They’d visit the hospital during treatments and offer hugs and a listening ear. “Unless you are a caregiver for a patient receiving treatment, you cannot know how those seemingly simple efforts dig deep into your heart — I saw the reaction in Brian’s eyes while I felt much in my own heart. While it may have seemed like a normal effort for Alecia and Ron, it was far more.” She added that the Clouses serve as lectors, greeters and cantors at Mass.
Mount Pleasant residents Tim and Sally Olson also nominated the Clouses, noting that the retirees are avid community volunteers with a humble spirit. The Clouses have volunteered with the Henry County Health Center, Kiwanis, TTT, Habitat for Humanity, CASA Kids mentoring service, Old Threshers Reunion and the annual community Thanksgiving and July 4th dinners.
“When the Clouses belong to an organization or volunteer, they participate to the fullest, not because it is part of their job or to have their name on a membership roll, but just because that is who they are — involved Mt. Pleasant citizens,” the Olsons wrote in their nomination letter.
Ron Clouse admits that he and Alecia were surprised by the award. “Our pastor, Father Joseph Phung, tells us that we all have time and talent and treasure and we need to use it. (Alecia and I) don’t have much talent or treasure, so we just give a lot of time!” He noted that the award is meaningful, but it “could have gone to about 200 other people!”