Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero: Melissa Turner
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Melissa Turner is an employment specialist at Allen County Scottsville High School. However, that is just one of the many titles she carries in the community.
- She is a Fitness Instructor at The CORE of Scottsville where she has also started a female Bible study group.
- She is a coach for the Allen County Special Olympics.
- Fundraiser organizer of events like Dogs on Dumont.
- Current reigning “Kentucky Woman Queen” and will be heading to the national pageant in July.
“I see Melissa as a person who puts herself last often for the needs of others,” said Ada Oliver, a friend of Melissa’s. “She’s constantly putting herself out there for others and serving others.”
It is her dedication to the service of others that keeps her busy around Allen County.
“She’s always happy and cheerful and tries to bring light to any situation. One of the hardest working, caring people you will ever meet,” said Laura Rector, MSD Teacher at Allen County Scottsville High School and Special Olympics Coach.
“She loves people. She loves children. She loves older people, but most of all she connects to people that can’t help themselves,” said Laura Dyer, Instructional Assistant at Allen County Scottsville High School.
The combination of these loves has guided Melissa throughout her life and career. She worked in healthcare before moving home to Scottsville to work at the school and immediately became involved with the Special Olympics.
Going on 23 years as a coach, she has become every child’s biggest fan and cheerleader.
“The first time we ever went, it had my heart,” Turner said. “Some people will run and not think about running, and every time one of our kids run and they win a ribbon, it’s like they’ve won a million dollars.”
The heart and dedication of the children bring her joy every time she sees them practice and compete. It also drives her to do everything she can to help them have the resources needed to compete.
She can be seen at every Special Olympics fundraiser doing everything she can to encourage the community to support the children. She even created the annual “Dogs on Dumont” event to aid in the cause.
Her mother is the inspiration for her giving nature and the drive to support everyone around her.
“She always wanted to do for everybody else,” Turner said, “even though she’s suffering right now from dementia, she still wants to take care of her family and she still wanted to make sure that everybody around her was taken care of.”
Recently, Melissa won the title of “Kentucky Woman Queen,” a category of the Miss Kentucky pageant.
After winning the title, she visited the nursing home to show her mother her crown and was inspired to rally the community to present crowns to residents in three of the nursing homes in Allen County.
With the help of community members and businesses, she was able to supply the crowns and present them to each resident.
“That was one of the most special days of my life,” Turner said. “To see the look on their faces was… it was something that I will always treasure.”
Melissa considers the smiles and happiness of others as the biggest reward for all the work she does for the community.
“I feel like that you need to be the hands and feet of Jesus and take care of others and make their life better,” Turner said. “If I can make somebody’s life better every single day whether it is saying hello or raising money for some source, I feel like I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”
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