Baumgardner is 2020 Good Neighbor of the Year

The Wake Forest Human Relations Council (HRC) is pleased to announce Kenille Baumgardner as the 2020 Good Neighbor of the Year. Mayor Vivian Jones announced Baumgardner as this year’s recipient during a special video presentation recorded last week and posted Saturday on the Town of Wake Forest Facebook page.  

Baumgardner was nominated by Julie Arthur, Sheila MacPherson and Tori Bennett, along with recent Good Neighbor of the Year award winners Tilda Caudle (2019) and Joy Shillingsburg (2018). In their nomination narratives, all emphasized Baumgardner’s dedication to the community and positive impact on the lives of Wake Forest residents through serving and volunteering.

“I have noticed that whenever need arises, so does her name,” wrote MacPherson. “In fact, she seems to appear whenever a volunteer is needed.”

Calling Baumgardner “an inspiration,” Arthur noted the range of local initiatives in which this year’s winner is involved.

“I have known Kenille since she came to Wake Forest 50 years ago,” wrote Arthur. “She has always been dedicated – to children at Wake Forest Elementary; to the community through her work with Habitat (for Humanity); to many social and political causes; to the environment through her work with Creation Care at St. John’s; and always to friends and neighbors in all parts of Wake Forest. Kenille has an open heart and the willingness and energy to take on hard work for our town!”

Shillingsburg wrote that Baumgardner, a retired educator, is “a friend to all” and “exemplifies the best of Wake Forest.”

“She continues to live her passion for learning, caring for others, teaching children, fighting for social justice and working hard to make our Town and world a better place,” noted Shillinsburg.

“I have worked with Kenille building homes for Habitat for Humanity, cleaning and rehabbing the homes and properties on community work days, served countless meals to the food insecure in our Town and many other projects that Kenille quietly and diligently devotes herself to. In addition to her dedication to Habitat for Humanity and the Summer Nutrition Program, she has been a leader for the Town’s CROP Walk for over 30 years. Kenille has tutored at the Hope House, is an active and proud Kiwanis (Club) member, a long-time member and leader at her church, and she personally cares for and connects with members of the community that she knows are in need. Kenille lives her beliefs by generously donating her time and resources to countless local causes that she believes will make Wake Forest a better place to live for generations to come. I admire her work ethic, curiosity, love of travel, and her kindness. She is dependable and a friend to all.”

Caudle’s narrative acknowledged Baumgardner’s “heart to volunteer,” along with her work with Habitat for Humanity, the Summer Nutrition Program and commitment to the Northeast Community.

“She is very well known and respected in the Northeast Community as a former school teacher by her past students and parents,” wrote Caudle. “Her actions of care, love and concern for others’ well-being, goes beyond my words.”

The HRC solicits Good Neighbor of the Year nominations for one adult and one youth each year from April through August, then typically announces the winners during Good Neighbor Day. This year, the HRC did not receive any nominations for the youth award that met the submission requirements. Also, due to COVID-19, this year’s Good Neighbor Day was canceled. 

To view the award presentation, visit the homepage of the Town website at

(Visited 92 times, 1 visits today)


Rec Department gets $25,000 grant

The NC Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) recently announced the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department as one of four park and recreation agencies and one university to be awarded $25,000 grants to support joining the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) and expanding the campaign for free outdoor fitness across the state.  The current […]


April 24: WFPD to host Operation Medicine Drop

For The White Street Journal The Wake Forest Police Department will host “Operation Medicine Drop” Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Town Hall Ground Floor Meeting Room, 301 S. Brooks St. The room is most easily accessed via Town Hall’s Taylor Street entrance.  The WFPD offers Operation Medicine Drop (OMD) as a prescription and over-the-counter medication […]


April 22: Traffic Alert – Wait Avenue

For The White Street Journal The Town of Wake Forest will temporarily reduce to one lane with intermittent two-way traffic the portion of Wait Avenue from Havisham Court to Traditions Grande Boulevard on Thursday, April 22, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The temporary closure is necessary to allow Wake Forest Power tree crews to prune tree limbs and […]


New officer joins WFPD

From WSJ Staff Reports The Wake Forest Police Department swore in a new officer. Officer Morales took his Oath of Office on Tuesday, April 20 (Visited 25 times, 3 visits today) Share via: 0 Shares Facebook Twitter Email Copy Link Print More


Garden Club honored

From WSJ Staff Reports NC Main Street recently recognized the Wake Forest Garden Club as a Main Street Champion for “enhancing the beauty of downtown Wake Forest and the entire community since 1924.” According to Downtown Development Manager Jennifer Herbert, the Garden Club’s impact is visible throughout the Renaissance Area and beyond. “Their many efforts in […]


Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation Shred-a-thon a success

From WSJ Staff Reports The annual Purple Heart Foundation Spring Shred-a-thon was Saturday, April 17 in the parking lot of the Patterson Building on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. All proceeds from the event go to honor area Purple Heart recipients. An annual banquet is on the first Saturday in […]


April 24: Taylor Street Park Sprayground opens for season

(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today) Share via: 0 Shares Facebook Twitter Email Copy Link Print More


May 6: WRAL-TV’s Sloan Heffernan to lead storytelling workshop

From WSJ Staff Reports Two-time Emmy Award winning journalist Sloan Heffernan with WRAL-TV is partnering with the Wake Forest Area Chamber to offer a “Business of Storytelling” workshop from 12:00 – 1:30 pm on May 6, 2021. This virtual workshop will be held via Zoom and is open to the public.  Storytelling can enrich and […]


May 1: Chamber hosts first-ever Pickleball Open, other events at Flaherty Park

From WSJ Staff Reports The Wake Forest Area Chamber is sponsoring its first-ever Pickleball Open tournament on Saturday, May 1 at Flaherty Park in Wake Forest. Sponsored by Meals on Wheels of Wake County, more than 100 players have registered to play and compete in the day-long event. Spectators are invited to come and cheer […]


April 22: Deadline for registration for virtual fishing tournaments in May

From WSJ Staff Reports The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will host a Virtual Bass Fishing Tournament for ages 13 and older and a Virtual Youth Fishing Tournament for ages 12 and under May 10-23. Over this two-week period, local anglers are encouraged to visit any public fishery in Wake or Franklin […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.