James Fry Receives Joe B. Avery Community Spirit Award for 2012
by Rama Peroo
The Human Relations Commission of Arkansas City recently presented James Fry with the Joe B. Avery Spirit Award for 2012 at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration of Unity held inside Cowley College’s Robert Brown Theatre.
Fry has worked for Cowley College for several years in the volunteer services program. He was also one of the key individuals in starting volunteer service programs in the city of Arkansas City.
The award was created to celebrate individuals who make an effort to enhance the lives of others through service and a passion for creating cooperation and humanity among the citizens of Arkansas City. Joe B. Avery, the namesake of the award, made a long term commitment to effecting change in our community by identifying or creating resources that improved the quality of life for those around us. Joe was a great man who gave many years of service to the city in developing conversations and relationships that benefit the greater good. Avery graduated from Arkansas City Junior College (now Cowley College) in 1948.
Fry is very involved in city volunteer efforts, including Habitat for
Humanity, Manna Ministries, the Burford Theatre Project, Arkalalah, and
many many more. He is a cub scout leader for Pack 328, served on a city
board for individuals with disabilities, serves on the ACCA school board,
and is very involved in his church.
In addition to his volunteer duties, Fry has been a mentor to students who often come to him for advice and direction. He is a wonderful role model for young people, and has impacted hundreds of students’ lives. He is a very positive individual who greets everyone with a smile and his enthusiasm is contagious. Fry is also a dedicated family man. He is the husband of Deb Fry and has two children, Micah and Nathan.