Pelham recognizes longtime volunteer’s birthday

The Pelham City Council honored longtime Red Cross volunteer and city poll worker Cecilia Etheredge at its regular council meeting Jan. 20.

Mayor Bobby Hayes presented Etheredge with a key to the city and a certificate proclaiming her 90th birthday, Jan. 24, 2003 as Cecilia Etheredge Day.

&uot;There is no way you can say what Mrs. Etheredge means to the city of Pelham,&uot; Hayes said. &uot;She is a tremendous little lady.&uot;

Etheredge moved to Pelham in 1976 and began volunteering as a poll worker for the city the following year.

She has been volunteering with the Red Cross for more than 50 years and currently serves as the director of blood services for the Shelby County branch.

&uot;If it is anything from a blood drive to voting properly, she will be sure you do it right,&uot; Hayes said.

When asked by friends and fellow volunteers what she wanted for her 90th birthday, Etheredge asked for 90 pints of blood, not surprising from a woman who gives more than 2,000 hours of her time each year.

&uot;I told them I wanted to collect 90 pints of blood, but now they’ve upped it to about 400,&uot; Etheredge said.

Her birthday milestone doesn’t have her thinking about slowing down any. Etheredge said she plans to be around for 10 more years.

&uot;I would think I was just born to be a volunteer with the Red Cross,&uot; she said. &uot;I really and truly do love my work.&uot;

Cecilia, known affectionately as &uot;Cel,&uot; is the aunt of professional tennis hall-of-famer Anne Etheredge.

&uot;She’s out for sweat and I’m out for blood,&uot; Cecilia said of her niece.

Anne was ranked the No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world last year for 45-year-old players and was recently named to the USTA Southern Sectional Hall of Fame.

She regularly plays and gives tennis lessons at the Pelham Racquet Club.

Mayor Hayes publicly thanked Mrs. Etheredge for what she has done for the city of Pelham, Shelby County and the state of Alabama.

&uot;She always volunteers,&uot; Hayes said. &uot;She’ll always be there and be the first in line.

&uot;We are very pleased that she is part of our community.&uot;